USS Constitution sails again

Aug. 19, 2012 at 7:21 PM

BOSTON, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- The three-masted wooden frigate USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship still afloat, hoisted its sails in Boston Sunday.

It was only the second time in 131 years the ship, nicknamed "Old Ironsides," has moved under its own power, The Boston Globe reported. Its voyage was to mark the 200th anniversary of the Constitution's historic battle with the British warship HMS Guerriere.

Thousands of people turned out to see the Constitution make its way out of port.

"It's a twice in a lifetime opportunity, sailing on her own power," Bob Pound, 48, of Quincy, Mass., told the Globe, referring to the Constitution's last outing in 1997.

The ship was towed out between Castle Island and Deer Island where about 200 sailors unfurled four of its sails and it headed into open water for about 10 minutes, the Globe said. The ship then returned toward Castle Island, aided by a tugboat, and fired its cannons, triggering cheers from the crowd and horn-honking by other boats.

"It was awesome," said Liam Corbett, 31, of New Bedford, Mass.

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