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Amistad America: We are excited to be here

By Judy Benson

Publication: theday.com

Published July 12. 2014 3:22PM   Updated July 12. 2014 11:45PM
Dana Jensen/The Day
A view of the Mashantucket Pequot Fireworks Extravaganza over the Thames River from the rooftop terrace of the Mohican Apartments in downtown New London Saturday, July 12, 2014.

New London – Amistad tied up at the floating dock next to City Pier at about 1:45 p.m. today, and will be open for public tours from about 2:15 to 6 p.m.

It will also be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and will extend hours if needed, said Rich Scierka, spokesman for the ship.

“It took a Herculean effort to get here today,” Hanifa Washington, executive director of Amistad America Inc., said. “When I made the call Tuesday, we didn’t have the properly licensed people or crew onboard and we could not legally leave the dock. We also had safety equipment that was off for servicing in preparation for the Coast Guard inspection.”

Washington said the ability to get to Sailfest was made possible by “people coming out of the woodwork” to help them.
J.B. Smith served as the per-diem captain to sail the Amistad from New Haven to New London Saturday morning.

“We are excited to be here. So much work went into making this happen, we’re grateful for the hard work of our crew and everyone that pitched in to make this happen.” Hanifa Washington, executive director of Amistad America Inc., said in a statement released by Scierka. “We look forward to a fantastic weekend at Sailfest."

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