Ocean State Tall Ships(R) is underway!
Posted by Erin on July 7, 2012
It has been a busy few days here in Newport. As we waved good-bye to the America’s Cup, we welcomed tall ships quickly took their place along the waterfront of Newport, Rhode Island.
On the Fourth of July, we had our annual fundraiser, Sparks and Bubbles, aboard the Bounty and Picton Castle who were berthed at Fort Adams. Over one hundred guests joined us as we had front row seats to the awesome fireworks display as we sipped our champagne (somebody had to do it!)
Ships began to arrive into Newport on Thursday and settled into their berths. Yesterday was the first day of the festival and the city was humming. I fully expect today to be another banner day. We have a huge footprint for the festival this year, so the Tall Ships America team and the Ocean State Tall Ships(R) organizers have been biking all over town. It’s been a blast as we skiddle past the traffic to get to our ships.
Yesterday morning our intrepid photographer, Jennifer, had the opportunity to go up in a small plane to take some aerial photographs of the ships. She said it was so cool and, looking at the photos, I believe it.
We have some new additions to the fleet here- Gazela, a 110 year old cod fishing boat based in Philadelphia is tied up at Bowen’s Wharf. The volunteers and crew have done a gorgeous job with repairs and renovations. She looks amazing for being over 100 years old!
Our local vessel Sloop Providence is back in the water at the Newport Shipyard after being on the hard for several years. She has a new owner, new crew and they are eager to get her out on the water and start sailing again.
The striking Tree of Life also has a new owner and they are berthed over with Providence as well.
Mystic Whaler from Connecticut I had never worked with before but what a gorgeous ship. The captain and crew are delightful, forever endearing me to them when they handed me a steaming cup of coffee early in the morning when things were looking bleak and caffeine-free. They have been hard at work doing sailaways (all sold out!) and look so good out there in the harbor.
We have our old favorites back in Newport as well – Peacemaker and Sir Martin 2 who joined us in Savannah and had such a good time decided to sail up the coast and join us in Newport. Pride of Baltimore II, Picton Castle, Summerwind, Unicorn, Bounty and Lynx are all on hand too. It wouldn’t be a TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) event without them!