Coast Guard tall ship Eagle visits New York

As the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle is tugged into New York Harbor, it gets more impressive up close. This cutter is the only active commissioned sailboat in the U.S. armed forces. Its history is a part of American history. The ship was constructed in 1936 and acquired from Germany as a reparation following World War II.

Its arrival from Salem, Massachusetts, on Thursday coincided with the Coast Guard's 226th birthday. And because Alexander Hamilton created the Coast Guard, actors from the musical "Hamilton" paid homage, too.

Looking up at the Eagle's massive sails kind of makes you feel like you're an extra in a "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie.

But this ship has a very practical, real-life purpose. Cadets from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, train aboard the vessel. They learn about seamanship, navigation, damage control, engineering and more, according to Capt. Matt Meilstrup.

I got a chance to check out what things look like below deck. A wall commemorates all the ports of call this ship has seen, including Halifax in Nova Scotia, Bermuda, and many more.

The bowels of the ship are a little like a floating city. When the Eagle is in training mode, more than 200 people are on board.

The Eagle is open to the public for tours through Sunday, August 7. It is docked at next to the Intrepid Museum, near Pier 86.