Our sails soared high on St. Patrick's Day


A small group of Armstrong Atlantic students, faculty and staff devoted long hours to the design and construction of the AASU Pirate ship "Armstrong Atlantic" that graced the Savannah St. Patrick's Day parade on March 17.

The group, working mostly after hours, built the ship from scratch. On parade day, the two-masted beauty sailed down Savannah's streets standing 14 feet tall, weighing in at 900 pounds and measuring nearly 10 feet across. Mounted on seven rollers and powered by a 1,000-pound electric cylinder, the "Armstrong Atlantic" caught the eye of thousands of St. Patrick's Day revelers as it rocked on its rollers simulating the motion of a ship at sea. The crowd cheered and applauded as the ship passed by.

AASU president and CEP (chief executive pirate), in full Pirate costume, and her husband Carl, playing an Oscar-worthy role as "The Parrot," captained the ship as it navigated the tight turns along the parade route. A small army of cannonball-hurling leprechauns, of the papier-m?ché kind, served as deck hands during the voyage.

The vessel, complete with four sails and riding on a 25-foot trailer, was the result of the dedication and hard work of AASU junior engineering students Lonnie McGee, Mark Hodges and Luke Lander. Wayne Johnson, AASU professor of engineering, served as chief consultant; Chris McCarthy, AASU Instructional Technology Support Specialist, was project manager. Jill Phongsa, AASU graphic designer and Pirate ship volunteer extraordinaire, provided artistic direction for the project.

Check out footage from the parade and view some more pictures below!