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A Chat with Captain Wayne

(Captain Wayne Jurs is the captain of the Earth Voyager, the fastest sailing vessel in the Great Lakes, which is docked in the Commercial Slip of the Inner Harbor all weekend. Buffalo is the first stop of the vessel on the “Healthy Lakes, Healthy Lives Tour”. For recent posts on the boat and tour, click here.)
“The Great Lakes are our treasure chest”. Some of the first words from my conversation with Captain Wayne Jurs sum the opinion of so many people in our region. Captain Wayne and the rest of the crew on the Earth Voyager arrived in Buffalo late Wednesday night for their weekend stay in Buffalo to raise awareness of the importance of Great Lakes restoration.
Docked in the new Commercial Slip at the Inner Harbor, the Earth Voyager is no dingy. According to Captain Wayne, the vessel is a Formula 60 Trimiran, the only of its type in the Great Lakes. Most Formula 60’s spend their entire lives in Europe. The Earth Voyager was designed by Nigel Ehrens in the United Kingdom and build by Raymond Howe in Rochester from 1985-1992. It is 66 feet long, 44 feet wide, and the mast rises 97 feet above the water.
The purpose of the tour is to raise support for a variety of Great Lakes issues and the boat itself. Some of these issues include cleaning up pollution hot spots throughout the Lakes, stopping the spread and introduction of invasive species, restoration fish habitats that have been disrupted through human activity like break wall construction, and prevention of water diversion from the Lakes. At the same time, Captain Wayne wants people to experience and support the Earth Voyager itself. “It is the flag ship of our local binational, environmental watchdog organization. And we want to keep the boat in the Lakes for good.”
“We launched on Sunday, sailed down the St Clair River on Monday, docked in Erie for a night, and made it to Buffalo Wednesday night.” This gave Captain Wayne and the crew time to rest up and enjoy our city. The crew is enjoying their home in the Commercial Slip, the architecture on Pearl Street, and fun of last night’s Thursday at the Square. Captain Wayne invites everyone to come down, say hi, and check the boat. There will be a press conference this afternoon at the Inner Harbor at 4 pm and the ‘Healthy Lakes, Healthy Lives Expo’ all day tomorrow 10am – 4pm at the Inner Harbor. (Click here to see a post on this weekend’s events) Come visit this beautiful boat before she sets sail throughout the Lakes.

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