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 Information for Dealers
Sea Fever

B491 Sea Fever (Poem)
"I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by." This is the opening line of John Masefield’s famous poem, Sea Fever. A "tall ship" is one characterized by high masts and great spreads of sail. Sea Fever was first published in 1902, and has since been loved by generations of sailors.
   The full text of the poem is superimposed over an original oil painting of the United States Coast Guard cutter Eagle. The 295-foot barque is the only actively commissioned steel-hull "tall ship" in American military service. During the summer months, the Coast Guard Academy uses it to train future officers. During the rest of the year, she is our nation’s good will ambassador and visits many foreign countries. She often participates in "Tall Ship" regattas. Interesting, she began her career in 1936 as the Horst Wessel, a Nazi Germany training ship. World War I ended with the Treaty of Versailles, which prohibited Germany from having war ships. The engine, navigation station, bridge and other components of the Horst Wessell were identical to that of the U-boats then being secretly constructed. The ship was used to train the German submarine officers who would later sink many American ships. Following the defeat of Germany in World War II, the Horst Wessell was confiscated by the United States as war reparations, renamed Eagle, and assigned to the U.S. Coast Guard.
     She was the only Coast Guard ship not to have racing stripes, as the traditionalists maintained it will inconsistent with her historic design. However she the host ship of Operation Sail 1976, a coming together of tall ships from all over the world in New York harbor to celebrate the American Bicentennial. Eagle finally got her now-famous racing stripes.

Status: Complete. Plans call for it to be published in 2015, along with the other titles in the new Maritime Heritage series.


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