like me, they had a ton of people who were looking to
volunteer to do it, so they made a call for volunteers.
There was a physical test that had to be done, so I was
over there this past summer to climb into the rigging
and maneuver in the rigging for a few hours so they
were comfortable I could do it.
“I got the green light last summer and I only got word
in the last month that I was going to be a part of the
trans-Atlantic crossing. I’d been waiting on pins and needles, so I’m very excited to be part of that,” he said.
Hermione now is in port getting ready to set sail on
the two-month “Revisiting History” voyage.
“She just finished her sea trials last week [the end of
February]. She is at this point sitting in La Rochelle
[France],” Jensen said. “She is open to the public for
visitation while they bend the sails and begin to set her
up for departure.
“April 14, that is when the doors close to the public
visits, and they begin to button things up for the cross-
ing. Between now and then, as they can, they will start
stocking the galley and provisioning the ship for the
journey. As I understand it, she is not going to sail
again until her final salute to France on April 18 and
departure for the Canary Islands.”
From there, the ship is scheduled to sail for 27 days
before reaching Yorktown, Va., on June 5, where the orig-
inal Hermione took part in a naval battle in September
1781. It will then visit George Washington’s home in
Mount Vernon, Va., before traveling to Alexandria, Va.;
Annapolis, Md.; Baltimore; Philadelphia; New York City;
Greenport, N.Y.; Newport, R.I.; Boston; and complete the
American leg of the journey in Castine, Maine, July 14-15.
“This is an incredibly complicated and, as a sailor, a
tremendously ambitious agenda for the ship,” Jensen
said. “I am constantly paying tribute to Poseidon,
Neptune or whatever sea god you can call up to give us
fair weather and good seas. We’re going to be moving
a lot. The crew is going to be working their tails off.
You’d think that, normally, crossing the Atlantic would
be the hard part, but I think once you get to Yorktown,
that’s when the real work begins. We’re engaging the
public and you’ve got to keep a schedule.”
During the port calls, onlookers can expect a grand
entrance when the ship pulls in. Parades of ships are
planned to welcome Hermione’s arrival in some cities,
and it will be joined in Philadelphia and Greenport by
ships from Tall Ships America, a nonprofit organization
focused on youth education, leadership development
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / APRIL 2015
The reconstructed French frigate Hermione sails during sea trials off the coast of France in November. The ship, which
took 17 years to build, is a replica of the ship that brought the Marquis de Lafayette to America in 1780 with news of
French support for the Revolutionary War. Hermione will be visiting 12 ports along the Eastern Seaboard this summer
as part of its “Revisiting History” voyage.