The age of sail as an epoch may be over, but there is still a fascination with the graceful tall ships that still sail our coasts and oceans. They some how seem to inspire feelings of romance and adventure.
This summer is no exception, as many celebrations that will take place along the coasts of America will allow residents the chance to admire at least one of these swans of the ocean.
In the region of the Great Lakes, eager captains will respond to a maritime war that for 200 years has been absent. In Miami, an impressive Spanish vessel will sail into port to rendezvous with the 500th birthday celebration. The West Coast of the U.S. will see the biggest tall ship festival, which is expecting more than 200,000 visitors.
The Clipper William Mason
William Pierce Stubbs
Both now, and in the past, these boats are and were sailed by sailors who had no fear, and manoeuvred themselves manually without restraint up and down masts that tower 30 metres high into the sky. This is no easy feat as the ship pitches and rolls in the ocean swells and waves. The crew has to synchronize perfectly in order to release the enormous sails that have a width of 15 metres. In a good wind, these sails can confidently move a ship weighing in at 400 tonnes through the water at modest speeds up to 30 kph.
The masters and crew of the tall ships of old were challengers and researchers, as they unravelled the mystery of the shape of the Earth, which was for thousands of years thought to be flat.
There is often a dark side to many things and they are often shrouded in secrecy. The slave trade soon became one of these. The great ships attempted to help in the building of nations by snatching people from faraway lands and taking them to a land that needed developing. These times have never been forgotten.
Today, with their displays of elegance, they show that wind power has, and will always be, a source of renewable energy. The courage and determination of captains and their crew succeeded in opening the door to world travel, which encouraged further explorers to unearth what was on the other side of the world.
There are 5 events taking place this summer off the coasts of America.
The highlight will most likely be the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie, which-celebrates its bicentennial re-enactment. This is to be the first opportunity in 200 years that so many ships will fire black gunpowder cannons against one another. It is the re enacting of the battle waged against the British, which let the U.S.A. secure its present frontier with Canada. The impressive “Sorlandt” from Norway will be present at the event. It is 86 years old and 210 feet in length.
Miami will be welcoming the Juan Sebastian de Elcano. The length of this Spanish boat spans a U.S. football field, at 120 metres. It acts as a training ship for navy midshipmen in the Spanish Naval academy. It was launched in 1927 and has since circumnavigated the world 10 times. The tall ship will show its presence in Miami as a way of celebrating 500 years since the discovery of what is now termed the Sunshine State. It will be in the vicinity in early May.
There are many more tall ships that will be attending these events and others up and down the two coasts of the U.S.A. With the constant discussions over renewable resources of energy, tall ships may never sink back into the past.
Falmouth, in Cornwall, England, has one of the largest natural harbours in the world and is only too happy to play a host to the next Iberian Tall Ships Regatta. The regatta is not due until 2014 – next year – but the city is gearing up for the event already.
The Tall Ships Regatta is organised by the Sail Training Association and usually involves some of the world’s best known tall ships. These are used by their respective nations as sail training venues for their own navy cadets or for character building opportunities for youth or anybody else in the community for that matter.
The regattas are staged over a period of several months and the various host ports are staggered so that the regatta can proceed smoothly from one to another.
The 2014 event already includes the Port of London’s Greenwich site while a third port in either Spain or France is yet to be announced.
Flushing, Near Falmouth, Cornwall, En…
The City of Falmouth is excited about the regatta as it has already hosted one before in 2008. During that event, over 100,000 spectators poured down to the harbour side to watch the majestic tall ships carry out their manoeuvres. Financially, the regatta brought in over 12 million pounds to the cash registers of Falmouth, so perhaps it’s not surprising that the event is being looked at with avid eyes.
Falmouth is a particularly scenic and historic harbour with two twin castles on either side of the “heads” – Pendennis and St Mawes – both built by Henry 8th, one of the first English kings to take his own national navy seriously. This is the entrance to the harbour proper and probably one of the best vantage points if you are now thinking of heading to Falmouth for the 2014 event.
Falmouth’s hosting of the event will see a number of organizations cooperating to make it memorable. The Falmouth Town Council will be working in partnership with the local Falmouth Tall Ships Association, the Festivals and Events Team from the Cornish Tourism Office and Cornwall’s National Maritime Museum, just to mention a few.
Falmouth is no newcomer to Tall Ships’ Visits. Of course, the harbour was used in the golden days of sail by the British Navy because of its large size and it was an important commercial port for a long time before the sheer size and draft of modern ships meant that deepwater ports like Plymouth became more important. One of the reasons for Falmouth’s busy harbours before the nineteenth century drew to a close was its easy access to the Atlantic Ocean, the west coast of France and Spain and the run down and across the Atlantic. This gave it strategic importance, allowing as it did a chance to berth and find stores for those vessels without the benefit of a thudding diesel or coal powered engine to help navigate its way up the English Channel with its contrary winds and tides.
More recently, when large sailing ships have become objects of leisure and used for team building and sail training the harbour has seen several events take place within its waters. The first Tall Ships event took place in 1966 and every few years the graceful craft return in large numbers through Falmouth’s heads for yet another occasion.
A crowd of one million are anticipated to come and visit Dublin’s docklands later on this week for the 2012 Tall Ships Festival.
The ships were not due to dock today but many came in early as they encountered a severe storm at sea and substantial damage was done to some of these historic icons.
Eight junior trainees from Dublin were crewing on the Guayas, the training tall ship belonging to the Ecuadorean navy, which was one of the ships that was damaged during the voyage.
The Guayas Captain, Amillar Villavicencio, recalled that winds exceeding 50 knots accompanied with 10m waves and swell had ripped eight sails and succeeded in damaging the masts as well. He said they are used to Pacific sailing waters, which are Pacific compared to the Atlantic.
A further vessel suffered a mast breakage while making the crossing and another had to request a tow into Dublin Port after quite substantial damage. Despite the damage encountered by some of the ships, the crossing was faster than expected.
The tall ships had been cruising together since 5th July where they rendezvoused in St. Malo, France and sailed along the Spanish and Portuguese coasts. Their final departure to Dublin was from A Coruña in North West Spain an ill-fated voyage for some despite being the summer sailing season.
The forty ships hail from as far away as Mexico and Ecuador with entries from many European countries.
Mary Weir reported that The Tall Ships Festival has budgeted spending €3.6 million and they are expecting this investment to inject €25-€30 million into the local economy.
She also recalled that up to not so long ago, paintings of tall ships could be seen adorning areas around the Port of Dublin but they are now rarely seen, which makes this event even more attractive, particularly for young families who resort to the TV and the Internet to gain any images of past life.
However, there is going to be a photographic exhibition to accompany the fleet of tall ships, which will be a further reminder of their role in the past.
Dublin’s port head of operations said that the whole event is not just about sailing. It is also focused on making use of a tall ship to teach us about comradeship. Sailing aboard one of these vessels has often been described as a life-changing experience. He said that when youth join as crew on a ship, they are often complete strangers and by the finish of the experience they have become a team of people who have learnt how to co-ordinate and work together with a common goal.
After the recent bad spate of weather there has be no firm weather predictions for the event that will take place over the coming weekend.
A hundred or more years ago when engines took over from sailing ships, there was no great interest in returning to sail as a means of transport. It was slow, too weather dependent and needed a large able bodied crew to hoist and trim the sails. Good for explorers and pirates of the past but, quite surprisingly, they are not just elderly relics of times that have passed.
Tall Ship the Kalmar Nyckel, Chesapea…
Scott T. Smith
Their filled sails, massive masts and lengthy wooden hulls still draw flag waving crowds at the increasing number of sailing events designed for them and hosted in ports far and wide. As a result, a new tall ship industry has developed and grown to meet the needs of adventure-thirsty sailing enthusiasts who love things from the past.
The 2012 nautical calendar shows how appealing these vessels are.
Only a month ago, a whole fleet of tall ships sailed into Manhattan Harbour in the USA in an awe inspiring celebration that remembered 200 years since the 1812 war, which was the basis of the 3-year conflict that raged between America and the ailing British Empire.
Firework Display at Belfast Tall Ship…
Only a week passed by and,. in Britain, Queen Elizabeth II was out celebrating her Diamond Jubilee watching a huge flotilla of 1,000 vessels, which included many tall ships.
Maritime fanatics who plan to visit London throughout the Olympics will have the opportunity of sailing down the river Thames and passing key Olympic venues on the way on one of the 16 tall ships that have been commissioned for the extravaganza.
The largest will be the 3 masted “Oosterschelde”, a 1918 Dutch cargo carrier that was subsequently adapted in the 1930’s to a modernised sailing boat.
These types of events aren’t the only times the onlooker can encounter a tall ship as there has been a mushrooming in enterprises offering holidays on such boats. The fastest selling sailing excursion this year takes its passengers from Newfoundland to Britain, calling at Greenland and Iceland. The tall ship is the 55 meter-long replica of an old barque named “Lord Nelson.” Once advertised, the trip was sold out in just 3 days. Another popular trip is a two-month sailing journey from Latin America to South Africa with a visit to Antarctica.
This year, in July, heralds the 20th year of “Les Tonneres de Brest,” a famous maritime festival taking place in Brittany. Here, tall ships line the horizon in a manner rarely seen today in the maritime world. It proves to those lovers of the sea and its maritime heritage that has staged wars, carried explorers and ferried passengers to far-flung places that their history has not been forgotten and will live on like the great oceans that have been sailed with winds as their gift.
Tall ships from several different countries took part in one of New York’s most popular maritime events, held each year in May, and stole the limelight from the other ships and boats taking part in the annual Fleet Week celebration.
The event was only kick-started in 1984, but has become a popular pageant which tends to celebrate different parts of US maritime history each year. This year’s Fleet Week commemorated the 1812 War of Independence between the fledgling would-be independent US and its former colonial master, Britain.
Sailing Ship Docked at To…
Whatever the historical circumstances surrounding the week long flotillas and sailing events, it was the arrival of the world’s giant sailing ships which took most bystanders’ interests despite comments from some that this year’s event was a little downscaled from past years because of the financial crisis.
First to appear off New York’s Hudson River was the Spanish four masted top sail schooner, the “Juan Sebastian Elcano”. This ship has been used by the Spanish navy for decades as a training vessel for its cadets and, like many other countries, Spain uses it to showcase its nation overseas on a series of international goodwill trips, which takes the “Elcano” around the globe regularly.
US Coast Guard Ship, the Barque Eagle
Scott T. Smith
Eight other tall ships also took part in the sail down the Hudson, including those from Indonesia, Mexico, Ecuador and France.
The Indonesian ship is a three masted schooner called the “Dewaruci”. Indonesia has had some previous misfortune with its tall ship fleet. In 2005, one of its navy sailing and training ships blew ashore on a notoriously dangerous part of Australia’s East Coast and the cadets who were unlucky enough to be aboard on the day learned some lessons about being shipwrecked that they would never forget. The ship was eventually pulled off the beach, refloated and repaired.
The United States Coast Guard Ship Ea…
The French contingent sported two navy tall ships, which were the “Etoile” and “La Belle Poule”. Latin America supplied navy tall ships from Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico and Colombia.
The local contingent included a complement of US navy warships, 14 in all, which met the international fleet outside the River and sailed past the Statue of Liberty together. Just a little shorter than the “Juan Sebastian Elcano”, the US Coastguard’s own tall ship, the 80 m barque, the “Eagle,” met the flotilla at this point and together they made a transit of the Hudson River and then sailed back to tie up at the New York dockside. Many of the ships then opened doors to curious onlookers for a look down below and on decks.
The “Eagle”, despite its use by the US as a training vessel since the end of the Second World War, was actually originally built in Hamburg in Germany and used to train German seamen during the war. It was captured by the US navy and has been in its ownership ever since.
Just a little further up the US East Atlantic coast, in the state of New England, two separate events have been competing to attract some of the world’s tall ships to take part in their sponsored Tall Ships Challenge events. The OpSail2012 in New London and the Ocean State Tall Ships Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, are both mounting events as part of the Tall Ships Challenge. The Rhode Island event also has to compete both financially and for spectator numbers with the last of the Americas Cup World Series Regattas that is taking part off its waters in June.
Some of the ships that took part in the New York Fleet Week event will sail to New England to take part in either of the two events there, including the “Eagle”. The “Bounty” replica, which has been used in innumerable memorable and not some memorable historical film sets will also be taking part in the Ocean State Festival event.
It has recently been announced that the tall ship “Tenacious”, will be taking part in the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee on the 3rd June on the River Thames in London. The ship is quite unusual as it has been specially designed and constructed to be operated and sailed by a mixed gender crew of physically able and disabled individuals, including those who are users of wheelchairs.
The Jubilee Sailing Trust which operates “Tenacious” will be amongst a flotilla of 1000 vessels making up the biggest assembly of boats on the river Thames in recent times. The “Tenacious” will be accompanied by rowing boats, work boats and recreational craft of all makes, forms, and sizes. They will all be brilliantly attired with flowing, colourful bunting and Union Jacks. The contingent will be spread out over approximately twenty five kilometres.
“Tenacious” is 65 metres in length and will be one of the biggest vessels to take part and will make up part of an avenue of sails that the smaller boats will pass through, as they make their way up the Thames.
All the people who have a relationship with the Jubilee Sailing Trust are extremely happy that “Tenacious” has been chosen to be a part of the Diamond Jubilee. CEO Alex Lochrane commented that the trust came into being in 1978 and was partly financed by money from funds provided by the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and so the trust was eager for “Tenacious” to be a representative of this heritage and become a part of the Diamond Jubilee festivities some thirty four years later. It signified a lot to them to be given the opportunity to provide support for this royal occasion with this stunning tall ship.
“Tenacious” and “”Lord Nelson”, the second ship administered by the trust, are just two tall ships from around the world that have been designed and built for both physically able and disabled individuals to be given the opportunity to experience sailing alongside one another as equals.
Throughout the thirty four years of existence, the Trust has been able to take more than 35,000 people out to sea to engage in a life altering experience. More than 13,000 were classified as disabled, which included 5,000 who needed the assistance of a wheelchair.
Queen Elizabeth II
One of the crew members, who will be on board throughout the spectacle, is Nick Pilgrim who is forty years old. Nick was unfortunate to contract meningitis when he was at nautical school learning to take up a maritime career. He thought he may never have the opportunity to go out to sea ever again. However, twenty five years ago he was initiated into the Jubilee Sailing Trust.
A Tall Ship in the Lower Reaches of t…
John S. Smith
As the years have passed he has completed nearly 60 sailing voyages with the assistance of the Trust, which has included crossings of the Atlantic, and he has sailed a total number of nautical miles that would be equivalent to circumnavigating the world twice.
Tower Bridge and River Thames at Nigh…
Nick, alongside other disabled and physically able members of the crew will humbly take their position aboard Tenacious in the fleet next to the Queen and members of the her family who will be seated on the “Spirit of Chartwell”, a barge assigned to the Royal Family.
February 7, 2012 | Alison Williams
It’s early days yet to cross the Atlantic as the hurricane season is in full swing in the Caribbean but yachts of all shapes and sizes are making the slow windward plod from their wintering spots in the Mediterranean over to Gibraltar to stock up, do any repairs and upgrade any equipment before commencing the first stage south westwards across to the Canary Islands, a distance offshore from the African coast some 800 miles. According to weather experts the best time to make this passage is in September and then there is the wait in the Canaries until November when the hurricane season in the Caribbean has blown itself out.
En route to the Canaries, some will make diversions to Madeira or ports on the Moroccan coast that breaks up the passage and gives them a chance to assess their equipment. Others will make the direct passage and spend time enjoying the marinas and anchorages that can be found amongst the collection of volcanic islands.
Once underway from Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria, a popular departure point, again some yachts will make a beeline for the Leeward Island group in the Caribbean with the expectation of picking up the reliable, favourable north east trade winds which will ensure a fast passage is accomplished. The island of St Lucia is 2700 nautical miles in a straight line and it can from 14 to 30 days to reach. There are ways of breaking up the long slog by going closer to the African coast and making a scheduled stopover at the Cape Verde Islands, where sailors are welcomed with open arms to this little visited archipelago.
ARC departure from Las Palmas, Canary Islands. November 2005
Many yachts that are not in an organized rally like the ARC make this diversion with the aim of arriving in the Caribbean a bit later so as to avoid frequent wind and rain squalls that are more in evidence in the early part of December. Of course, they get to visit a new island group as well. There are other options for the cruisers that do not intend to rush across the Atlantic and that is a visit to the Gambia and Senegal, which would open up a new culture for many but the sail westwards still means time is pressing as the season for safe sailing in the Caribbean is dominated by the long hurricane season which can start as early as April.
These days with the increasing number of yachts making the Atlantic passage many choose to join the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC).
Over 200 yachts from all over the globe will participate in this annual transatlantic rally, organised by the World Cruising Club. It departs at the normal spot on Gran Canaria in late November. It is designed to be a friendly race for cruising yachts and allows the Atlantic crossing to be both safer and more fun. In fact the ARC is the now a common way for cruising yachts to cross the Atlantic. The fastest mega yachts may only take about two weeks and the slower smaller yachts upwards of three weeks. One of the most useful points about joining an organised rally is that the organisers insist that all entrants are fully prepared, by offering workshops on safety and communications for those participants who have little or no offshore experience.
Throughout the rally there is a daily radio net scheduled so that yachts can keep in contact with the rally base and it ensures the safety of all participants. All boats’ positions are monitored by rally organisers using transponders attached to the masts. It’s not all serious stuff though as a series of entertainment events are organised at both ends of the rally as well.
Despite the current recession, the rally numbers for 2011 have some time ago reached their full quota of 200. The largest are the British flagged “Challenger Two” and “Challenger Three” that classify themselves as tall ships at 21.63 metres and are sponsored by Tall Ships Adventures. The smallest at 9.6 metres is the Norwegian flagged “Tur-bo.”
The Bounty II is a replica of the historical HMS Bounty, which was famous for being the vessel on which the ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ took place on 28 April 1789.
Bounty II was constructed for the filming of 1962 movie “Mutiny on the Bounty” on the orders of MGM film studio. Her design was copied from the pictures of HMS Bounty taken from the British admiralty archives. She was built in a conventional manner in a shipyard in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Her size was increased by nearly one-third of HMS Bounty in order to create space for the large 70 mm film cameras that were to be used for shooting the movie.
The plan at the time of Bounty II’s manufacturing was to burn her down after the movie’s filming, but lead actor Marlon Brando threatened to quit the movie if the ship was to be destroyed. Therefore, MGM decided to keep her in service. After the conclusion of the movie’s filming and promo campaigns, Bounty II was moored in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she remained as a tourist spot until 1986.
Following Ted Turner’s takeover of MGM in 1986, Bounty II became his property and he used it for his personal entertainment and promotional purposes. In 1989, she found her way on the big screen once again when she was used in the movie “Treasure Island” starring Charlton Heston.
HMS Bounty. Creative Commons Wikipedia
She was donated to the Fall River Chamber Foundation in 1993 by Turner. The Tall Ship Bounty Foundation was then created, which dedicated the vessel’s use to educational activities. During the next nine years, the cost of her maintenance became too much to bear for the Foundation and as a result, her United States Coast Guard license was also temporarily suspended. She was then sold to HMS Bounty Organization LLC in 2001.
Under new ownership, Bounty II’s bottom planking was restored at the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard. Anchored in its first permanent home in St. Petersburg, Florida, she once again became a tourist attraction and was also used in “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie series and the pornographic movie “Pirates.”
In 2006, she was once again brought to Boothbay Harbor, where her front end and topside decking were refurbished. She then embarked on a replica journey of the original HMS Bounty. Before commencing it World tour in 2007, she made a seven week voyage across the UK. After making an unscheduled stop in Northern Ireland, she visited Maryport, Cumbria, the place where mutiny leader Fletcher Christian was born.
While harbored at Scotland’s Custom House Quay in September 2009, Bounty II was the target of a robbery. The thieves stole some cash and several valuable emblems but fortunately all the items were recovered from a nearby location.
Named after the historical Italian explorer of the fifteenth century, Amerigo Vespucci is the Italian Navy’s tall ship, which is home ported in Livorno, where it is currently serving as a school ship.
In 1925, Italian Navy, which was called Regia Marina until the Italian Republic came into being, commissioned the building of two tall ships, designed by Italian Navy Engineering Corps’ General Lieutenant Francesco Rotundi, who had based his designs on the 74-cannon ships of that time. The first one named ‘Cristoforo Colombo,’ served in the Regia Marina from 1928-1943. At the conclusion of World War II, it was transferred to the USSR, as per the post-war agreement and soon after the transfer, it was decommissioned.
Amerigo Vespucci- the second of the two was constructed at the Naples-based Naval Shipyard in 1930 and was officially launched for service a year later in 1931. It is a 331 feet long vessel, with a full rigged three-masted steel hull, which is 270.34 feet long itself. Its breadth is 51 feet, while it can carry weight up to 4146 tons. It can sail at a maximum speed of 10 knots, under the auxiliary diesel-electric propulsion power.
Amerigo Vespucci. CC Wikipedia
The vessel’s steel masts are 50, 54, and 43 meters tall, while it has a collection of 26 canvas sails, including, jibs, staysails and square sails. At the time of sail sailing, when sea climate is rough, Amerigo Vespucci can go as fast as 12 knots.
In order to stay in line with port regulations, only conventional hemp ropes are used, leaving Amerigo Vespucci as the only three-decked square rigger in operation in the world.
As a tribute to the two gun decks of the 18th century ships, which were the source of inspiration behind Vespucci’s design, two white stripes have been painted in her hull, to go with her full black body. However, there are only two 6pdr guns mounted on Vespucci’s deck, whose planks are made of teak wood and therefore, require replacement after every three years.
The tall ship’s stern and bow have been embellished with sophisticated decorations, including a figurehead stature of Amerigo Vespucci- the explorer.
Amerigo Vespucci has a standard staff comprising of 16 officers, 70 non-commissioned officers and 190 sailors. But the crew size swells up to 450 people during the summer, when it sets forward on Accademia Navale’s annual midshipmen journey.
The ship was originally equipped with 2-stroke 6-cylinder FIAT Q 426 engines, but they were replaced by two 4-stroke, 8-cylinder FIAT B 308 ESS diesel engines in 1964.
Apart from the seven year period of World War II, Vespucci has never been inactive. While her typical training areas are in Europe, she has also embarked on voyages to the Americas, with the highlight being her 2002 world voyage.
Denis Sullivan, a wooden, rigged schooner is part the United Nations Environment Program and belongs to the State of Wisconsin.
In 1991, Milwaukee residents and other state volunteers thought about building a tall ship for the first time. The purpose behind their attempt was to educate people about the Great Lakes. They also decided to make the ship they were going to construct, a platform for those who find it pleasant to delve into the unforeseen areas that lie scattered across the ocean.
The construction of the ship was completed after spending about one million volunteer hours. There were other several professional shipwrights besides ordinary workers who worked hard for the successful completion of the ship. Thus Denis Sullivan came into being in June 2000.
The first voyage took place in November 2000. From Milwaukee this beautifully constructed tall ship started its maiden voyage to Caribbean Ocean. She became the official flagship of the State of Wisconsin. The journey was really extraordinary as far as the exploration of the five Great Lakes, Caribbean and East Coast is concerned.
Denis Sullivan weighing 97 tons had a length of 137 feet overall and 98 feet on deck. The height comes to 95 feet. It carried two 180 HP auxiliary engines. 31 persons could be accommodated overnight and 60 persons on day sails, including the number of crews. There were shared toilets and showers. Storage facilities were limited. Denis Sullivan consisting of 10 crews had a mesmerizing power.
Denis Sullivan, designed by the inspiration of the Great Lakes cargo schooners of the 19th century, was provided with a raffee, a fore topsail triangular in shape. An efficient cargo carrier, it looked more beautiful in its construction and sailing procedure. Its rigging and deck arrangement were so well designed as to be a number one tall ship that she extremely differed from all other tall ships constructed at that time.
The usual construction technique of Great Lakes cargo schooners was not applied in the construction of Denis Sullivan. Usually the ships were built with flat bottom in order to minimize draft. Sailing in shallow water was quiet as a result of this type of construction. They carried a centerboard.
But Denis Sullivan was different from other construction work. Her deep hull and weighted keel gave her high stability during the voyage. Six feet four inches of head clearance facility made it entirely different from other tall ships. Thus Denis Sullivan entered deep into the minds of those who loved the sea.
The first information on the technique and the materials used for manufacturing ships usually comes from Egyptians. They for the first time tried and succeeded in building a ship of papyrus. They used ropes for binding them together. Papyrus is a material extracted from the pith of papyrus plant, scientifically called cyperus papyrus. These trees were once aplenty in the Nile Delta of Egypt.
Considering their success in building ships, the Egyptians later on tried to improve them with some other materials. They made an attempt to make a ship out of wood. But failure to find a suitable tree trunk, dissuaded the Egyptians from building such a large type of ship for the time being. However their curiosity compelled them to make progress building ships.
Later on, the civilizations in the Mediterranean give us a lot of information about ship building history. During those times large merchant ships had been constructed with a solid body. Fast-running ships driven by oar changed the ship building industries into a large scale use.
The Roman people further changed the face of shipping industry by making some more improvements. However, the ships they made found no use in sailing through Northern European coasts. These limitations made Scandinavians develop a new technique to make defect-free large ships. Those ships made by the Scandinavians were better for sailing through any seas without many hardships. The only fault was that they could not carry large quantities of cargo, so the purpose of the ships for trading was not attractive. Ships at that time were broad and shallow, they had double ends.
During the Middle Ages, several changes were made in the ship industry. Interest of people at that time in trading and voyaging had made the makers of tall ships more curious to build ships with extra facilities. These further boosted the trading areas to other islands and nations. During the Middle Ages, ships were usually short and circular. These ships, after incorporating several improvements in their structure, tried to trade with other continents, and prepared for long voyages. Voyages made during this period led to the overall development of the ship industry.
During this time the purpose of ship sailing was not confined to trade and voyaging, but to conquer other countries. The most advanced ships were made to attack enemy ships and other nations.
The use of ships gradually made way for a large scale building of very tall ships. Several laws were added to make travel and trade with other nations more comfortable. The sailing ability of large ships increased by making improvement in their tonnage. The length, breadth and weight of ships, thus, took a different look. It provided maximum facilities to those who liked to travel enjoying the beauty of the ocean.
Eighteenth and Nineteenth century proved that the shipping industry was an indispensable part of human life. These caused a large boom in the facilities inside the ships. If the ships you would like to travel look like castles and if you fail to believe your eyes, the real reason behind it is the papyrus tree.
The very first OpSail event was organized at the same time when 1964 World’s Fair was taking place in New York. Participants joined the event from many European places such as UK’s Plymouth and Portugal’s Lisbon and celebrated not only their countries’ individual history, but also the joint values that were the prime reason of bringing everyone together at the time.
Since its inauguration year of 1964, OpSail has been celebrated in conjunction with several historical events such as the Declaration of Independence’s 200th anniversary, the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America and even the commencement of the 21st century.
The next installment of the series ‘OpSail 2012’ will once again pay tribute to the solidarity among nations, the bravery of seamen and the splendor of the navy vessels. While the tall ships would bring back fond memories for many in attendance, the young ones would carry it forward to share them with many future generations.
The event will also remember the US Navy’s heroic efforts in the War of 1812, when it safeguarded the American sovereignty, which had come under severe threat from the British Empire. Hence, OpSail will reignite that same spirit by bringing the free nations together and highlighting the pride of sailors.
It will be the fifth time in OpSail’s nearly five decades-long history that it has teamed up with the US Navy to gather other navies of the world on a joint platform, to celebrate the shared connection that exists among the sailing fraternity and to acknowledge their quest for diplomacy.
OpSail 2012 will not only be for the benefit of the conventional participants, but it will also allow the co-hosts US Navy to give its officers and warships some much-deserved exposure in front of a large audience. The US Navy has also added a new fleet of tall ships to their collection, which would be its tribute to the country’s historic roots.
During the event’s launching ceremony, Director of Navy Commemorations Office, Naval History and Heritage Command Captain Patrick C. Burns said that apart from all the customary celebrations of OpSail, it is their national responsibility to tell their new generation about the country’s proud maritime history. He further added that through OpSail 2012, they intend to inspire young people so they turn into great future leaders.
OpSail 2012, which is scheduled to be held at a number of historical US ports, including Norfolk, New York, Baltimore, Boston and New Orleans, will feature a wide variety of tall ships and navy vessels, and as OpSail Executive Director Chris O’Brien said, the gathering will promote their aim of preserving the maritime legacy of the world.
Last week Velas Sudamerica 2010, the event that marks the 200th year anniversary of the first national government in South-America, a time that opened the way to independency in South-America, made a port call in Valparaiso Harbour.
Acording to Chilean Navy, more than 270 thousand people visited the 11 ships moored at Valparaiso bay, sharing with the crew of each ship from Argentina, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador, España, Holanda, México, Portugal, Uruguay y Venezuela, and also Chile.
My friend Thad Koza sent me this beautiful images from the event. Thad Koza is the author of Tall Ships: The Fleet for the 21st Century, now on it’s 5th edition.
The second largest sail training Tall Ship in the world, Kruzenshtern, has signed up to take part in this year’s Tall Ships Races, making a total of 76 to date. The Russian Class A Tall Ship is a regular participant in The Tall Ships Races and will be taking part in the event from the start in Antwerp, Belgium, to Kristiansand in Norway.
With several more months to go before the event starts, it is expected that more Tall Ships will enter this year’s race to once again make an impressive fleet of sail training Tall Ships. The event will start in Antwerp, Belgium from 10-13 July from where the fleet will race to Aalborg, Denmark, 21-24 July. A cruise in company will then take the fleet to Kristiansand, Norway, 29 July-1Aug, from where they will race once again across the North Sea to the port of Hartlepool, UK, where the event will finish with a four day festival from 7-10 August.
The Tall Ships Races are an annual event that bring together a large number of the world’s sail training Tall Ships so that young people can experience the fun and excitement of sailing together in friendly competition. A key rule of the event is that 50 percent of each vessel’s crew must be aged between 15 and 25 years. The sail training experience allows young people to understand the need for teamwork and find strengths they didn’t know they had when faced with the challenge of sailing a Tall Ship. The combination of in-port activities, cultural exchanges, sailing with like-minded young people and friendly competition makes The Tall Ships Races a favourite adventure activity.
Three Other Events
This year the organisers of The Tall Ships Races, Sail Training International, are also holding three other events that start in April and end in August, providing a full summer of sail training activities.
The first race of the year is the Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta, an event that is being arranged to mark the 150th anniversary of of Giuseppe Garibaldi’s successful expedition from Genoa on the north-west coast of Italy to Trapani on the north-west corner of Sicily in the south. The event will take place between 8-19 April and is sure to offer the participating Tall Ships an interesting and warm welcome to the Mediterranean.
The second event is the Historical Seas Tall Ships Regatta, which will take place between 9 May and 7 June and involve four ports new to hosting Tall Ships events. Each of the ports has its own charm and character that will ensure a new experience for ships and crews alike. The route will take the fleet through the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosphorus into the Black Sea and back through the Cyclades, visiting ports in Greece and Bulgaria as well as the exotic city of Istanbul.
After The Tall Ships Races in July and early August, the fleet are invited to take part in a final race of the season, the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta. This event will link The Tall Ships Races with Sail Amsterdam. The race will differ from other races run by Sail Training International in that the ships will be offered a number of waypoints around which they can navigate instead of going straight from the start to the finish. The race will be over six days – 11-17 August – and the ship that has covered the greatest distance in the six days, taking into account their time correction factor, will be declared the winner.
All four events will offer anyone with a sense of adventure a fantastic experience and many ships still have places available on each of the events.
A new race for sail training Tall Ships will be organised by Sail Training International next year. The North Sea Tall Ships Regatta 2010 will start in Hartlepool on the north west coast of England on 10 August and conclude in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 19 August where the fleet and trainee crews will join in the Sail Amsterdam festivities. (Sail Amsterdam has been held every five years since 1975 and attracts about 2.5 million visitors over five days).
“Welcoming the Tall Ships fleet and its trainee crew members to Sail Amsterdam will be a great bonus for our event,” says Daan Meijer, Director of Sail Amsterdam. “The ships will add to the spectacle in the harbour for the visiting crowds, and the young crews will add to the colour and atmosphere of the event as well as having the opportunity to enjoy what the festival has to offer,”
“Organising a race for sail training Tall Ships to a major festival like Sail Amsterdam is a new departure for us. We will seek out other opportunities for similar arrangements with festivals that are organised at times that do not conflict with our regular schedule of races and regattas,” says Nigel Rowe, President and Chairman of Sail Training International.
The North Sea Tall Ships Regatta will be fourth event in 2010 organised by Sail Training International. The Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta in April, from Genoa in northern Italy to Trapani in Sicily, celebrates the 200th anniversary of the unification of Italy. The Historical Seas Tall Ships Regatta, in May and early June, will be the first of what Sail Training International plans to be an annual series in the Mediterranean and adjacent seas. The regatta will start in Volos, Greece, and call at Varna, Bulgaria, and Istanbul, Turkey (European Capital of Culture 2010) before finishing in Lavrion, Greece. The Tall Ships Races, the traditional summer series event that began in 1956, starts in July in Antwerp, Belgium before calling at Aalborg, Denmark and Kristiansand, Norway and finishing in early August in Hartlepool prior to the start of the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta.
The first leg of this year’s epic Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge is set to start on Sunday 3 May and the Tall Ships taking part in the event are now in Vigo, Spain. The 7,000 mile odyssey around the North Atlantic will see a variety of Tall Ships from Europe, South America and the US competing in an event involving seven ports, five countries and hundreds of crew members.
While in Vigo, the ships’ crews are preparing for the first part of the adventure which will take the fleet south-west to Tenerife, where more ships will join the fleet ready for the transatlantic race to Bermuda. The race across the Atlantic will take between three and four weeks to complete, during which time the crews will have to take it in turns to be on watch, helm, navigate and get the best out of their vessel.
Every day during the race, each vessel will be contacted by race control to establish their positions as at 1400 hrs GMT. These positions will then be plotted onto a map allowing friends and relatives to follow the fleet as they progress across the Atlantic. The fleet tracking can be viewed on www.tallshipsraces.org <http://www.tallshipsraces.org> . The class positions of the vessels will also be available on the website.
When the fleet arrives in Bermuda they will form part of island’s 400th anniversary, an event that is sure to make history. From 12 to 15 June the Tall Ships can be seen in Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda, before leaving in a spectacular Parade of Sail on 15 June.
A third race will take the Tall Ships to Charleston, South Carolina, USA. There the ships will form part of the Charleston Harbor Fest from 25 to 29 June before departing for another race up the east coast of the USA to Boston, Massachusetts where they will join Sail Boston from 8 to 13 July. A short hop up the coast to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Canada where the Tall Ships Atlantic Fleet will gather from 16 to 20 July before departing for the second Atlantic crossing eastbound to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where they will have their final festival and prize giving from 13 to 16 August.
“This race series has been planned for a long time and we are delighted with the quality of the fleet, offering the opportunity to visit seven ports in one event,” said Bernard Heppener, the Chairman of the Race Committee. “The economic situation has meant some ships were unable to take part, but for those that are, the Challenge will provide their crews with an experience of a lifetime that will be unique and personal to each one.”
For the more adventurous, there is still time to sign up to sail on board one for one of the later races. No prior experience is necessary so as long as you have the spirit of adventure and a pair of deck shoes and shorts, you can be off to sunny climes. Imagine departing Bermuda on a Tall Ship surrounded by a flotilla of pleasure boats in the turquoise seas and racing to the southern charm of Charleston! Those with more time may like to experience the highs and lows of sailing across the Atlantic to Belfast on either a square rigged ship or one of the smaller and faster racing yachts that will be taking part.
More information on the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge can be found on www.tallshipsraces.org <http://www.tallshipsraces.org> where there will be regular updates, pictures and access to the fleet tracking.
Tall Ships can be seen in a number of ports this year as two big Tall Ships events take place over the summer. A total of 12 ports around Europe and the US will host Tall Ships events from April through to August with over 120 Tall Ships set to be involved.
The first Tall Ships event this year starts in Vigo, Spain from 30 April to 3 May which is the start port for the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge. This 7,000 mile odyssey around the North Atlantic will see a variety of Tall Ships from Europe, South America and the US competing in an event involving seven ports, five countries and hundreds of crew members. From Vigo the ships race to Tenerife in the Canaries where they will be from 14 to 17 May. The ships will then race westbound across the Atlantic, arriving in Bermuda to form part of their 400th anniversary, an event that is sure to make history. From 12 to 15 June the Tall Ships can be seen in Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda, before leaving in a spectacular Parade of Sail on 15 June. A third race will take the Tall Ships to Charleston, South Carolina, USA. There the ships will form part of the Charleston Harbor Fest from 25 to 29 June before departing for another race up the east coast of the USA to Boston, Massachusetts where they will join Sail Boston from 8 to 13 July. A short hop up the coast to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Canada where the Tall Ships Atlantic Fleet will gather from 16 to 20 July before departing for the second Atlantic crossing eastbound to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where they will have their final festival and prize giving from 13 to 16 August. For the more adventurous, there is still time to sign up to compete on board one of the ships. No prior experience is necessary so as long as you have the spirit of adventure and a pair of deck shoes and shorts, you can be off to sunny climes. Imagine departing Bermuda on a Tall Ship surrounded by a flotilla of pleasure boats in the turquoise seas and racing to the southern charm of Charleston! Those with more time may like to experience the highs and lows of sailing across the Atlantic on either a square rigged ship or one of the smaller and faster racing yachts that will be taking part. More information on the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge can be found on www.tallshipsraces.com/atlanticchallenge. Meanwhile in Europe, The Tall Ships’ Races will once again take place in July and August, this year around the Baltic Sea. Starting in the Polish port of Gdynia from 2 to 5 July, a huge Tall Ship fleet will gather for their annual series of races. From Gdynia the fleet of some 100 ships will race to the beautiful city of St Petersburg in Russia, where they will be berthed in the city centre from 11 to 14 July. From St Petersburg the fleet will cruise amongst the Finnish archipelago before arriving in Turku, a city surrounded by islands for festivities from 23 to 26 July. The final race will take the fleet south to Klaipeda in Lithuania, a beautifully located city that boasts miles of undiscovered sandy beaches, where the fleet will be alongside from 31 July to 3 August. Trainee crew members are still being sought by a range of Tall Ships to take part in this event. Further information can be found on www.tallshipsraces.com . Finally, Delfsail will offer a final chance for Tall Ships viewing as a fleet will gather in Delfzijl in the Netherlands from 22 to 26 August. Further information from www.delfsail.nl.
For further information any of these events, including more images, contact Corinne Hitching, Media Manager for Sail Training International.
Tel: +44 77641 83866,
A young student from Portsmouth is making plans to conquer her fear of open water by taking to the seas on a square rigged ship as part of the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge, which starts in May 2009.Along with 40 others, Jocelyn Smith, will be joining the Bulgarian tall ship Kaliakra in Vigo, Spain, before sailing to Tenerife and then across the Atlantic to Bermuda and then to Charleston in the States.
The eighteen year old is currently on work experience in Gloucestershire during her gap year before going to university to study mechanical engineering. Jocelyn has taken part in two Tall Ships’ Races before but realises the Atlantic Challenge will be something quite different.
“It’s not called a challenge for nothing so I’m well aware that it will be a life changing experience,” says Jocelyn. “But I want to take part to prove I can conquer my fears and see how far I can push myself. I realise it may be difficult at times but when I step ashore in Charleston after having sailed some 3,000 miles over two months I know I will have a sense of elation and achievement. This will be made all the more sweet as I have family in Charleston so arriving by ship will give me a great sense of pride.”
Jocelyn believes the experience will also stand her in good stead for her future. “Sailing on a tall ship requires good teamwork and self-determination and I believe this will be great preparation for study,” she says. “Not just because I will be meeting new people and living with them in close quarters, much like university, but because it will help me learn to motivate myself and others and that’s a great thing to learn in life.”
Kaliakra is just one of a dozen or so tall ships that will be racing across the Atlantic, arriving in Bermuda in time to coincide with the Island’s 400th anniversary. The Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge is to form a key part of the Bermuda celebrations and special first day cover stamps are to be issued, featuring some of the tall ships taking part.
Captain Toma Tomov will be the master of the 52m three masted barquentine Kaliakra for the epic voyage. Captain Tomov has many years experience of sailing the seven seas with his ship, including taking part in a past Atlantic Tall Ships race in 1992 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America when the ship came third of 143 participants.
“Kaliakra is one of the fastest and best looking tall ships in the world,” says Captain Tomov proudly. “She is owned by the Bulgarian Maritime Training Centre. We always have a wide range of different nationalities on board which creates a wonderful informal and fun atmosphere on board. We fully intend to race to win and so encourage others to come and join us. It will be a wonderful experience I guarantee!”
Jocelyn is hoping to get some sponsorship for her participation. “It is quite expensive to take part but I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” she says. “I would like to donate some money to Cancer Research UK but obviously the current economic climate doesn’t smile upon sponsoring people but we’ll see how much I can raise. Thankfully my employers are happy for me to take two months off and then I’ll still have a month or two before starting university.”
The youngster believes her parents are more worried about it than she is. “My mother didn’t even know Bulgaria had a coastline, but I think my father is secretly very jealous of my impending adventure. The longest I’ve ever been without seeing land is six days so to spend a couple of weeks at sea is going to be a whole new experience,” says Jocelyn.
The Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge is being organised by Sail Training International and the full race will go from Vigo in Spain (30 April – 3 May) to Tenerife (14-17 May), across the Atlantic to Bermuda (12-15 June) to Charleston in the USA (25-29 June) to Boston in the USA (8-13 July) to Halifax in Canada (16-20 July) and then back across the Atlantic to Belfast (13-16 August).
Ships from all over the world will be taking part in the event and anyone is invited to get on board and have an adventure of a lifetime. No experience is necessary so if you fancy joining Jocelyn and others visit the website and get planning your own challenge.
Four hundred delegates from 28 countries around the world converged on Halifax, Nova Scotia (14-15 November) for the International Sail Training and Tall Ships Conference 2008. Organised by Sail Training International in collaboration with the American Sail Training Association (the biggest of Sail Training International’s 25 member national organisations), the conference had an overall rating from delegates of close to ‘Excellent’. Sail training vessel operators from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and throughout both Europe and North America attended, along with representatives of host ports from Europe, the Caribbean and North America. The conference comprised a mix of plenary sessions for all delegates and an á la carte menu of 16 ‘focus group’ sessions. These covered a range of topics from dealing with the current ‘economic tsunami’ and navigating the regulatory seas, to recruiting trainees, the development of a successful sail training programme, and the ingredients of a successful Tall Ships event. The conference also included a session for the Sail Training International Youth Forum, attended by 40 young sail trainers from 15 countries. The Rt Hon Rodney MacDonald, Premier of Nova Scotia, opened the conference and a dramatic new two-minute film aimed at attracting young trainee crews to participate in Tall Ships events was premiéred. (This can now be seen on http://www.sailtraininginternational.org/page.asp?partid=959) It was also announced that Sail Training International’s Conference in 2009 will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, in November, one of the host ports for the Historical Seas Tall Ships Regatta, being held in 2010.
The Tall Ships’ Races fleet are currently enjoying a relaxing cruise in company from Maløy to Bergen in Norway. The fleet have had the opportunity to exchange crews on an informal basis if they wanted, which gives some of the cadets on ships such as Mir (Russia), Dar Mlodziezy (Poland) and Shabab Oman (Oman) to experience life on board one of the smaller vessels in the fleet.
The journey between Maløy and Bergen is a beautiful area with many small fjords and inlets to explore. A number of the vessels will be sailing together in order to raft up and enjoy informal BBQs in the long summer evenings.
Cuauhtemoc from Mexico chose to stop at the small town of Sandane for its first night. (Photo) where they moored up in the fjord before going ashore to explore the area. Other ports being visited over the coming days are: Nordfjordeid, Stryn, Olden, Kalvag, Florø, Naustdal, Askvoll, Bygstad, Balestrand, Skjolden, Flam/Gudvangen, Strusshamn and Fedje.
The fleet are due to arrive in Bergen on Saturday 9 August for the four days of festivities before the second race to Den Helder, Netherlands, which starts on 12 August.
The HMS Bounty is scheduled to visit, Tacoma, Port Alberni, San Francisco, Monterey, Channel Islands, San Diego and Los Angeles. The 9th of September she will depart from San Diego on a four week sail passage to Hawaii. After a 2 week layover at a few of the Hawaiian Islands she will return to San Diego and then onto the Galapagos Islands before heading back through the Panama Canal and home to St. Petersburg Florida arriving there in early January 2009.
An unusual and magnificent image of the US Coast Guard’s Eagle under full sail, taken by Thad Kozad on the 2nd of july. On Thad’s own words “I had chased EAGLE all over for thirty years, before seeing her under full sail 2 days ago !”.
Thad Kozad is the author of Tall Ships, the fleet for the 21st Century, currently on it’s fourth edition. The book is a complete guide to Tall Ships with hundreds of Thad’s best photographs and detailed descriptions.