Environmental Sail Program
The Environmental Sail Program (ESP) is a set of New Jersey Friends of Clearwater environmental educational initiatives that revolve around the original Clearwater goal--to build awareness of our environment, the effects of pollution on it, and humans' ability to cause it and to cure it. Like its Sloop Clearwater inspiration, our sailing vessel Pete's Banjo inspires both NJFC volunteers and guests to work as a team to achieve its goals.
Our sailing vessel, Pete's Banjo, is a 26' Tuckerton Sailing Garvey. It is a replica of a design used in the 17th century for oyster and clam gathering work in the shallow waters of the Tuckerton Bay. It is made entirely of wood and has no motor. It has been described as the pickup truck of the 1600's whereas the Sloop Clearwater was the 18-wheeler of the 18th and 19th Century Hudson River.
The Pete's Banjo is docked at the Oyster Point Hotel Marina at the bottom of Bodman Place. It also had an alternate slip at the semi-circular dock at Marine Park in the summertime. The partnership with Red Bank Recreation to allow for free sails on weekends has been a great success. Before the pandemic, our 44th Annual NJFC Clearwater Festival, we had boatloads of fun with 5 sails while listening to music of our wonderful performers for the environment. We haven't had so much fun since we left Sandy Hook. See our Facebook site for great pictures of great fun at the Festival sails.
Our regular sails are back, launching from our Oyster Point slip on Tuesday evenings. The sails start at 5pm. Fall sails will start at 1pm. Please check our Facebook and Twitter feeds below for the latest departures.
ESP initiatives include:
For the the full, detailed story of the planning and construction of Pete's Banjo, it literally can fill up a book. In fact, that is exactly Senior NJFC Captain and program manager Tom Gibson did, he wrote the book--Building a 26 Foot Tuckerton Sailing Garvey--detailing all the thought, planning, and over two years of effort, craftsmanship, and fun that the dedicated construction and garvey crew had by replicating the Tuckerton Garvey once again and dedicating it to the great man who founded the Clearwater organization, Pete Seeger.
Building 'Pete's Banjo' by Thomas A Gibson
The Garvey's name came from Pete's constant companion, his banjo, and the inspirational motto that Pete lived by and which is inscribed on his banjo's face: "THIS MACHINE SURROUNDS HATE AND FORCES IT TO SURRRENDER" [sic]. It's the motto that we at NJ Friends of Clearwater and all other Sloop Clearwater members strive to emulate.
Sailing on the original Garvey Adam Hyler.
Our original 30-year old replica garvey, the Adam Hyler, was donated to the Tuckerton Seaport Museum in March 2014 while Pete's Banjo was being constructed. When the Seaport Museum Director first saw the Adam Hyler in 2008, he exclaimed it was the largest and only Sailing Tuckerton Garvey extant. He had campaigned since then to bring it to the Museum. When it finally exceeded its safe lifetime, we donated to a very appreciative Museum. Appropriately we dock at Oyster Point Hotel Marina at the end of Bodman Place in Red Bank, NJ. The Boat Committee sails and maintains the boat and runs the Environmental Sail Program.
Construction, Launching, and Sailing on Pete's Banjo