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Aug8
HISTORIC RE-ENACTORS ADD AUTHENTICITY TO HERMIONE 2015 VOYAGE
Aug5
Say Au Revoir to The Hermione: Last Stop in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia Before Returning to France
Jul28
Lafayette at Monticello: “The Happy days I Have Past” : A Talk with Assistant Curator Emilie Johnson, Monticello
Jul21
A Talk with Ursula Reed, Chair, Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route, and Dr. Robert Selig, Historian, W3R-US
Jul18
HERMIONE MAKES A BIG IMPACT IN CASTINE, MAINE – ON BASTILLE DAY, JULY 14, 2015
Jul13
HERMIONE FRIGATE ARRIVES IN BOSTON TO TUMULTUOUS WELCOME ON JULY 11, 2015
Jul11
A Talk with David Dearinger, Curator of Lafayette: An American Icon at the Boston Athenæum
Jul10
Hermione Arrives in Historic Newport, Rhode Island
Jul9
Greenport, NY Greets Hermione with Great Fanfare July 6-7 Visit Warmly Welcomed on Long Island
Jul5
HERMIONE FRIGATE IN VIEW OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY DURING JULY 4 PARADE OF SHIPS
Jul2
Triumphant Arrival of Hermione to New York’s Pier 15 at South Street Seaport Museum
Jun29
THE HERMIONE RE-ENACTMENT DINNER AT PHILADELPHIA’S CITY TAVERN IS AN AUTHENTIC BLAST! Marquis-mania Enlivens Philadelphia Waterfront with Tall Ships
Jun25
FRENCH-AMERICAN LIAISON EXTRAORDINAIRE: A TALK WITH NICOLE YANCEY
Jun22
HERMIONE’S BENEDICT DONNELLY SPEAKS IN ANNAPOLIS
Jun17
A Conversation with Paul Raschilla, Partner, AKF Group A Supporter of Hermione’s Visit to the Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland
Jun10
Fireworks At Mount Vernon, Virginia During Hermione’s Visit on June 9, 2015
Jun8
Hermione Arrives In Yorktown With A Bang!
Jun2
Rendezvous of France’s Hermione and U.S. Navy’s USS Mitscher Off Virginia Coast
Jun1
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE ASSOCIATION HERMIONE-LA FAYETTE
May29
A Talk with Dr. Valerie Paley, New-York Historical Society on Its Current Exhibit: “Lafayette’s Return: The “Boy General,” the American Revolution, and the Hermione.”
May26
The Florida Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America Host Four Successful Fundraisers Collecting $200,000
May7
Lafayette’s Arrival on April 27, 1780 Celebrated By Massachusetts Lafayette Society On Hancock’s Wharf, Boston
May5
Hermione-Lafayette President Miles Young Addresses Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island
Apr30
WORLD PREMIERE OF LAFAYETTE,
Apr13
LAFAYETTE, THE PLAY at FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall Theater in New York
Apr7
LAFAYETTE COMES ALIVE: A TALK WITH LAURENT FERRI, CURATOR AND ADJUNCT ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, CORNELL UNIVERSITY
Apr2
Lafayette’s Key Role in the American Revolution is Celebrated in a New Society of the Cincinnati Exhibit
Mar25
FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA GATHER IN PALM BEACH FOR CELEBRATORY GALA
Mar24
Gérard Araud, French Ambassador Welcomes Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc. at Washington, D.C. Reception
Mar18
PRINCE CHARLES LEARNS OF HERMIONE’S VISIT TO GEORGE WASHINGTON’S MOUNT VERNON
Mar15
Commonwealth of Virginia Declares March 14 as Lafayette Day
Mar14
Hermione Frigate Welcomes Hennessy on Board
Mar9
HERMIONE’S ARTISANAL ACHIEVEMENT
Feb18
AHOY! HERMIONE SETS SAIL TO AMERICA….AGAIN!
Feb14
French Language Students in New England Invited To Enter Hermione Contest
Jan31
Hermione-Lafayette Rallies Support in Coral Gables, Florida
Jan18
2015 – The Year of Hermione Comes to the United States
Dec23
FRANCE MAGAZINE DEVOTES COVER STORY TO THE HERMIONE!
Dec9
THE MARQUIS: LAFAYETTE RECONSIDERED
Dec8
FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA SALUTE OUR ARMED FORCES ON VETERANS DAY
Dec4
LAFAYETTE SYMPOSIUM AT LYCÉE FRANÇAIS DE NEW YORK
Dec4
NYC GATHERING WITH MILES YOUNG, PRESIDENT, FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA
Dec3
BRITISH TRAVEL WRITERS COMMEND HERMIONE FRIGATE PROJECT IN 2014
Nov12
ABOARD HERMIONE: MARC JENSEN’S LOG NOTES
Oct15
GALA HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA ON THE USS INTREPID
Oct14
FOH-LA’S MARC JENSEN ON BOARD HERMIONE IN BORDEAUX!
Oct10
HERMIONE’S TRIUMPHAL ARRIVAL IN BORDEAUX!
Sep16
THE SIEGE WILL COMMENCE TOMORROW AT YORKTOWN
Sep8
HERMIONE ON ITS WAY TO THE ATLANTIC!
Sep6
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAFAYETTE!
Sep2
THE PERILS OF PEACE – CELEBRATING THE 231ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES
Aug21
MARC JENSEN – HERMIONE’S “MARITIME AMBASSADOR”
Jul13
LAFAYETTE – HERO OF TWO WORLDS, THREE REVOLUTIONS
Jul3
CHEF WALTER STAIB VISITS HERMIONE TO FILM “A TASTE OF HISTORY” EPISODE
Jun25
MILES YOUNG RECEIVES NAVY LEAGUE’s LEADERSHIP AWARD
Jun11
FRENCH NAVY FRIGATE LA FAYETTE VISITS YORKTOWN COMMEMORATING FRANCO-AMERICAN ALLIANCE
Jun9
GALA CELEBRATES HERMIONE FRENCH FRIGATE OF LIBERTY ABOARD USS INTREPID on OCTOBER 14, 2014
May22
AHOY! SAVE THE DATE: OCT. 14, 2014 GALA ABOARD THE INTREPID TO CELEBRATE HERMIONE 2015 VOYAGE
Apr15
MEET ANNE RENAULT – HERMIONE’S SAILMAKER
Apr10
BEFORE NEW AMSTERDAM, NEW YORK WAS CALLED NEW ANGOULÊME!
Mar28
LAFAYETTE IN FOCUS AT UPCOMING MONTICELLO SYMPOSIUM
Mar25
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 7 – ANCHORS AWAY!
Mar18
YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT LAFAYETTE WAS A FAMOUS HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
Feb23
DRUM ROLL FOR L’HERMIONE FROM SONS OF THE REVOLUTION!
Feb16
ADOPTED SON: WASHINGTON, LAFAYETTE, AND THE FRIENDSHIP THAT SAVED THE REVOLUTION
Feb6
VISIT TO MONTICELLO BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AND PRESIDENT HOLLANDE OF FRANCE
Feb3
FLORIDA TO SUPPORT LAFAYETTE’S 2015 HERMIONE VOYAGE
Feb2
PHILADELPHIA PREPARES FOR LAFAYETTE’S 2015 HERMIONE VOYAGE
Jan27
A FRENCH SILVER BOTTLE SLIDER: LAFAYETTE’S GIFT TO WASHINGTON
Jan16
MILES YOUNG BRINGS LESSONS OF L’HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE TO LYCEE FRANCAIS de NEW YORK
Jan14
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 6 – THE SPRITSAIL, SYMBOL OF ANCIENT NAVIGATION
Dec31
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 5: HERMIONE’S BALLAST: STABLE AND STRONG
Dec27
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 4: HERMIONE ARTISANS SET SAIL IN A RUSSIAN FRIGATE
Dec2
PBS – “LAFAYETTE: THE LOST HERO” AIRS 9PM, DECEMBER 3, 2013
Nov15
“RECREATING LAFAYETTE’S FRIGATE” IN THE NEW YORK TIMES
Nov11
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 3: POWERING THE HERMIONE
Sep26
NEW YORK WELCOMES HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE VOYAGE 2015 TO THE USA AT FRENCH CONSULATE RECEPTION ON SEPTEMBER 25, 2013
Sep25
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 2: GETTING THE DETAILS RIGHT
Sep25
WELCOME TO OUR BRAND NEW WEBSITE
Sep24
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 1: WELCOME!
Sep23
INTRODUCING OUR NEW LOGO
Sep19
AUTHENTICITY BUT WITH A TOUCH OF MODERNITY
Sep19
THE THIRD MAST IS INSTALLED
Jun15
RISING SPLENDOR
Apr4
L’HERMIONE GAINS HER FINAL TWO LOWER MASTS
Mar25
THE FIRST STAGE OF THE MAST CONSTRUCTION
Nov12
UNVEILING OF THE FIGUREHEAD
Mar31
MARCH 2012 PHOTO GALLERY BY PHILIP PLISSON
Jan20
REBIRTH OF THE BOAT LOCKS
Jan17
PREPARING FOR LAUNCH, PHASE 2: THE SHORING
Jan5
PREPARING FOR LAUNCH, PHASE 1: DISMANTLING THE TENT
Dec28
INSTALLATION OF THE ENGINES
Dec14
COMPLETION OF THE ORNAMENTS
Nov18
FLANGES FOR THE ENGINE
Nov15
END OF THE HULL’S PAINT JOB
Nov11
COMPLETION OF THE QUARTER GALLERIES
Jul8
THE RIGGING: START OF THE WORK
MARC JENSEN – HERMIONE’S “MARITIME AMBASSADOR”
A TALK WITH MARC JENSEN – HERMIONE ’S "MARITIME AMBASSADOR" August 21, 2014

MARC JENSEN, DIRECTOR OF MARITIME OPERATIONS, FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA, ABOARD THE HERMIONE IN MAY 2014 IN ROCHEFORT, FRANCE. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MARC JENSEN

ANTIBES: ONE OF THE JENSEN FAMILY''S FIRST SAILBOATS. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MARC JENSEN

CLIMBING HERMIONE'S HEIGHTS IS NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED, BUT JENSEN PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS, EARNING A SPOT ON THE HISTORIC VOYAGE FROM ROCHEFORT TO AMERICA IN 2015!

IN 1762, ONLY FIVE YEARS AFTER LAFAYETTE WAS BORN, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN NAMED THE STEADY NORTHWARD CURRENT ALONG AMERICA'S EASTERN SEABOARD, EXTENDING FROM FLORIDA TO THE NORTHERN ATLANTIC, THE GULF STREAM, WHICH HE CALLED "A MIGHTY RIVER." IN THE ABOVE 18TH CENTURY MAP, THE GULF STREAM IS DEPICTED IN DARK GRAY.

JENSEN'S FAMILY HAS ROOTS IN THE ROCHEFORT AREA ON FRANCE'S ATLANTIC COAST IN POITOU-CHARENTES REGION, WHILE THROUGH HIS DAUGHTER'S FRIENDSHIPS, HE WAS INTRODUCED TO MEMBERS OF HERMIONE'S FRENCH ASSOCIATION.

ON THE ANTIBES: MARC SAILING WITH HIS FATHER. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MARC JENSEN

Editor’s Note: A sailor in New England waters all his life, Marc Jensen first saw L’Hermione frigate in 2001 and was hooked. With family roots in Poitou-Charentes region on France’s Atlantic coast, Marc took full advantage of his ancestor’s home, only minutes from Rochefort where the ship is berthed, to follow the Hermione frigate’s historically accurate reconstruction every summer. In early 2011, Marc became a US delegate for the project.  Since then, Marc has served as Director of Maritime Operations for the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, to help realize the ship’s visit to the US in 2015.

A bilingual alumnus of the Lycée Français de New York, Marc is pleased to bring French and American culture to light through this endeavor and underscore the deep historical ties that connect the two nations. 

An engineer and educator by training, this project both fascinates and excites Marc by its potential to teach, enlighten, and inspire. Marc says, “Hermione’s voyage is not simply a culmination of a dream, but a beginning of new educational bridge between France and the United States.”

Here below is a conversation with Hermione’s “Maritime Ambassador” Marc Jensen, who, earlier this summer, passed tough physical requirements in order to join Hermione’s crew when it sails in May 2015 for the US.

Question:  How did your love for sailing begin?

Answer:  Sailing was a part of my life before I was even aware of it. My father and his brother began boating by building a sailing canoe in their Hollis, Queens basement over a winter and sailing it in the ocean south of Long Beach–a real challenge that captured them. They lived aboard boats as young men after the war to make the most of the GI Bill funding. My family was never far from the coast, marinas and the chance to get back aboard. The summer of my 9th year my father invited me to sail a 35′ Crocker Ketch named Pole Star, built in 1933, from New Haven to the Cold Spring Harbor on the north shore of Long Island; it was an evening sail, and half way across Long Island Sound I began to see fireworks along every coastline. It was July 4th seen in a completely different, marvelous way; now I was hooked by the adventure. Sailboats were always an important part of my life from that point on.

My brother and I went on to purchase our first sailboat when I was a young teen–a 13′ Blue Jay, which we refurbished, sailed for several years and then sold at a profit to buy the next larger boat. That was the pattern until, when I turned 18, my brother and I convinced my father to invest in a 43′ Gulfstar, (a yacht named Antibes, because my father’s dream was to sail her to France-unfulfilled) that we ran as a charter all through our college years. This is when I learned to live aboard and fine-tune my skills by teaching others. Antibes remained in our family for decades and served as the ship that I taught my own two children, Madeleine (now 25) and Benjamin (21), how to sail.

Q:  Have you ever sailed across the ocean, in what kind of vessel, how long, and highlights?

A:  At 19 I was asked to be part of a delivery crew to bring a Swan 47′ yacht to New York from Bermuda. It was to be my only ocean crossing experience to date, though I’ve sailed the coastal ocean many times since. I have so many memories of those five days on the Atlantic, but two stand out.

On the third day out, we started crossing the Gulfstream and for 24 hours we were tossed around quite a bit. At night, when it was harder to see the waves, we did our best to keep a true course but quickly learned that the sea pattern included an occasional wave that would come up from behind us, slap the stern and then shower us with warm stream water. After the shock of the first hit, we learned to pull the hoods of our foul weather gear over our heads when we heard/felt the slap and let the water shower over us because the phosphorescence that ensued – lighting up all our faces – was a joyous, wonderful break from the work of sailing in such conditions.

The second surprise for me was when we arrived at the docks in Stamford, CT. Maria Mann, the captain for the delivery and quite the teaser, asked me to be the first to step off the boat and grab the lines. As she anticipated, I stepped off and my knees buckled almost immediately when I stood on something that was no longer moving. I can still hear her laugh and say, “See, it’s easier being at sea!”

Side note: Maria is one of the people that came into my life through sailing that enriched in deeply. A few years after the Bermuda trip, I ran into her again in Edgartown, where she was now the Captain aboard Walter Cronkite’s Windje. I was invited to dine aboard this beautiful ship and had the pleasure of meeting the man that had formed my understanding of world events and his family. On the sea were are all equals, with respect for what each other has achieved ashore, but an understanding that it takes more than that to be a complete person.

Q:  When did you become aware of L’Hermione?

A:  It was 2001. I was on vacation in France when my cousin, Jean-Pierre Tallieu, who lives 15 minutes from Rochefort took me to see her. I had followed the construction of a 35′ sailboat by my Long Island neighbor, Mr. Wethey, when I was a child–I would sit for hours watching him and helping when he asked. When I saw L’Hermione, all those fond memories came back. The sounds, smells, shapes were all there, only on a scale that defied description! I returned every year since to watch her grow into the marvel she is today.

Q:  When did you become involved with the project, and what is your role?

A:  In the summer 2010, my daughter did an internship in a laboratory in Toulouse. She discovered that one of the lab’s head researchers had family in Marennes, which is right next to La Tremblade, where her cousins were, and is only a short drive from Rochefort. A friendship between the families ensued. In March of 2011, I met Pierre Gras, who lives in Marennes, through my daughter. Pierre is retired and has been working with the Hermione Association in France since the beginning. He quickly felt my enthusiasm and understood my desire to contribute in a meaningful way. Thanks to him I became known to Isabelle Georget (Hermione Association, Rochefort, France) and through her, I was introduced to Remi Forgeas (Treasurer of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America) in the US.

My role evolved as the planned Hermione trip to the US in 2015 became progressively a stronger reality. The turning point, for me, was in the fall of 2012 when I toured the east coast with Jean-Francois Fountain, his wife Claire and the ship’s commander, Yann Cariou. We were the technical team to scout out sites for the Hermione to visit. I made the initial contact with the maritime people in each potential port who were very helpful. Many of them suggested we stop in to speak with Tall Ships America in Newport, which we did. They have become a strategic partner that has helped us navigate the often-subtle negotiations with the ports.

Q:  What was your experience like to qualify for Hermione’s 2015 transatlantic voyage in Rochefort, France earlier this year? Was it tough to climb to the ship’s highest mast?

A:  I have always worked to maintain a certain level of physical fitness, mostly to keep up with my kids as they grew up to be able to do outdoor adventures together and now to remain active as long as possible. When the word came through that the French Association was going to be willing to take volunteers between the ages of 18 and 60 for the crossing I immediately submitted my letter of intent and CV. They were received, reviewed and accepted quite quickly as I bring to the adventure, not only my sailing skills but years of experience maintaining and repair boats, often with Rube Goldberg-type approaches to help get out of sticky situations.

The only challenge that was put before me was the need to climb the rigging and do so with convincing ease. I will admit that I trained for this. I was not sure that my grip or arm strength would be sufficient. I changed my weight lifting routine to include more upper body and I went rock climbing in a center in Brooklyn. It turns out that rock wall climbing is the way the team in France stays fit while in port of Rochefort, too.

For my “ascension,” as Hermione’s Commander Yann Cariou liked to tease me about it, I arrived early on a weekday morning and was fitted to a harness and signed my waiver. I was frankly excited to get to this…I was confident and also resigned to the idea that it was best to find out now if I did not have what it would take to do this rather than later. I was escorted aloft, by Jens Langert, who is the lead rigger aboard L’Hermione. He has decades of experience and made me feel immediately “at-home” as we climbed. He was also clever; we got about half way up to the point on the first set of ratlins where one turns to climb upside down to the outside edge of the maintop (platform) when he stopped, we had only climbed for 30 seconds and I wondered why we’d stop here. I quickly realized that he was judging my comfort level with the experience while allowing me to get use to handling the harness and the dual set of clips that kept me tethered at all times to a safety line, as well.

He instructed to let my legs do the work – much as in rock climbing! – and to let my arm relax as much as possible. Less than a minute later we were off for the first critical point–the run upside down to the maintop. The training paid off: I had no difficulty hanging from lines and navigating the turn around the edge of the maintop.

Once there we maneuvered around the rigging. Jens showed me how to furl a sail and answered all my questions. I must have been up there for over 90 minutes. A strange thing occurred after about 30 minutes…I realized that to move comfortably around the rigging it was important to only move one appendage at a time–one hand or one foot to the next point of contact but not both. This way one always has 3 points of contact with the ship to feel her move and be anticipate any need to latch on quickly.

I could have stayed up there a long time if I had had a job to do and I was happy to be connected to the ship in such a way.

Sailing is a great deal about feel: the wind in the sails, the water against the rudder and hull, and the weather against your skin. When we used to charter Antibes, my brother and I would take turns playing a trick on the families aboard – especially if there were kids aboard. While sailing and heeling over, when no one was looking, one of us would grab the shrouds of the mizzen and “walk” up the mizzen mast to the spreaders (about 20 feet high) and stand up there. Soon, someone would ask, “Hey, did anyone see Marc?”, and my brother would answer that I was likely hiding and could they find me. It was a great way for everyone to get to know every inch of the ship. I had forgotten what that felt like until I was in L’Hermione’s rigging – the pulse of a ship is accentuated aloft, the forces she deals with and exerts are amplified. It’s like putting your hand on the heart of a runner after the race; it’s an intensely intimate moment.

Q:  What do I anticipate learning from the crossing in 2015?

A:  Everything! I am a learner by nature. I love speaking with people about what they do, why, how, etc. I am certainly a novice in so many areas when it comes to square rigger sailing and I can’t wait to start classes!

I also anticipate learning a great deal about myself. Crossing the ocean has been a dream of mine for many decades. Will I like it as much as I expect to? Will I have what it takes to live the rhythm aboard? Will I bring something meaningful to the story? In any event, I know I will see, hear, smell, taste, and feel things that can only be had out there, for that I am very grateful!

Q:  What will my biggest challenge be while aboard?

A:  “The young do not know enough to be prudent and therefore they attempt the impossible — and achieve it, generation after generation.”

— Pearl S. Buck,

My biggest challenge will be maintaining this older model of a human body in operating condition. I will need to be mindful from the first moment about addressing the slow wearing of one’s physicality from simply being “in the elements” 24/7. Sun, wind, and water all are beautiful and deleterious if not respected. I will let some prudence give way to the youthful exuberance that brought me to this project and to dream of sailing L’Hermione across the Atlantic.

American Revolution history buffs, admirers of Washington, Jefferson and Lafayette, nautical enthusiasts and followers interested in L’Hermione’s 2015 voyage from Rochefort, France to the Eastern seaboard are invited to follow this blog for all the latest news and plans in 2014 and 2015.

For more information about Hermione’s voyage, including all the upcoming maritime-related activities planned in the U.S in 2015, please see: www.hermione2015.com