The Huron Jewel, a 2018 shallow-draft, 78-foot, two-masted centerboard schooner, has docked in Beaufort this week as part of a tour from the Great Lakes to the Bahamas and back.
The vessel was expected to sail into town Wednesday but arrived Monday, ahead of schedule because of the forecast inclement weather, a North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort representative said Monday.
Capt. Hugh Covert and his wife Julie, along with their crew, will offer free tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday at Gallants Channel, where they will be during their stay.
The couple and the crew will share a slideshow about the building of the Huron Jewel at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the auditorium of the Beaufort Maritime Museum in Beaufort. Both programs are free but a donation of $10 is welcome to help support the crew.
The stop and the program are a part of the couple’s “Dream Inspiration Tour,” which is designed to inspire others to make their own dreams a reality.
Sailing and building since he was 4, Hugh Covert, a tall ship captain, it was his dream to build his own schooner.
Covert started designing the schooner in 2015. The sailboat design, he determined, would be optimal for their home waters of the Great Lakes and Drummond Island, on the eastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
To finish his dream to build the schooner, he quit his job, the couple emptied their bank and retirement accounts and worked almost seven days a week for two-and-a-half years. As a result of that work plus the drop-in help of more than 50 volunteers, they launched and christened Schooner Huron Jewel in June 2018.
Huron Jewel, the captain’s ninth and largest boat, was used for day sails and overnight trips in Michigan before the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to public trips in 2020.
The Coverts and their crew sailed the Great Lakes, bringing the schooner to people’s backyards and encouraging them to follow their own dreams.
They set out in August on a nine-month voyage to encourage people to name their dream, follow their dream, and make it happen. Over the course of more than 8,000 nautical miles they plan to visit more than 40 ports of call.
For more information on Huron Jewel, follow their journey on Facebook and Instragram, @ditallship, or visit ditallship.com. For more information about the tours or the presentation, call 252-504-7740 or visit ncmaritimemuseumbeaufort.com.
The North Carolina Maritime Museum at 315 Front St. in Beaufort is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. The museum is open to the public with free admission. Donations are always appreciated. For more information about the museum, call 252-504-7740 or visit the website.