It’s Day #245 and Mother Nature is giving us a fun detour with her upcoming weather this weekend - Onset, MA, here we come! Schooner Huron Jewel will be coming into the DNR Pier at Onset, MA this afternoon, Friday, April 21 and staying for a long weekend. The big winds, and some rain, in the forecast have slowed our progress to Gloucester and Newburyport, MA, so we’re going to go make some new friends in a beautiful small little town.
Welcome aboard the Dream Inspiration Tour, where we’re sailing to inspire others to do what it takes to make their dreams a reality. Captain Hugh and Julie Covert and their crew are sailing on Schooner Huron Jewel doing a nine-month goodwill tour through the Great Lakes to the Eastern Seaboard, south to Florida, the Bahamas, and now they are heading back.
Please help us get the word out that we’ll be giving for free dockside tours this weekend as part of our Dream Inspiration Tour.
Come on down, give a big “Ahoy!” and get a free dockside tour!
“If you don’t name your dream it will never happen,” Julie had said. “What do you want to do in life?”
A 2010 New Year’s Eve conversation between newlywed Hugh and Julie Covert, about bucket list dreams was the impetus for building Schooner Huron Jewel. Sailing and building since he was four years old, Hugh Covert, a tall ship captain, had dreamt for decades about building his own schooner.
Then in 2015, since there was no better time than the present, as Hugh is known to say, he started designing the optimal sailboat for the incredible sailing waters of the Great Lakes and Drummond Island, located on the eastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where the Coverts live—a shallow-draft, 78 foot, two-masted centerboard schooner.
To make it happen, Capt. Hugh quit his job, they emptied out their bank accounts and retirement accounts, and scrounged for two nickels to rub together. Many perceived the Covert’s dream as a monumental project that might never be accomplished. Driven to make their dream a reality, Capt. Hugh and Julie worked almost seven days a week for two-and-a-half years straight. Over those two years they had drop in help of over fifty volunteers, many who have become dear friends. In June 2018 they launched and christened Schooner Huron Jewel, Capt. Hugh’s ninth and largest boat. They now offer public daysails and overnight trips aboard her in Michigan.
“If you stand around and just talk about what you want to achieve it will never get done,” Capt. Hugh said. “You have to actually do it. You have to make it happen and there’s no time better than the present.”
Unable to do public trips in 2020, the Coverts and their crew instead sailed the Great Lakes bringing the schooner to people’s backyards and encouraged people to follow their dreams. Seeing all the smiles on people’s faces they realized they were making a difference – bringing joy and inspiration during a challenging time.
The coronavirus pandemic has slowed down the pace of life for many people, giving them time to reflect on what is important. Recognizing this and wanting to encourage people to name their dream, follow their dream, and make it happen, Capt. Hugh, Julie, and their crew, are on a nine-month voyage, the Dream Inspiration Tour. They departed Michigan on August 20, 2022, traveled through the Great Lakes, St Lawrence Seaway, to the East Coast, south to Florida and the Bahamas. Thus far they have traveled over 7300 nautical miles and are now making their way back north, all the while at each port of call they encourage people to live their dreams.
For their Onset, MA stop they are docked at and partnering with the Town of Onset and Department of Natural Resources to offer free dockside tours during their stay.
“We love going to small towns. We want people to come see the ship, be inspired and realize that they can make their own dreams a possibility,” said Julie.
When Schooner Huron Jewel departs they’ll then continue head north, homeward, spreading their message and return home in June 2023. On their Dream Inspiration Tour of over 9000 nautical miles, they will tell their story to thousands of people to inspire them that when you name your dream, and follow it you can make it happen, just as they did, as exemplified by their company’s motto of “Sailing the Dream.”
Keep track of where they are and where they are going by following them on Facebook and Instragram, @ditallship, as well as stories about where they've been on our website at www.ditallship.com
You can also see where they are on the trip via their website at www.ditallship.com/wherehuronjewel
And even better, see them in person! Here are some of the places they’re considering stopping at on the way down or back:
Algonac, MI–Aug. 22-23
Fairport Harbor, OH–Aug. 24-26
Oswego, NY–Aug. 28-30
Kingston, Ontario–Aug 31
St Lawrence River/Thousand Islands
Quebec City, Quebec–Sept. 4-5
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia–Sept. 13-17
Machiasport, ME–Sept. 19
Camden, ME–Sept. 23-25
Gloucester, MA–Sept. 29 - Oct. 6
Baltimore, MD–Oct. 10-11 (Hurricane delays prevented us from being in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race.)
Kinsale, VA–Oct. 14-16
Yorktown, VA–Oct. 17-19
Dismal Swamp VC, NC–Oct. 20-23
Albemarle Plantation, NC–Oct. 24
Edenton, NC–Oct. 25-26
Manteo, NC–Oct. 28-30
Oriental, NC–Nov. 3-6
Beaufort, NC–Nov. 7-11, 26-27
Belhaven, NC–Nov. 14 - 24
Charleston, SC–Dec. 2-4
Brunswick, GA–Dec. 8-11
Florida Keys–Dec. 20-27
Key West, FL–Dec. 28-29
Everglades, FL–Dec. 30 - Jan. 3
Florida Keys–Jan. 4-16
Bahamas–Jan. 17-March 6
Eastern Florida–March 7-15
Brunswick, GA–March 16-19
Charleston, SC–March 24
Beaufort, NC–March 30-April 1
Oriental, NC–Apr. 2-3
Alberlmarle Plantation, NC–Apr.5-6
Dismal Swamp Canal, NC–Apr. 7
Kinsale, VA–Apr. 10-11
Annapolis, MD–Apr. 13-15
Baltimore, MD–Apr. 17
Onset, MA–April 21-24
Newburyport, MA–April 26-28
Portland, ME–April 29
Camden or Rockland, ME–May
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia–May
Fairport Harbor, OH–June
Put in Bay, OH–June
Alpena, MI– June