Heavy mist at the Wiscasset waterfront on Friday, May 17 did not deter work to prepare the Providence for its first sea voyage since arriving in town for repairs last fall.
Several people gathered at the recreational pier to watch a large crane lift the main mast, yardarm, and bowsprit from the pier onto the sloop.
The crew from the Providence prepared the ship’s equipment for hoisting onto the vessel throughout the day, with much interest from observers.
The Providence is a replica of an early American warship, the first command of the Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones. The vessel was built as a cargo ship, Katy, in 1768 before its conversion into a sloop-of-war.
Jones was assigned command of the USS Providence in 1776. The Providence’s crew burned the ship to avoid capture off the Maine Coast in 1779.
The replica was built in 1976 as part of America’s bicentennial celebration. It appears in the films “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” among others.
The Providence sustained extensive damage during the 2015 blizzard Juno while in a boatyard in Newport, R.I., and was brought to Wiscasset Harbor for repairs.
Leon Poindexter, a master shipwright, is the project manager for the restoration of the vessel.
The nonprofit Tall Ship Providence Foundation owns the vessel, which it calls “a historic ship museum that provides a dynamic way of experiencing the maritime and naval history of the American Colonies during the Revolution.”
According to the foundation’s website, the ship’s first post-restoration voyage is being revamped due to weather and other delays.