Laura Johnson and I took a short trip to Beaufort, NC, today to finally meet Captain Finbar Gittelman, the “First Sea Lord and Admiral” and Commodore Julie McEnroe of the Conch Republic Flagship Wolf!
The Wolf is in Beaufort this weekend for the Annual Pirate Festival. The rain didn’t put a damper on things as the streets were lined with cars.
Finbar and Julie welcomed us with open arms and took some time to tell us more about their unique sailing vessel. Listen to Laura Johnson’s radio interview to be aired on WNOS 105.9FM and 1450AM here:
When I noticed a post on Facebook about the Wolf coming to New Bern, I had to find out more! So I contacted Julie and she was happy to tell me all about the Conch Republic and their Navy’s Flagship Wolf.
The Conch Republic (also known as Key West and the Florida Keys) was developed in 1982 “when the U.S. Federal Government placed a Border Patrol Roadblock at the Last Chance Saloon in Florida City. A seventeen mile traffic jam immediately ensued as the Border Patrol stopped every car leaving or entering the Keys, supposedly searching for illegal drugs and aliens who might be hiding under the front seats, in glove compartments, and in trunks.” – find out what happened and how the Conch Republic Navy was established by visiting their website!
The Wolf was built in 1982-1983 by Master Builder Willis Ray and Captain Finbar. “It’s a Topsail Schooner, rigged in the old traditional style. She’s a privateer in the service of the Conch Republic Navy. The Conch Republic Navy’s job is to defend the Conch Republic, a sovereign state of mind against all of its enemies, which is a very easy job because we don’t have any enemies” – Captain Finbar.
Finbar, Julie, and the Wolf’s crew are on their voyage back to the Keys after being at sea visiting ports all the way North to Bristol, RI.
Monday evening (August 13), they will be sailing into New Bern, NC and they will receive a cannon welcome salute from Union Point Park at 7pm. They welcome everyone to come out for a good time at the park.
Tuesday (August 14), they will be having a Reception from 6pm – 8:30pm and welcome the public to join in the fun.
Wednesday and Thursday (August 15 – 16), they will be offering complimentary dockside tours of the Wolf from 2pm – 4pm. You can also sail on their Tall Ship from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. They are hosting a day sail on Thursday from 11am – 12:30pm.
Special thanks to Captain Finbar Gittelman and Commodore Julie McEnroe for your hospitality and we look forward to seeing you in New Bern next week!