Rob Thorn - NewportExposure.com
NEWPORT -- The U.S. Coast Guard's tall ship Eagle emerged from a thick blanket of fog early Friday morning and was promptly docked alongside State Pier 9 where it will be welcoming visitors for weekend tours.
Originally commissioned in 1936 for the German navy, the Eagle began her life as the Horst Wessel. One of four tall ships built by the Germans prior to the outbreak of World Word II, she would ultimately be taken by the United States as war reparations.
Recommissioned as the Eagle, she quickly assumed the title of "America's Tall Ship," and today serves as a training vessel for the Coast Guard and as a goodwill ambassador.
At 295-feet and a main mast of 147.3-feet, the Eagle is regarded as one of the jewels of the international tall ships fleet. She boats more than 22,000 square feet of sail and nearly six miles of rigging.
Her visit comes on the heels of last month's Ocean State Tall Ships Festival.
Free visiting hours are Friday, 1 -5 p.m., Saturday 1- 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Refreshments will be available for purchase from the Newport Lobster Shack.