And like that, they were gone
Posted by Erin on July 26, 2012
Walking the Halifax waterfront after the ships had left Monday, there was something different (besides the obvious). Dar was the first to figure it out, it was quiet. For the past five days, we had been surrounded by music – buskers with their guitars, little old ladies with their spoons, raucously loud bands playing rock and roll, Irish music in the bars, and bagpipers on every corner. Now, with the crowds dispersing and the ships headed to the outports, it was another quiet Monday afternoon along the waterfront.
Monday morning was spent packing up our office and saying goodbye to friends. Most of the ships we will see next year in the Great Lakes and there will be many familiar faces among the crew. Others, we see throughout the year, at our various meetings and our annual conference (details to be announced soon!). But still, the end of our summer series always seems so final.
Once the ships began to get underway to join up in the Parade of Sail, Dar and I hopped on one of the media boats and spent two hours in the middle of a pack of photographers laughing hysterically (those guys are funny!) and answering thier questions about the tall ships. A few hours later, I was sitting in the Philly airport, an hour away from home trying to wrap my head around the fact that my summer series was over.
But what an adventure we had in Halifax! Sunday night we were treated to a spectacular display of military performers as part of the War of 1812 celebration up at the Halifax Citadel. Cannons were fired, there was marching, drumming, piping, and bagpiping. It was such a cool experience to have while sitting on the parade grounds of an historic fort. Our ears ringing from the final fireworks display, we staggered down the hill to the waterfront and I couldn’t help but pause to take in my last night in my last port and all the ships lit up along the waterfront. Halifax looked amazing.
The day of the Parade of Sail dawned bright and clear. By the time the parade started there were thousands of people lining the waterfront, ready to watch some ships sail by. It was a beautiful day on the water and, as the ships made the turn to sail past downtown Halifax, their sails filled and we got some great shots (the media boat was thrilled). Because the wind was behind them, most of the ships started to pick up speed and soon, the ships were just dots on the horizon. Most of the tall ships are in outports this weekend so for them, their summer continues on for a while yet. Patti and I are already planning for 2013 which, as always with these events, comes even faster than you think!
However, before we move onto the Great Lakes, we had a pretty awesome summer along the Atlantic Coast. We had brand new vessels join our fleet (Peacemaker, Sir Martin II, Summerwind), old friends we hadn’t seen for a while joined the fun (Gazela, Providence, Mystic Whaler, Tree of Life, Bowdoin, Sorca, Alliance), even a ship raised from watery depths (Larinda). Our foreign vessels brought a bit of excitement to the fleet (and the most enthusiastic crew I have ever experienced), La Belle Poule, Etoile and Dewaruci.
We have a wonderful core group of vessels that we have worked with for several years, and every year, I look forward to having them as part of the fleet since their professionalism, enthusiasm and passion for sail training, reminds me as to why I love the tall ships community- Thank you Pride of Baltimore II, Lynx, Bounty, Eagle, Picton Castle, Roseway, Appledore V, Unicorn.
It is hard to believe Savannah was over two months ago. We kicked off the summer series with an event that set the tone for the rest of the season (man, that Southern Hospitality is a force to be reckoned with) and raced up the coast to the Village of Greenport. I find these small events in the smaller towns bring out such an amazing amount community involvement. Where else can you go and see the mayor perform with his band at the local watering hole? A delightful piece of Long Island. We loved Greenport. We then hosted the ships in our hometown of Newport and finally, to our anchor port of Halifax, one of my favorite places to visit the tall ships. Thank you to all of our port partners, tireless volunteers and devoted liaison officers- Until 2015, Fair Winds!