Students from Mercyhurst University, Jamestown Community College, and Penn State Behrend have all joined as one to crew the U.S. Brig Niagara. Since 2017 the Great Lakes Maritime voyage has taken the history class course “Waves of the Past, Leaders of the Future” and turned students into sailors.
” It’s living history,” said Niagra Captain Christoper Cusson. “They’re doing all the things that the crew two-hundred years ago would have done. To sail this ship and get her from place to place. “
Department Chair DR. Ben Scharff says this experience helps to shed a different light on the historical subject.
“Seeing it from a ship as you arrive is very different than arriving to these places in a car,” said Scharff. “The get a different perspective on our region.
“It’s an awesome experience to take people on board for two weeks,” said Cusson. “taking them through that experience of never stepping on a boat before, never gone sailing, and making them part of the crew and have this experience. “
Student will be expected to do everything the crew would do from steering the ship to cooking and working rigging. The students have been living on the boat since Wednesday getting ready for their upcoming sail.
The two week sail will take students to Detroit and Put In Bay, arriving back to Erie on May 31st.