Fresh off its 7-year restoration process, Spike Africa, Schooners North’s famous 80-foot wooden freighting schooner returns to offer San Juan Island cruises from now through October. Those interested in sailing aboard this stately “tall ship” that has been outfitted for comfort and adventure can contact us to book a sailing trip. Spike Africa is available for cruises (from 3-hours to multi-day) and private charters (from overnights and beyond).
Once aboard ship our friendly crew shares many a detail about Spike Africa, but we’ll be happy to provide a little background to satisfy cruise-goers before setting sail.
The Spike Africa was built about forty years ago by Bob Sloan, a widely known, highly regarded tall ship sailor who spent a life time sailing on different vessels throughout the Pacific. With a goal to create an authentic working Schooner, he adapted a design akin to working schooners of centuries past right down to every single line. Spike Africa is characterized by elegant beauty and grace with a proven seaworthiness.
The mighty Schooner was named for Bob’s best friend Spike, a fellow seaman renowned throughout the West Coast as the “President of the Pacific Ocean”. Since setting sail, Spike Africa has traveled far and wide. Working as a freighting schooner along the West Coast, she has reached Mexico and Hawaii. She even towed salvaged boats, became a floating fuel dock and a support boat for yacht races in the 1970’s to the 1980’s. The Spike Africa also graced the northern waters of the Pacific up to Alaska and beyond.
Today, Spike Africa is considered one of the most beautiful schooners built in modern times. It went on to be featured in popular films like “Joe vs. the Volcano” and TV shows like “Hell on Wheels”, “Baywatch”, and “Hotel”.
Since beginning a refit in 2009, Spike Africa is now back in the waters completely restored. Every part, from keel to topmast, has been replaced and upgraded as needed to restore it to its former glory. It is now suitable for hosting private events like weddings, bachelor parties, private getaways, photo shoots, filming, family gatherings, and other special events.
Schooners North is a company that provides scheduled public and private charters aboard the Spike Africa. We offer public educational charters oriented towards the wild life and the general experience of life on the sea. While on a San Juan Island cruise, our skilled crew also shares with our guests the age old traditions of handling a tall ship. Call us for more details at 360-378-2224.