Amistad America: We are excited to be here

A view of the Mashantucket Pequot Fireworks Extravaganza over the Thames River from the rooftop terrace of the Mohican Apartments in downtown New London Saturday, July 12, 2014.
A view of the Mashantucket Pequot Fireworks Extravaganza over the Thames River from the rooftop terrace of the Mohican Apartments in downtown New London Saturday, July 12, 2014. Dana Jensen/The Day

New London – Amistad tied up at the floating dock next to City Pier at about 1:45 p.m. today, and will be open for public tours from about 2:15 to 6 p.m.

It will also be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and will extend hours if needed, said Rich Scierka, spokesman for the ship.

“It took a Herculean effort to get here today,” Hanifa Washington, executive director of Amistad America Inc., said. “When I made the call Tuesday, we didn’t have the properly licensed people or crew onboard and we could not legally leave the dock. We also had safety equipment that was off for servicing in preparation for the Coast Guard inspection.”

Washington said the ability to get to Sailfest was made possible by “people coming out of the woodwork” to help them.
J.B. Smith served as the per-diem captain to sail the Amistad from New Haven to New London Saturday morning.

“We are excited to be here. So much work went into making this happen, we’re grateful for the hard work of our crew and everyone that pitched in to make this happen.” Hanifa Washington, executive director of Amistad America Inc., said in a statement released by Scierka. “We look forward to a fantastic weekend at Sailfest."

The crew of the Amistad America sails into the New London's City Pier to attend Sailfest Saturday, July 12, 2014.
The crew of the Amistad America sails into the New London's City Pier to attend Sailfest Saturday, July 12, 2014. Tali Greener/Special to The Day
James Alvelo, 9, of Meriden, rings the bell aboard the Amistad America during a moment of silence following a talk, given by Hanifa Washington, executive director of Amistad America, standing, background left.  Washington spoke to the boat's visitors about the history of the ship during Sailfest in New London Saturday, July 12, 2014.
James Alvelo, 9, of Meriden, rings the bell aboard the Amistad America during a moment of silence following a talk, given by Hanifa Washington, executive director of Amistad America, standing, background left. Washington spoke to the boat's visitors about the history of the ship during Sailfest in New London Saturday, July 12, 2014. Tali Greener/Special to The Day
A view of the supermoon through the Mashantucket Pequot Fireworks Extravaganza over the Thames River in downtown New London Saturday, July 12, 2014.
A view of the supermoon through the Mashantucket Pequot Fireworks Extravaganza over the Thames River in downtown New London Saturday, July 12, 2014. Dana Jensen/The Day
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