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St. Petersburg, FL - The Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, America's Tall Ship and seagoing classroom for future officers in training, is scheduled for a visit at the Port of St. Petersburg this weekend.

The largest tall ship flying the Stars and Stripes and the only active square-rigger in U.S. Government service, the Eagle has served as home to 145 Coast Guard Academy cadets for the last five weeks.They sailed from New London, CT, on May 11, traveling around Bermuda, through the Virgin Islands, visiting ports in St. Maarten, Aruba, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During this time, cadets learn skills in deck seamanship, navigation, engineering, damage control and watchstanding, along with leadership development and teamwork.

It takes a lot of manpower to control this ship.A permanent crew of six officers and 55 enlisted personnel maintain the ship year round.The crew must handle more than 22,000 square feet of sail and five miles of rigging.

Over 200 lines control the sails and yards and every crew-member cadet and officer candidate must become intimately familiar with the name, operation and function of each line.

For more information about The Eagle, visit:http://www.cga.edu/eagle/

You have the opportunity to tour The Eagle.It will be open for free public tours today from 2 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Keep in mind there will be a lot of people out here so the lines could be long and you could wait a while before boarding.

Parking will be available in the USF St. Petersburg parking garage, accessible from Fifth Ave. S., just east of Third St. and in nearby USF St. Petersburg surface lots, accessible from Sixth Ave., for $5 per vehicle.If USF St. Petersburg accommodations reach capacity, parking is available in the Al Lang Stadium parking lot, located on First Ave. S. between First St. S. and Bayshore Dr. for a $4 flat rate. Parking is also available in the South Core garage, accessible from First Ave. S. between First and Second Sts. for $1 per hour, up to a $6 maximum on Friday or a $3 flat rate on Sunday.

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