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Tall ship from South Carolina makes rare visit to Maine

BRUNSWICK, Maine — The Spirit of South Carolina, a 140-foot, two-masted tall ship, anchored off Mere Point on Monday afternoon for a brief stop on its tour of the New England coast.

Launched in 2007 and based in Charleston, South Carolina, the schooner is a replica modeled on the 1879 pilot schooner Frances Elizabeth, according to its website.

Current owners Tommy Baker and Michael Bennett purchased the boat out of bankruptcy, reconditioned and refurbished it, and created a nonprofit organization designed to offer semester-at-sea programs for high school and college students, according to previously published reports.

Shipwright Mark Bayne “used drawings uncovered from Smithsonian archives” to design the vessel, according to the website, incorporating “elements of that fast, capable and enduring pilot schooner.”

The Spirit of South Carolina left Charleston in late June to offer a summer of sailing camps and tours throughout New England before returning to Charleston in the fall.

The schooner is anchored off Mere Point and is best viewed from the Mere Point Boat Launch.

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