Spring Has Sprung
Posted by Erin on April 18, 2013
We know it is Spring around Tall Ships America HQ when the invites to our annual “DC Reception” in the US Capitol Building go out in the mail. Every year, we host a gathering of politicians, naval attaches, board members, port partners, and supporters to talk about sail training, tall ships and the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE®.
Last Tuesday, honorary host Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) spoke to attendees in the Lyndon B. Johnson Room, along with Congressman Rick Nolan (MN), Mike Kelly (PA), and Congresswoman Janice Hahn (CA). We had a great showing of Rhode Island representatives with both Congressmen David Cicilline (former mayor of Providence, heyoo) and Jim Langevin making an appearance.
Meanwhile, we had a nice turnout of naval attaches with representatives from Ecuador, Russia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Argentina, Spain and Mexico. It is always great to talk to them about their tall ships and how much fun those vessels are to have in the fleet (I’m looking at you Dewaruci!). Since we’ve had these receptions for the past few years and many of the attache’s stay in DC for about three years, we get to see some familiar faces. They are always so delightful and charming with such obvious pride in their tall ships.
The day after the reception, we had scheduled meetings with other naval attaches and spent the day going from embassy to embassy talking about TSC future events and drinking lots of coffee. It is always so interesting to see the different embassies. Romania is just off Dupont Circle and is an old, historic home with elaborately carved woodwork, while France is located by Georgetown University and has very 1960s architecture. Meanwhile, Portugal was a blend of the two, it in a gorgeous mansion but the inside was super modern.
Washington, DC is one of my favorite cities and this year we timed our trip perfectly to take advantage of the balmy spring weather and do some cherry blossom petal peeping.
While the reception is a quick two hours, the relationships we cultivate, especially among the international fleet, are what help us make the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® a success on every coast.