NEW HAVEN -- With the clanging of the ship’s bell, the Amistad is ready to sail again even if the weather isn’t cooperating.
The re-creation of the famous schooner is once again sitting tall and pretty in Long Wharf but getting there, wasn’t easy.
"Part of our message is to learn from the sad past, and make a better future," said Bill Mylett, Captain of the Amistad.
He’s talking about the original history, but it applies to recent years as well. Back in 2000, a new Amistad, used as an educational vessel that was docked from New Haven, told the story of a slave uprising in 1839. With the ship and its crew ultimately ending up in Connecticut, owners couldn’t make it profitable.
According to Len Miller, who runs it as part of "Discovering Amistad", said, "They left a trail of debt, and left a ship that was in terrible condition."
An advisory committee was set up in 2015 to see if the Amistad could sail again and after a rebuild at Mystic Seaport, Miller said, "We have new engines, we have some new sails, we have a new mast, new caulking.
All at a cost of $600,000 to fix, after purchasing it for $300,000. Now, the Amistad is seaworthy and not just as a tourist attraction.
And just as the Amistad made its place in history back in 1839, this re-creation will keep its place in the CT sound waters hopefully for years to come no matter the weather.