Lookin’ good from the top of the bridge
Posted by Erin on July 10, 2012
Last night at the wonderful volunteer thank you party, sponsored by Newport Grand, there were smiles all around on tired, tan faces. As volunteers, ship liaisons, and port organizers were basking in the glow of a job well done, we couldn’t help but reflect on how quickly the time went from that first volunteer training session so many weeks ago. An event of this size demands a large volunteer contingent and Newport came through in spades. All the applause, compliments and praise was well deserved.
I was still getting my land legs back after spending the afternoon on the water as part of the Parade Command, taking direction and advising Patti on the Newport Bridge of what was happening out on the harbor. Jennifer and I were having the time of our lives surrounded by the ships and taking photos. It was a perfect way to end the Ocean State Tall Ships(r) festival.
One of the several perks of being part of the parade control is that you can listen to all the chatter on the radio, it is always entertaining. The funniest thing we heard while on the water was when we were waiting for ships to get to the muster area out by Castle Hill. Patti was doing a radio check and checking in with each ship individually. We couldn’t raise HMS Bounty on the radio at first during the staging process. After one attempt, an escort boat chimes in, “Maybe there was a mutiny on board”. You could hear the laughter across the water.
The weather gods were with us yesterday for the Parade of Sail, there was a light wind to fill the sails, the sky was blue and the light was perfect. Our intrepid photographer Jennifer shot over 400 photos during our three hours on the water. Newport Harbor seemed to have been beamed back in time as these square riggers majestically made their way up the East Passage, under the Newport Bridge, and up to Gould Island then out to sea. We were right in the middle of everything, waving goodbye to tall ship friends. Our summer intern Deborah was all smiles as she hauled away on lines aboard Unicorn, her ship of choice for the sail up to Halifax, and Jennifer’s daughter looked thrilled to be part of the Pride of Baltimore II crew.
Being out the water was the perfect end to the Ocean State Tall Ships(R) festival. It is so hard to believe that our final host port of Halifax is coming up next week. We have the ships doing a sprint out of Newport and then along the coast of Nova Scotia into Halifax Harbor where awards will be handed out at the crew party (our last one of the season, sniff!). Halifax always does a wonderful job with their events and we are so lucky to be able to work so many talented people all throughout the summer. Be sure to check out Jennifer’s photos on Flickr Fair Winds TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) fleet – See you in Halifax!