New London bids farewell to OpSail 2012 today, marking the official end to the multi-state War of 1812 bicentennial event that started three months ago.
John S. Johnson, chairman of OpSail 2012 Connecticut, said several ships are provisioning in New London today before sailing out. The USS Carter Hall, a 609-foot dock landing Navy ship, will leave State Pier first to return to active duty. The Coast Guard barque Eagle will briefly stay in New London before resuming a summer tour to visit Halifax, Nova Scotia from July 20 to 23; Portland, Me. from July 27 to 30; and Newport, R.I. from Aug. 3 to 6.
OpSail 2012 began on April 17 in New Orleans, the site of the last major battle of the War of 1812—one fought after the news of an armistice reached combatants there. The tour continued on to five other cities along the Gulf of Mexico and East Coast: New York City, Norfolk, Baltimore, and Boston with the culmination in New London.
Several Connecticut communities saw action during the War of 1812. A British fleet blockaded the Thames River for much of the war, and several American vessels were . Stonington successfully defended itself against a British raid in August of 1814.
People may see the departures from vantage points including points along the Thames River, , and . The scheduled departure times are:
- Regulus, A.J. Meerwald, and Spirit at 11:00 a.m.
- La Amistad and Wolf at 11:30 a.m.
- Brillliant and Appledore V at noon
- Cisne Branco and New Horizons at 12:30 p.m.
- Tyrone at 1 p.m.
- Ticonderoga at 1:30 p.m.