The canal schooner Lois McClure is a replica of the boats that carried cargo along northeast waterways in the 1800s.
Credit Diane Bondareff / AP
The Lois McClure (left) passes a fire boat as it arrives at New York's North Cove Marina in 2005. Canal schooners used wind power on open lakes, and lowered their masts and raised their centerboards to be towed through canals.
The Lois McClure, a replica of an 1862 canal schooner, is also a floating museum. This summer she's sailing historic waterways in Vermont, New York, Ontario and Quebec, docking in towns for a history lesson.
The Lois starts from her berth at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes, Vt. First mate Tom Larsen, a strapping guy with a long ponytail and glasses, pulls hand-over-hand on a thick white rope, getting the Lois into the open water. A tugboat comes up alongside the schooner, ties a line and tows her out onto Lake Champlain.
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