Navy's oldest warship heading out for historic cruise

9:31 AM, Aug 19, 2012   |    comments
Getty Images/Getty News Service
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BOSTON -- It's just a short trip but it's historic for the U.S. Navy's oldest commissioned warship. The USS Constitution will sail under its own power for just the second time in more than a century to commemorate the battle that won it the nickname "Old Ironsides," because enemy cannon balls seemed to bounce off.

The Constitution, which was first launched in 1797, will be tugged from its berth to the main deepwater pathway into Boston harbor for a 10-minute cruise.

The last time the Constitution went to sea was on its 200th birthday in 1997. During today's sail, the Constitution will unfurl four of its 36 sails.

Officials say tugs will stand by as a precaution. Forecasters say the weather looks favorable. The ship won't move in winds less than five mph and anything over about 15 mph is too high for the old ship.

The Associated Press

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