Pensacola Stories and Tips

The Peacemaker Ship of the Twelve Tribes

Dining Area on the Peacemaker Photo, Pensacola, Florida

A couple of months ago, Mom and I went out on a rare trip to dinner in Pensacola. We arrived in Pensacola from our home in Milton about 2 and were hoping for an early dinner to avoid the Friday night crowds, but the Outback wasn't open until 4, so we decided to take a ride to Palafox Pier and walk around the marina and watch the fishermen on the pier and the ships and boats pass by.

Mom and I arrived at Palafox Pier and got out of the car and started to walk. To our left low and behold was a ship built in the time of old. After our louzy experience about a year ago with the Christopher Columbus replicas, the Nina and the Pinta that wasn't worth the $7 admission price, we were apprehensive about another bad touring experience. We looked at the sign posted at the ship's entrance and noticed it was named The Peacemaker and it was free to tour the ship. Mom and I were glad for that because I wasn't about to shell out any money for something that might be a disaster or waste of time and money. So Mom and I boarded the Peacemaker and grabbed a copy of their newsletter with a history of the ship and the crew's mission.

The Peacemaker is an American barquentine ship built in Brazil starting in 1987. It was built in the Tall Ships style of construction and the construction crew only used indigenous woods and traditional shipbuilding methods. That means no electric tools were used during its construction. Construction of The Peacemaker was completed in 1989 and it was launched shortly afterwards. The first owners named the ship The Avany and it was planned to bring the ship to Savannah, Georgia for educational reasons, but things didn't go that way and the first owners sold The Peacemaker to the Twelve Tribes religious group in 2000. The Twelve Tribes is an American religious group with about 50 communities scattered throughout North and South America, Europe and Australia. After seven years of remodeling and making the ship more seaworthy for their missions around the world, The Peacemaker was relaunched in 2007. Today The Peacemaker travels around the world promoting their religious beliefs and gives apprenticeships to people who want to become sailors the arts of sailing, seamanship, navigation and ship maintenance. Their homeport is Brunswick, Georgia but the crew spends most of the year at sea.

Mom and I were not greeted by the crew members that were on board and we noticed their hand-made clothing and the presence of children on board. The members of the Twelve Tribes homeschool their kids when they are at sea and they support themselves with donations and selling homemade organic baked goods such as carob bars. If you are lucky to live near the water and The Peacemaker is docked in your town, make the effort to go and check it out. It is worth a few minutes of your time. The crew keeps to themselves most of the time but if you have questions or want to know more about the ship, they will talk with you.

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