Gasparilla isn't just about the beads, it's an educational experience for kids aboard the Lynx ship

A field trip for the kids in the Bay Area

There’s a place where the spirit of Gasparilla will go on well past this weekend.

"This is now our 5th year of operations in St. Pete and we’re thrilled to be underway for Gasparilla," said Don Peacock, captain of the Lynx ship. It's docked right behind the history museum in St. Petersburg.

The Lynx ship will be offering educational sailings through April with an emphasis on teaching kids all for free.

"Here we have the kids in session, in school and that makes a big difference" says Bill Schustik, this ship’s main attraction, he’s known as the "American Troubador."

"A troubadour is a fellow who in ancient days would go from town to town carrying songs and stories," Bill said.

That’s exactly what he's done for the last 50 years. 

"How can you get tired of doing something like this, look where I am!" Bill exclaimed.

Stuff that most people my age and younger grew up with he’s got it and it exposes them to different kinds of music," said Steve Horning, a retired teacher, who took students to Bill every year.

"Where ever he is we go, because he’s great and on the ship he’s great too."

Get everything you need to know about Gasparilla here

After Gasparilla: Bead disposal sites, cleanup details

There’s plenty to keep kids interested on board the Lynx, even big kids like me. Cannons are loaded with charges and fired off on a regular.

It's a free sail with experiences Bill feels are priceless.

"You’re basically knitting your community or your nation of people together with the songs and stories that come from our memories and from what we believe."

The ship is offering free sails all weekend on a first come first serve basis. If you're interested in scheduling an educational sail on the Lynx ship, click here

Print this article Back to Top