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Tall Ships: Unicorn was a fishing trawler

8:00 PM, Jul 3, 2013   |    comments
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The Unicorn has lived many lives in her 63 years on the water. She was built in Holland as a fishing trawler with salvaged steel from German U-boats.

Later she was converted to a sailing vessel and hunted for treasure in the Caribbean. It wasn't until Dawn Santamaria's family acquired the Unicorn did she become the only tall ship to sail with an all female crew.

Santamaria said, "I have four daughters, no sons, but my kids grew up crewing on board during the summer months and as they were getting to go off to college years later, I just saw they were armed with so much confidence, so much more then I had when I was their age."

That was the beginning of the Sisters Under Sail program. But don't be fooled, as they say on the Unicorn ,"this ain't no cruise, sister."

Santamaria said, "But what it is is such an adventure of a lifetime. The kids we welcome on board, alongside of my professional crew, at least they are given the opportunity. They steer the ship, they climb the rigging, they set sails, they furl sails, swab the deck. There is so much to do on a tall ship."

The Unicorn has empowered over 500 teenage girls and 300 women through the years. This year, daughters of military families, from the US and Canada, are featured as part of the crew.

Santamaria said, "This year we were fortunate to award 12 scholarships. When we sail into Cleveland, we will have 6 girls on board. Four of them are from the U.S. and two of them will be from Canada."


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