Pirates will always sail aboard schooners since there is plenty of cargo space to stash tiny hats for their parrots, and painting a skull and crossbones on two masts rather than one is twice as intimidating. Set sail for reveling rather than pillaging with today's Groupon. For $22, you get a two-hour sail (up to a $40 value) aboard the Thomas E. Lannon, a schooner that makes its home on Rogers Street in Gloucester.
Like a larger than life-sized version of a miniature bottled ship, the Thomas E. Lannon schooner spans 90 feet overall and 64.5 feet on deck, is adorned in multiple masts and a ton of sails, crafted with incredible intricacy, and manned and owned by a family in nice-looking sweaters. The Lannon can carry up to 49 people on each of its three-to-four daily sails around Gloucester, the oldest working seaport in America. Relax and savor the meditative view on the two-hour tour, or bring along friends and estranged mutineers to help raise the sails, walk the deck, or swab the plank. Take a virtual tour of the ship to see what it's like, or click here to see their Groupon FAQ.
The Lannon sails until early-October this year (when this Groupon expires), so don't miss out; spending an afternoon out on the water in a one-of-a-kind ship impresses the whole family and makes seagulls jealous.
Thomas E. Lannon
While the Thomas E. Lannon schooner boasts many impressive characteristics—including a 65-foot deck and a resemblance to a 1903 sword-fishing schooner—none of them rivals the story of how the vessel got its name.
Before the ship was built in 1997, owner Tom Ellis was visiting his relatives in Newfoundland when he overheard them reciting stories of his grandfather Thomas Lannon, who had fished the Gloucester coastline for more than 40 years. On one particularly stormy day in 1908, Lannon and five other men set out into the waters off Nauset aboard two dories and rescued the crew of the capsized schooner Eric amid 70-mph winds. Each of the rescuers received the eternal admiration of the rescued men and a medal from the Massachusetts Humane Society, which Ellis possesses to this day.
More than a century later, the crew of the Thomas E. Lannon keeps its namesake's love of the sea alive by chartering an array of sailing voyages that have attracted more than 100,000 passengers to date. After helping raise the sails at the voyage’s start, passengers capture vivid views of Gloucester harbor's lighthouses, castles, and beaches.