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The Unicorn: A Piece of World War II History Sails into Navy Pier

A Piece of World War II History Sails into Navy Pier

August 9, 2013

Built in 1947 under the name Deo Volente I (Latin for “Godwilling”), Unicorn’s hull was constructed from the recycled metals of captured German U-boats that were salvaged after World War II. She was constructed as a motor fishing vessel in the Netherlands. This tough vessel trawled the North Atlantic’s fishing grounds for 32 years with various owners and various name changes.

When she finally met the end of her fishing days, she was acquired by Pieter and Agnes Kaptein. By 1979 she had been fully converted from fishing vessel into a sailing ship and renamed Eenhoorn, Dutch for “unicorn,” and sailed the Mediterranean.

Again, the Unicorn changed many hands and was sailed under many different names until the fall of 1999 when she was acquired by her current owners, Dawn and Jonathan Santamaria. Along with their four daughters, they continue to promote the preservation of traditional maritime life through sail training, tall ship festivals and community involvement.

In 2005, Dawn Santamaria founded Sisters Under Sail, a not-for-profit on-board leadership program whose mission is dedicated to helping teenage girls and women build confidences, develop leadership skills and witness first-hand through sail training what women can do together when focused on a common goal.  Sisters Under Sail and her all-female professional crew charter Unicorn each summer sailing New England, Canadian Maritimes and the Great Lakes. More than 500 teens and 300 women have sailed aboard Unicorn for the adventure of a lifetime

At Tall Ships® Chicago 2013 at Navy Pier presented by Pepsi®, you’ll be able to board and tour this historic vessel, August 8 – 11. On Thursday, August 8, meet at the Unicorn at 11:30 a.m. for dockside discussions including deaf interpretation.

Dockside Boarding Admission is $25 for adults and $12 for kids (ages 3-12) and General Admission (see Unicorn and the other tall ships in the fleet-up-close within the festival grounds) is $5 all ages.

Click here for ticket details


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