Historic Bath to host the Elizabeth II

Published 2:54 am Monday, November 7, 2016

BATH — A 16th -century replica ship will be making port in Bath next week.

The Elizabeth II will arrive at Bath’s state dock on Nov. 15 — a trip that was postponed for a month due to the arrival of Category 1 Hurricane Matthew on Oct. 8.

Beaufort County Schools’ fourth-graders will be touring the ship the mornings of Nov. 16-17, and the general public is invited for its own tour starting at 2 p.m. on each of those days.

The trip marks an official end to the celebration of the 300th anniversary of Bath’s “first port” designation. In May, the town observed the anniversary with a day of festivities that included re-enactments of the pirate Blackbeard’s taking leave of Bath on his search for treasure in southern waters, a street fair, live music and a visit by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and Department of Culture Secretary Susan Kluttz.

The Elizabeth II is from Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo and is a replica of a merchant vessel from the voyage from England to Roanoke in 1585.

The initial plan was to have the Elizabeth II visit during the First Town, First Port celebration, but the date fell during the busy tourist season on the Outer Banks, according to Elizabeth Midyette, historic interpreter for Historic Bath State Historic Site. The second trip was cancelled due to the hurricane, but next week the ship will make the two-day journey to Bath.

Midyette said the Elizabeth II’s dockage in Bath is a great opportunity for local schoolchildren.

“It’s based in Manteo, so a lot of children may not get to Manteo to actually see a replicated ship of that time period, so it does benefit them that the ship is coming to us,” Midyette said, adding that a tour of the ship provides a window into life about aboard a ship and the customs of people in the colonial era.

The ship’s last visit to Bath was during the town’s 300th anniversary in 2005. It also made an appearance on the Washington waterfront during the 2012 Smoke on the Water barbecue festival.

For more information about the Elizabeth II, visit www.roanokeisland.com.