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A fusion of history, art, adventure, education and entertainment. A new journey - a tour south for Sloop Providence!

History (and a little magic) comes to life aboard the Continental Sloop Providence! This 110' fully rigged sailing vessel is the faithful replica of John Paul Jones' 18th century first command. During her distinguished naval career, the 12-gun Providence sank or captured 40 British enemy ships!  "Give me a fast ship for I intend to go in harms way" - John Paul Jones  ...And that's just her history... we've only just begun...!

Not only is The Providence a sea fairing vessl but she is a vessl of inspiration and creation.  While cultivating history and maritime traditions The Providence  has also recently proven to be a platform for many forms of artistic and creative collaborations.  Circus Performers, Musicians, Singers, Actors, Dancers, Writers, Fine Artists, Photographers, Film Artists, Rope Artists and Aerial Artists swinging in the ships rigging all call The Providence home.  While using the ship as inspiration, further incorporating and sharing her unique story in their art, these artists are (or have become) sailors, moving the ship through waters and inspiring many while stealing a piece of their heart, creating momentum and joy along the way.  The Providence wasn't always full of such momentum...

Rescued by Captain Thorpe Leeson and bringing her out of an abandoned state with endless hours of work, The Providence has been privately owned and funded for the past two years.  A big project for just one person.  Now, with his energy, The Providence is attracting others like Thorpe who want to save the Providence with not just the intention for her to survive but to thrive.  With the dedication of her many volunteers it is evident this ship is something special. 

Her volunteer crew and location are ever-changing... a constant state of flux.  This is the delicate balance that is the life and art of sailing on the tall ship Sloop Providence. We have the ability to share with many. Not only are our visitors influenced by us but we are influenced by them as well. This is the only place in the world who creates this type of unique historical and present collaboration. New individuals and new environmental interactions create new emotions, feelings and observed products in our art.   There is no doubt that The Providence inspires creation on many levels, she has a magical draw about her that attracts many and renders them energized with new life and joy!  Perhaps it's not just her beauty but her successful history that shines these feelings in all who come in her presence.  Whatever it is... it is something to be experienced by many and to continue for years to come.

The Short Version...

Our Mission

A tour south.  Winter time in New England shows very little use for The Providence and all her many abilities.  She would sit practically unused. Our mission is to take her south for the winter to continue the great momentum of inspiration she has created in such a short time during her most recent successful Northern Tour. Stops and many presentations along the atlantic coast of North America will be arranged with the final destination being in the Caribbean to continue our array of programs we have to offer.

Why the Caribbean? Not only is the Caribbean a great winter vacation spot for tourists to come aboard and utilize the ship but it is also a piece of The Providence's history.  Providence was the first vessel to carry out an amphibious landing of US Marines on foreign soil in Nassau, The Bahamas in 1776!  Amazing!

Our Needs - This is where you come in for the creation!  Kickstarter Goal - $35,000 - Break down of Estimated Expenses for South Tour Prep-

In order to create our South Tour we have a little work to do before we can leave! The last two weeks of October and the first two weeks of November will be used for prep time.

Departure Date: Within the last two weeks of November* - just before Thanksgiving (...we will have much to be thankful for:)! *Departure Date is dependent on weather and captain and crew schedules.  Needs before departure...

  • Deck Work (to keep the crew dry!) - $7,000
  • Upgrade Heads (landsmen's term for better toilets!) - $4,000
  • Brightwork, Paint & Some Rigging Replacements (lets make her pretty and even more safe!) - $15,000
  • Sail Covers - $3,000
  • Fuel, Provisions and Miscellaneous - $6,000

What's in it for you!?!

Well a huge amount of thanks for one!!!  Rewards start as small as a memento of the Providence sent to your home or visit us for a day sail. Or.. even up to the possibility for you to be an Honorary Crew to learn ship life and have your own opportunity to create on board!

Details and More Info about Us, our Programs and our Project...

Who is Sloop Providence - History and Facts

  • The first ship commissioned and flagship of the Continental Navy in 1775
  • The first command of John Paul Jones.
  • The Providence is the official flagship and tall ship ambassador of the State of Rhode Island
  • She won the "Best Dressed Vessel" award from the Sailing Ambassador
  • She has logged over 100,000 miles
  • It takes a minimum of 5 crew to sail her
  • She is a square-topsail-gaff-rigged sloop 
  • The new Providence is a replica built for the 1976 bicentennial.
  • The original vessel Katy was built by merchant John Brown in 1768 (Founder of Brown University). Years later Katy was renamed Providence.
  • In three years of fighting in the Revolutionary War, Providence sank or captured over 40 British vessels.
  • The Original Providence was laid to rest in 1779 in the Penobscot River in Main to prevent being captured in war.
  • Providence was featured in both Pirates of the Caribbean II and III

For more historical facts check our website www.tallshipprovidence.com as well as pick up a copy of Valour Fore and Aft by Hope Rider

Providence, was the first of many in the past and continues to be the first of many in the present. "Whoever can surprise well must conquer." John Paul Jones

Breaking New Ground - Sloop Providence Inspired Creations -

The creations inspired alway tie in a piece of the ship, whether, it's a juggler juggling belaying pins or balancing a boat hook on his chin to aerial stories and traditional live music and sea shanties that siren all to sing. The ship is about stories, connecting the past with the present and giving our guests even more to take home and remember for the rest of their lives.  Seafairing myths of a mermaid caught in a net are incorporated.  Additionally stories of Providence's merchant ship days are told with an aerial dancer flying in red "Silk" as silk was the number one import for the Providence in the 18th century during her merchant ship days.  All tie together and expand her array of use.

The Many Uses of Sloop Providence and her Programs

Sloop Providence is not only beautiful as a great venue but the reflection of her ship life creates strong characters and brings out a specific joy creating happier well rounded able people!  She has a lot to offer...

  • Sail Training
  • Maritime Education
  • United States Historical Education
  • Ocean Ecological Conservation Programming
  • Team Building
  • Healing and Outreach Programming
  • Sponsorship Opportunities
  • Entertainment/ Shows
  • Artist/ Musician/ Writers/ Photographer/ Film Maker Platform
  • Charters
  • Movie Sets
  • Special Events Venue - Weddings, Birthdays, Corporate Events
  • Much More!!!

What others have to say about us! - In the News!

CNNireport front page - "With her talent of dance, she maneuvered the sails gracefully with her aerial acrobats. Entertainment along with educating the crowds about the Tall Ships History, equals a pleasant day in Newport, Rhode Island for all." by Marie Sager - Speaking of The Ocean State Tall Ship Festival of Newport, RI

"YachtAid Global... The non-profit organization hosted a cocktail reception aboard the 110-foot Sloop Providence, complete with an aerialist...The enchanting image she created seemed to say it all: the sky’s the limit..." by newportharbor.com

Quotes from Sail Portsmouth Event

"To be able to see the ships sail into the harbor is very wonderful, we may have the shortest coastline in the country, but we have a very deep and important maritime tradition."

"This really is a boom to our economy. People use our restaurants, use our retail and stay in our hotels."

"This really is more fun than a human being should be allowed to have."

Most Recent Successful Summer Projects - Up and Running - Providence Back in the Game -North Tour

Our North Tour was a success! Creating much momentum and joy everywhere the Providence stopped. We were blown away with the amounts of people who visited the ship to learn about sailing, her history and to see our musical and aerial shows telling a little more about her story. Often we saw repeat visitors who came back multiple times in one day, leaving wherever they were to see us again... some even coming back a days or weeks later for another visit! We are very thankful to share such enthusiasm and energy! Thanks to all the following ports that welcomed us so warmly on our Tall Ships Festival North Tour.

  • Newport, RI
  • Portsmouth, NH
  • Helifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Shelburne, Nova Scotia, Canada

A special thanks to All our Summer Creative Collaborators;

  • Yacht Aid Global - Special Event
  • The University of New Hampshire Docent Singers
  • The Pillage Idiots
  • The New England Brethren of Pirates
  • Daft Like Jack
  • Circus Helifax
  • Guest Photographers - Billy Blunk, Fred Eagle, Blink Gallery, Scott Munn, Marie Sager, Neil Salisbury
  • Upcoming Fall Projects

    • Ongoing Historian guided tours and Aerial shows as seen through the eyes of the Aquidneck Ferry
    • Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School - The Providence creates a new art branch "Dr. Sketchy's at Sea"
    • Movie Shoot in Mystic, CT

    Upcoming Winter Projects

    • ...Made Possible by you... Restoration Internship Opportunity- (upon support of this project Providence will provide a weekends internship opportunity to IYRS (International Yacht Restoration School www.IYRS.org) students to help build their experience and resumes by working on the states flagship!  Students will be involved in the preparation of the Ship.)
    • ...Made Possible by You... A South Tour!

    The Providence is currently under the main care of Owner/Captain - Thorpe Leeson, First Mate - James Kiker and Artistic Director/Performer/Crew - Nichole Raab.  The only constant thing in life is change... with a flux of many crew, all bringing their unique talents and skills enriching this vessel - we are thankful to grow and learn from one another.  Thanks to all that support our ship.  Thanks to the great community of friends the Providence possesses, the things you all do are amazing and do not go unnoticed. 

    We give a special thanks  to all our Volunteer Crew who made our Summer Tall Ships Festival Tour 2012 Possible! Here's looking forward to a Winter Tour South!

    • Alysia Bourdreau - Guest Performer
    • Sam Bove - Writer/ Crew
    • Savannah Gates - Culinary Artist/ Crew
    • Brandon Gold - Guest Performer/ Guest Crew
    • Channing Grigs - Musician/ Culinary Artist/ Crew
    • Mike Grogan - Safety and Rescue Specialist/ Crew
    • James Kiker - First Mate
    • Thorpe Leeson - Owner/ Captain
    • Robert McConnell - Educational Tour Guide/ Crew
    • Courtland McDonald - Technical Navigation/ Crew
    • Nichole Raab - Artistic Director/ Performer/ Crew
    • Lisa Reslock - Safety and Rescue Specialist/ Crew
    • Zach Wallen - Tall Ships Festival Captain

    ... who knows who else will crew and collaborate with us!...      it may be you!         Thank you for supporting our project!

    "I have not yet begun to fight." John Paul Jones

    Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

    The risks and challenges involved with project are obviously in it's failure. If our project fails to raise funds, the Providence will stay in the north for the winter, wrapped up, thus not generating creation of any kind. With out funding; opportunities for artists, educators, students, historians, further revenue to keep the ship going are all at risk. A further risk may be that the Providence may loose it's current owner who has created such amazing opportunities with such an amazing vessl (not many can fill his shoes).

    Every project has risks and challenges - we know that. Even the successfully funded projects have unforeseen occurences - that is just life. If anything... living on the ship shows you have to role with the waves and make things happen in whatever moment they may be. With our successful past we hope to show you a glimps of what her future can be with your help as we hope to always give something back. We have only just begun and with your help more magic can happen! Despite challenges and risks that everyone faces... we continue forward giving our best for the hopes of a bright future for many! Much like her history, in the words of John Paul Jones, "Give me a fast ship for I intend to go in harms way."

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      Sloop Providence Post Card of Thanks signed by Captain and Crew from whatever port we are in!

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      Sloop Providence T-Shirt + A copy of our 2012 Tour Season DVD "A Life on Sloop Providence" + A 24"x36" Poster Print of The tour of John Paul Jones

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      Personalized Sea Shanty including your name and facts about you performed and recorded onto CD by Sloop Providence Crew!

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      Private on board Yoga Class for you and up to 8 of your friends. Taught by Sloop Providence Crew. *Held at whichever port we are scheduled to be in, your choice within the next year

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      Private Two Part Aerial Acrobat Workshop for you and up to 4 Friends! Taught by Sloop Providence Crew. *Held at whichever port we are scheduled to be in, your choice within the next year

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      Private Sail Training Lesson for you and up to 10 of your Friends! *Held at whichever port we are scheduled to be in, your choice within the next year

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      Honorary Crew for a week! Food and Bunk included. Come sail with us, or join us in port to collaborate!

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