TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Series Official Blog

Sea stories, scuttlebutt and fantastic photos covering America\’s official Tall Ships® Races!

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Blue Water Blogs: EUROPA

Posted by Tall Ships America on December 11, 2014

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Antarctica : the cold, almost mythical continent of glaciers and icebergs and penguins. It’s a land that has entranced Shackleton, Amundsen, Weddell, Scott and so many more. As Bark EUROPA spends the Antarctic summer sailing past Cape Horn, amongst the South Shetland Islands and along the Antarctic Peninsula, her crew and trainees share their journey to this remote world of ice and snow and rock. Below are excerpts from their logbook.

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26 November 2014 – SOUNDS by Sue (Trainee)

“Shios sounds: This is the second day on board the Europa for the first Antarctic voyage of the season. I am overwhelmed by how fortunate I am to be a part of this exceptional adventure and am going to attempt to put into words my experience so far. For whatever reason today, I have been attuned to the sounds on board. A picture may be worth a thous and words, but can’t quite capture the audio… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Blue Water Blogs | Leave a Comment »

Blue Water Blogs: Picton Castle

Posted by Tall Ships America on December 4, 2014

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Join PICTON CASTLE as her crew sails west across the Indian Ocean towards the Cape of Good Hope

Stunsails set. (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

November 13, 2014 – 18°44.1’’S x 077°08.6’’E (Bali, Indonesia to Reunion Island, France, Indian Ocean)
“Today’s afternoon workshop was on studdingsails or stunsl’s – the large sails set to windward of the foreyards on special booms in light airs; the history, the ships that carried them and how we rig up for and set stunsles in the PICTON CASTLE. If the wind stays consistently light, we might be able to rig them in the next day or two. Plenty breeze now though. To explain why that makes us so happy, here’s an archive shot of PICTON CASTLE taken in the Indian Ocean a few years ago with all stuns’ls set.  Pretty, no?”

November 14, 2014 – 18°49.6’S x 074°49.6’E (Bali, Indonesia to Rodrigues Island, Mauritius)
“The Captain gave an update on our passage so far this afternoon. He spoke about our anticipated ports of call at Rodriguez Island, part of Mauritus and described by Joseph Conrad as the ‘sugary pearl of the Indian Ocean’. Also La Renuion Island, another 500nm on from Rodriguez and a French Territory and thus in our imaginations source of endless croissants, baguettes, red wine and good cheese. Apparently the crème brulee there is unbeatable. Both islands sound very lovely but it’s also a little sad that we’re thinking about the end of this passage already, it seems to be going very quickly.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Blue Water Blogs, Guest Blogger, PICTON CASTLE | Leave a Comment »

Explore. Dream. Discover. Sail.

Posted by Tall Ships America on December 3, 2014

2015 Sail Training Opportunities Aboard U.S. Brig NIAGARA

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H. Jackson Brown, Jr., once wrote, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” This summer, sign on to adventure and sail away on the U.S. Brig NIAGARA!

College History Program 2015 – May 12, 2015 to June 2, 2015

Environmental Science Field School – June 10, 2015 to July 3, 2015

Exploring the Great Lakes – July 7, 2015 to July 21, 2015

NIAGARA Seamanship Training Program – Summer 2015 (Flexible Dates)

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For more information about NIAGARA’s sail training opportunities, please visit their website, call 814.452.2744 ext. 214 or email marineops@flagshipniagara.org.

Posted in 2015 | Leave a Comment »

Tuesday is about more than just tacos…

Posted by Tall Ships America on December 2, 2014

TODAY IS #GIVINGTUESDAY

Support our mission of sail training and education under sail and DONATE TODAY. Annual Appeal donations will be matched 2 to 1 through December 31, 2014.

tacos-homer

Tuesday is about more than just tacos. Celebrate #GIVINGTUESDAY with Tall Ships America and our member vessels today.

By making a donation to our annual appeal, you will be helping us to provide sail training scholarships for youth and to support education under sail.

Founded in 1973, American Sail Training Association, dba Tall Ships America, is a 501c 3 non-profit organization dedicated to enriching youth education through character building and leadership programs aboard tall ships. It is the hub for tall ships activity, expertise, and information in North America, and is commended by The United States Congress as the national Sail Training organization representing the United States in the international forum.

Tall Ships America supports the people, ships, and programs of sail training through grants, scholarships, conferences, education, publications, public events, and advocacy.

Tall Ships America organizes the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® annual series of tall ships races and maritime port festivals to celebrate our rich maritime heritage and traditions, and inform the general public about the transformative power of adventure and education under sail®.

When you support us, you support our programs, our members, and the important mission of sail training.

Make a difference today!

Posted in 2014, Annual Appeal | Leave a Comment »

Let’s Put a Smile On That Face!

Posted by Tall Ships America on November 26, 2014

Start Smiling! Now you can support sail training while you shop!

Photo Credit: everydayquote.com

Photo Credit: everydayquote.com

Register today and select ‘American Sail Training Association’ as your preferred organization.

For every purchase you make, AmazonSmile will donate a portion to Tall Ships America. Start shopping today!

Posted in 2014, Annual Appeal | Leave a Comment »

To Spain and Back

Posted by Tall Ships America on November 24, 2014

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A few weeks ago, Lori, Bert and I had the very exciting privilege to attend Sail Training International’s annual conference in A Coruña, a cosmopolitan port city in the northwest of Spain on the Atlantic Coast.  It was a bit of a slog to get there – drive three hours to JFK, red-eye to Madrid and then another hour and a half flight to A Coruña. But it was totally worth it for these views -

Into A Coruna

Into A Coruna

…And the chance to catch up with friends from across the pond who we get to see too infrequently.  This year’s STI conference was attended by about 300 people from all over the world. I quit complaining about our long flight after chatting with Murray from Australia whose initial flight alone was 23 hours. New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil and Canada were represented, while the remaining the attendees were from Europe. It was a great mix of young and old sail trainers. Session topics ranged from how to recruit trainees to satellite navigation and weather. Videos of all the sessions are available on the Sail Training International website. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Sail Training International, Tall Ship Events | Leave a Comment »

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday…and Giving Tuesday!

Posted by Tall Ships America on November 21, 2014

Black Friday is approaching in all its store-stampeding, child-trampling, gift-grabbing greedy glory. By the time Tuesday rolls around, most of the country has worked off their Thanksgiving gluttony with a daily exercise routine of pushing, shoving, and speed walking down aisles.

Photo Credit: Community Table

Photo Credit: Community Table

Regain some much-needed holiday karma by celebrating #GIVINGTUESDAY with Tall Ships America. By making a donation to our annual appeal, you will be helping us to provide sail training scholarships for youth and to support education under sail. Donations will be met 2 to 1 through December 31, 2014.

 

#GivingTuesday

Join Tall Ships America in supporting sail training and education under sail on #GivingTuesday (Photo Credit: Eliza Braunstein)

Founded in 1973, American Sail Training Association, dba Tall Ships America, is a 501c 3 non-profit organization dedicated to enriching youth education through character building and leadership programs aboard tall ships. It is the hub for tall ships activity, expertise, and information in North America, and is commended by The United States Congress as the national Sail Training organization representing the United States in the international forum.

Tall Ships America supports the people, ships, and programs of sail training through grants, scholarships, conferences, education, publications, public events, and advocacy.

Tall Ships America organizes the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® annual series of tall ships races and maritime port festivals to celebrate our rich maritime heritage and traditions, and inform the general public about the transformative power of adventure and education under sail®.

When you support us, you support our programs, our members, and the important mission of sail training.

Make a difference today!

Posted in 2014, Annual Appeal | Leave a Comment »

The Easiest Gift You Can Give This Year

Posted by Tall Ships America on November 20, 2014

This Holiday Season, support sail training while you shop!

AmazonSmile will donate a portion of your spendings to Tall Ships America.

Amazon Smile - Holiday Shopping

 Register today, select ‘American Sail Training Association’ as your preferred organization, and start shopping!

*       *       *       *       *       *       *

Founded in 1973, American Sail Training Association, dba Tall Ships America, is a 501c 3 non-profit organization dedicated to enriching youth education through character building and leadership programs aboard tall ships. It is the hub for tall ships activity, expertise, and information in North America, and is commended by The United States Congress as the national Sail Training organization representing the United States in the international forum.

Tall Ships America supports the people, ships, and programs of sail training through grants, scholarships, conferences, education, publications, public events, and advocacy.

Tall Ships America organizes the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® annual series of tall ships races and maritime port festivals to celebrate our rich maritime heritage and traditions, and inform the general public about the transformative power of adventure and education under sail®.

When you support us, you support our programs, our members, and the important mission of sail training.

Posted in 2014, Annual Appeal | Leave a Comment »

Blue Water Blogs: Picton Castle

Posted by Tall Ships America on November 12, 2014

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Join the PICTON CASTLE world-voyaging crew in Cape Town, South Africa, January 2015

The Barque PICTON CASTLE has been sailing the worlds’ oceans for nearly 20 years in the wake of the great square rigged ships of the Age of Sail. Her epic voyages have already inspired hundreds of people to come together to sail, to explore this salt water globe and to seek to learn all that a ship on the open ocean has to teach.

Our crew connect with people and places across the world. Transcending boundaries of geography, culture and race we return to villages where we have made friends, often bringing essential supplies, donated educational materials and medical care to some of the most remote and isolated communities on Earth. By working together we grow strong and learn to trust our shipmates and ourselves. By harnessing the power of the wind in our hand-stitched cotton sails we learn awareness and how to spot a problem before it arises. By watching the slowly processing stars on night watch, and the glorious ocean sunsets each evening, we learn to see the sublime in the every day. The things you learn aboard PICTON CASTLE, and the friendships you make aboard, last a lifetime.

Aboard the ship right now, sailing westwards across the Indian Ocean, we have an exceptional gang of men and women of all ages and all backgrounds, hailing from a dozen different countries and every corner of the globe; Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, USA, Tonga, Fiji, England and more. What brings them together is a commitment to experiencing a life at sea under sail, to the ship, her voyages; a down-to-Earth saltiness and a sense of adventure.

Now we are looking for the next generation of mariners to join our crew and write the next chapter of the PICTON CASTLE story. No sailing experience is necessary – it’s far more important to be a good shipmate, though you must be reasonably fit. More than anything you must want to join us on this adventure and want to see the world beyond your horizons.

Soon PICTON CASTLE will be rounding the Cape of Good Hope and entering the South Atlantic, there to sail up the coast of Africa and cross to the Caribbean calling at Grenada, Carriacou, Barbados and Dominica before heading north via Bermuda, to her homecoming in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. After three years voyaging westwards around the world, it’s set to be quite the celebration.

Join us in Cape Town, South Africa in January 2015 or in Cape Verde in March 2015. Sail with us as we cross the Atlantic Ocean, cross the equator and cruise the magical islands of the real Caribbean. We will be visiting friends we have made over the years, sailing our small boats in the crystal clear water and practicing beach landings on the perfect white sand. We’ll be sailing on and off the hook, tacking the ship about, climbing aloft and handling sails. We’ll learn sailmaking, rigging, small boat handling and celestial navigation, but first we’ll learn to sail our ship across oceans.

If you’ve never been afloat before, or if you already have one foot in the sea and want to advance into traditional seamanship, then now is the time. The world’s oceans and its trade winds are waiting, come join the adventure!

Cape Town to Cape Verde, Jan 3 to March 20: Cape Town, South Africa to Luderitz Namibia, St Helena UK, Dakar Senegal, Cape Verde Islands. Cape Verde to Lunenburg, March 20 to May 16: Cape Verde, transatlantic to the Eastern Caribbean: Grenada and the Grenadines, St Vincent, Bequia, Dominica, Martinique, and other islands of the Caribbean, Bermuda and Lunenburg.

 

Full moon last night (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Full moon last night (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Ship's cat Fiji helps John (USA) patch a sail (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Ship’s cat Fiji helps John (USA) patch a sail (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Bo's'un Erin lashing footrope on the fore upper topsail (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Bo’s’un Erin lashing footrope on the fore upper topsail (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

intro to celestial (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

intro to celestial (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Anne-Mette, Karoline, and Morton (All from Denmark) on the fo'c'sle head. (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Anne-Mette, Karoline, and Morton (All from Denmark) on the fo’c’sle head. (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Joe (Fiji) working on the starboard pinrail (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Joe (Fiji) working on the starboard pinrail (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Dkembe (Bermuda), Nikolaj (Denmark), and Anne-Mette (Denmark) take noon sights (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle

Dkembe (Bermuda), Nikolaj (Denmark), and Anne-Mette (Denmark) take noon sights (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the daily adventures of PICTON CASTLE as you prepare for your adventure

November 6, 2014 – 15°44.9’S x 092°44.5’’E (Bali, Indonesia to Reunion Island, France, Indian Ocean)
“It’s the final ditty bag workshop: splicing and serving the rope becket that serves as a handle, and tacking on the wooden base. Moon getting full and casting a shimmer on the seas at night.”

November 7, 2014 – 16°13.8’S x 090°22.0’’E (Bali, Indonesia to Reunion Island, France, Indian Ocean)
“No workshop today to give people more time to work on their ditty bags before we start celestial navigation tomorrow! We caught the first fish of this passage: a medium sized tuna.”

November 8, 2014 – 16°44.6’S x 088°03.5’’E (Bali, Indonesia to Reunion Island, France, Indian Ocean)
“Power shower today!  We rig the fire hose up in the main shrouds and everyone has a salt water scrub. Fun, refreshing in the heat, and it saves fresh water!”

November 9, 2014 – 17°09.8’S x 085°52.4’’E (Bali, Indonesia to Reunion Island, France, Indian Ocean)
“We’re more than half way to Reunion!  Marlinspike party this afternoon to celebrate.  Terry was a great DJ. Today’s cooks: Karoline, Elvira and Kurt did a great job: French toast, sausages, eggs and beans for breakfast, bean and lentil curry with home made naan bread for lunch and lasagna for supper.”

November 10, 2014 – 17°41.3’S x 083°10.6’’E (Bali, Indonesia to Reunion Island, France, Indian Ocean)
“Caught a huge wahoo on the fishing lines this afternoon, and Donald cooked it up for supper in a delicious spicy sauce, served with lentils, pumpkin and rice.  Yum.  We retarded the clocks last night and we’re now in the same time zone as Ekaterinburg, Russia. This is where the Tsar Nicholas II and family ended their days after the revolution.”

November 11, 2014 – 18°03.6’S x 080°47.0’’E (Bali, Indonesia to Reunion Island, France, Indian Ocean)
“Two more big wahoo on the lines today, Mark Russell and Dkembe reeled them in, Donald is happy.  Today’s afternoon workshop is on the use of stoppers to take the strain off a line.”

November 12, 2014 – 18°18.8’S x 078°52.2’’E (Bali, Indonesia to Reunion Island, France, Indian Ocean)
“Today’s afternoon workshop is on making ‘baggywrinkle’ – nothing to do with saggy old ladies, it’s the odd but traditional name for a large number of short pieces of rope yarn, hitched closely together onto a stretched line to make something that looks like a long, slightly fluffy snake.  It’s used by wrapping tightly round the stays to prevent chafe between the stay and sail.”

Learn more at www.picton-castle.com.

Posted in 2007 | Leave a Comment »

Intellectual Treasure – Close to Discovery?

Posted by Tall Ships America on November 12, 2014

Sometimes, treasure is hidden just out of sight. Such may be the case with the original HMS Endeavour, Captain Cook’s long lost ship, which maritime archeologists now believe to be buried in the silt of Newport Harbor. It is now believed that the famous ship was sold by the Royal Navy to a private party and later scuttled by British troops during the American Revolution, in an effort to defend the British-held city of Newport from the approaching French fleet. Described as “an intellectual treasure” by Dr. Kathy Abbass, the executive director of Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project, the discovery of HMS Endeavour‘s preserved timber frames – or perhaps more – off Newport, R.I. would be a significant find for maritime archaeologists.

Erin & Darlene sail nearby the hypothesized scuttle site of the original HMS Endeavour. (Photo Credit: Tall Ships America)

Erin & Darlene sail nearby the hypothesized scuttle site of the original HMS Endeavour. (Photo Credit: Tall Ships America)

To learn more about tall ships from the American Revolutionary era, follow Lafayette’s Hermione as she makes her debut voyage to the United States this summer for “LAFAYETTE’S Hermione Voyage 2015 in partnership with TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(R) Atlantic Coast 2015.”

Posted in 2014, Newport, RI | Leave a Comment »

 
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