The U.S. Brig Niagara is ready for all-hands-on-deck as students were preparing to set sail on the high seas of Lake Erie.

In its first voyage of the year, the Niagara is harboring college students who are learning the basics of square-rigged sea-man-ship.

Those students also earning credits for their participation as they learn the history and significance of the War of 1812 throughout the region.

“Of course, we have them come down to the museum and see the ship beforehand, but even then they don’t really understand what working on board and sailing is going to be like. So, they they have to trust us a little bit when we say, ‘hey this is a really unique experience. this is something that could maybe be one of the defining experiences of your college career.’” Said Alethea Gaarden, Mercyhurst University Professor.

The crew is first sailing to Put-in-Bay on this voyage and will return to port in Erie on May 31.