Every Tall Ship taking anchor in Buffalo this week has its own unique story behind it.
Appledore IV and Appledore V are no exception; just take a look at their crew.
"We grew out on the water, like boating, water sports all kinds of swimming. Since I was little, we had a cabin on the lake," said 16-year-old Delaney Goodell, who is spending just her second day on Appledore IV anchored in Buffalo.
Goodell is just the latest student to pass through BaySail's Windward Bound sail training program and make her way out onto the Great Lake waters for real. "I got signed up the last day it was available. Then I came back and I never wanted to leave."
All five of the Appledore ships are considered learning vessels for students looking to join the world of professional sailing.
And these crews of teenagers sometimes spend days, to weeks, to months on their respective ships, getting a summer experience that goes beyond any classroom they've ever seen.
"We live on these boats, and we're the stewards of the vessel," said their Captain, Matthew Tkach, who has served time on every Appledore ship before leading his own crew. "From the maintenance to the sewing of the sails, the rigging, the painting. ... We do all of it, so we know every square inch."
As a series of ships built on a beautiful love story-- you'll have to ask Captain Tkach to recount the story for you himself-- the Appledores sail through the Great Lakes as an experience unlike any modern sailing boat could ever provide.
It's built in with a level of nostalgia, according to Tkach, that modernized sailing seems to lose as it moves into the future.
"I'll be honest with you: the modern boats move differently through the water. There's nothing like a tall ship, with a full keel like this," reflected Tkach. "They're like Cadillacs in the water."
"It is an atypical summer job, that's for sure," laughed 18-year-old David Sozanski, who is entering his final season aboard the Appledores.
When his grandmother signed him up for his first sailing experience at 13 years old, Sozanski didn't know what to expect. Today, he's training Appledore V's next captain and first mate, a final gift to the beloved vessel before he heads off to Yale in the fall.
"Tall ship sailing is very, very different from modern sailing; its hundreds and hundreds of years of tradition just packed into everything," Sozanski smiled.
Sozanski, Goodell and Captain Tkach will help give Western New Yorkers and experience this weekend that few other ships can provide; Appledores IV and V are two of the three ships prepared to take sailors out onto the water for excursions of their own.
If you're interested in joining one of those trips, you can visit their registration website to sign up. But don't wait. ... Spots are limited!