TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Series Official Blog

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

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Full Circle

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 22, 2016

This year’s TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Series began and ended in Canada. On July 1, we welcomed the ships to the Redpath Waterfront Festival Toronto, presented by PortsToronto. On September 16th, the fleet arrived at Tall Ships® Brockville 2016.

Darlene and I had arrived Thursday, making sure to stop at Niagara Falls and Anchor Bar in Buffalo (the birthplace of buffalo wings) on our way into town. The Thousand Island region is a beautiful area to drive through and I wish we had more time to explore the castles which seem to dot the area with some frequency.

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Friday dawned crisp, with a hint of fall in the air. Black Jack, Empire Sandy, Fair Jeanne, El Galeon, Mist of Avalon, Pride of Baltimore II, St. Lawrence II, and When and If, all participated in the parade of sail. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tall Ship City

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 13, 2016

Tall Ships(r) Erie 2016 started out with a joke. A local blog wrote an article about a cannon fire accident which deflated the large rubber duck that was supposed to be featured at the event. Most people didn’t catch that it was a written by a satirical news outlet. Combine that with the fact the duck couldn’t participate in the Parade of Sail because of the high winds…well, there were some confused public. We surprisingly spent a lot of time explaining that the duck was fully functioning and Niagara did not shoot it (nor do they actually have cannon balls in their cannons).  It was one of the funnier things to happen this summer. And that’s when I knew that Tall Ships(R) Erie was going to be a great event.

Fully inflated with no cannon ball holes

Fully inflated with no cannon ball holes

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2016, NIAGARA, Races | 1 Comment »

It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about Fair Jeanne

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 13, 2016

We’re featuring our fleet of vessels that you can see, hear, and touch when they come to your host city this summer as part of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes 2016 Race Series.

Courtesy of Bytown Brigantine

Courtesy of Bytown Brigantine

Where you’ll find her

Ottawa, ON. This summer Fair Jeanne will be in the following TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® ports: Redpath Waterfront Festival Toronto, presented by PortsToronto;  Tall Ship Celebration: Bay CityTall Ships® Brockville

Fun Facts

Designed and built in 1982 by the late Captain Thomas G. Fuller, who was one of  Canada’s most decorated WWII naval war heroes, earning the name “Pirate of the Adriatic”.

The Backstory
Originally sailed as a private yacht, Fair Jeanne is now in service as a sail training vessel for Bytown Brigantine, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering leadership, confidence, and self reliance in youth through the adventure of square-rig sailing.  During the summer months, she provides voyages for youth 13-19 years old and is also a floating high school.

Who Sails

http://www.tallshipsadventure.org/

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Posted in #tallshipstuesday, Bay City, MI, Toronto | Leave a Comment »

Picton Castle Bosun School

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 7, 2016

2016 Bosun School Poster 2

 

 

This fall, at the Bosun School session scheduled, we will be using Picton Castle to teach and practise a large range of critical rigging techniques, sailmaking and wooden boat building. Also we will be taking advantage of our large wooden boat collection of dories, longboats, skiffs, sloops, cutters and small schooners to teach and get lots of practice in small boat handling here in Lunenburg Harbour. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2016, Member Programs, PICTON CASTLE | Leave a Comment »

It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about Mist of Avalon

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 6, 2016

We’re featuring our fleet of vessels that you can see, hear, and touch when they come to your host city this summer as part of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes 2016 Race Series.

 

Mist of Avalon

Mist of Avalon

 

Where you’ll find the ship

Toronto, ON.  This summer Mist of Avalon will be in the following TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® ports: Tall Ships® Fairport Harbor; Tall Ship Celebration: Bay City; Pepsi® Tall Ships® Chicago 2016; Tall Ships® Duluth 2016; Tall Ships® Erie 2016; Tall Ships® Brockville

Fun Facts

She has a wood burning stove below decks (!)

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The Quick Backstory
Launched in 1967, she spent twenty years fishing for cod in the North Atlantic. Abandoned at a Halifax pier, she was bought and converted into a 19th century Grand Banks schooner.

Who Sails
Individuals of all ages

www.mistofavalon.org

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Posted in #tallshipstuesday, 2016, Toronto | 2 Comments »

Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 2, 2016

at the dock and day sail w logo

It’s been over a week since the ships sailed out of Duluth and I said goodbye to our summer interns. Ben headed back to college and George sailed away on When & If . Tomorrow is September 3 and all I hear around Tall Ships America HQ is, “Where did August go?!” But not so fast, we still have three more festivals (Festival of Sail Sandusky, Tall Ships® Erie, and Tall Ships® Brockville)  and summer doesn’t officially end until September 22nd. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2016, Duluth, Internship Program, Races | Leave a Comment »

A long history

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 1, 2016

Erie's own U.S. Brig Niagara heads out to the final race of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) Race Series. Erie Insurance is the Official Race Sponsor

Erie’s own U.S. Brig Niagara heads out to the final race of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) Race Series. Erie Insurance is the Official Race Sponsor

While our history with Erie Insurance, Official Race Sponsor of  TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes 2016,  is relatively new, the relationship between insurance companies and tall ships is anything but recent. Marine insurance is the earliest well-developed type of insurance . Erie Insurance wrote a blog post, with photos, about this very subject.

Read on for a quick history lesson, and you can see history come to life next weekend when the ships arrive at Tall Ships® Erie 8-11 September.

Slideshow: Ships and Insurance Go Way Back

 

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Posted in 2016, NIAGARA, Races | Leave a Comment »

Race Updates from the Lakes: Part Deux

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 31, 2016

1st and 2nd place_logo

Last Monday, we started the final race of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) Race Series outside of Duluth, MN. The race across Lake Superior had some of the best sailing of the season and the results will be announced at Tall Ships® Erie next week.

Here are the latest standings (you can read the first update here)

Lake Huron – Race Three
Participants – Appledore IV, Denis Sullivan, Niagara, Playfair, Pride of Baltimore II
Winners (on corrected time!)

Third Place – Niagara

Third Place, 3rd Race - Niagara

Third Place, Niagara

Second Place – Playfair

Second place, Playfair

Second place, Playfair

First Place – Pride of Baltimore II

First place, Pride of Baltimore II

First place, Pride of Baltimore II

 

Lake Michigan – Race Four
Thank you to the Chicago Yacht Club for their help at the race start!

Participants – Appledore IV, Denis Sullivan, Niagara, Playfair, Pride of Baltimore II, When & If
Winners

Third Place – Appledore IV

Appledore IV

Appledore IV

Second Place – Pride of Baltimore II

Pride of Baltimore II

Pride of Baltimore II

First Place – When & If

When & If

When & If

Lake Superior – Race Five
Winners to be announced next week! Captain Jan Miles of Pride of Baltimore II wrote about the sailing across Lake Superior on his Captain’s Log

 

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Posted in 2016, Chicago, IL, Green Bay, WI, Races | Leave a Comment »

It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about Empire Sandy

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 30, 2016

empiresandysailingbywestonharbourcastle2015

#TALLSHIPSTUESDAY is back, y’all! After a brief hiatus, we return just in time for the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes Race Series. These next few months will feature our fleet of vessels that you can see, hear, and touch when they come to your host city this summer. Let’s do this!

EMPIRE SANDY

Where you’ll find the ship
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This summer she will be at Tall Ships® Brockville

Fun Facts
The Empire Sandy was laid down in the shipyard of Clelands (Successors), Willington Quay-on-Tyne England on Dec 22, 1942. She was built as an Englishman/Larch class Deep Sea Tug with the added provision for mounting two Hotchkiss Anti-Aircraft guns. She was completed and went into service on July 14, 1943. Her first voyage commenced July30th sailing in convoy to Iceland. Voyages were usually done in convoys for protection against the German U-Boats. The Empire Sandy sailed in a total of sixteen convoys to her destinations.

She served in the North Atlantic from Iceland to Sierra Leone, the Mediterranean Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.

The backstory (tell me more!)
The 200-foot topsail schooner the Empire Sandy is Canada’s largest schooner. Built in 1943, she sails with 11,000 square free of canvas and has double cannons that are fired at special times. Sails are hoisted as the tall ship departs and the wind is harnessed to propel the 740 ton vessel along Toronto’s scenic waterfront. Wide expansive decks and wood paneled dining areas set the tone for a comfortable, exhilarating experience. Empire Sandy has hosted a variety of small and large groups including weddings, corporate events, dinner dance events canal tours and more. Moored at the foot of Spadina Avenue at Queens Quay’s is also certified for out of town trips.

Who Sails
All ages

http://www.empiresandy.com/

 

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Posted in #tallshipstuesday, 2016, Toronto | Leave a Comment »

Be prepared

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 24, 2016

Photo by George

Photo by George

By Intern George

I learned to tie my shoes at a young age and can do this quickly with my eyes shut because it is a mechanical ability that I can never forget because I use it everyday.  If you’re not an avid sailor it seems as if there are thousands of knots to learn, along with the importance of knowing how to tie and use all kinds of knots.

When you look at a tall ship, there are lines (rope) everywhere.  Knots are used to control the various lines, control the sails, raising and lowering the anchors, holding down rigging, docking, and many more jobs. I knew that using the wrong knot could cause problems.

I found out the hard way that I was a hindrance to the crew. It’s not that I don’t have the passion to learn to be a good sailor and be an important part of the crew, or had the assistance from experienced crew. It’s that I lacked the knowledge of knots and the years of practice to get my muscle memory to kick in to tie these knots with blind composure.

An important tip that I can give you if you plan to set off on a sailing adventure is to get a few knots under your belt months before you set off. I had bought a book of knots for my trip thinking that I would learn and practice on the job. In my ignorance I became an albatross to the crew and an embarrassment to myself.

So remember, don’t overlook the importance of the most common thing: tying knots is a very significant sailing skill. Learning to tie a few basic sailor knots and practice them until you can do them with your eyes closed. Knots will keep you safe and secure on your adventure.

George is sailing aboard When & If, on his way to Marquette. He then heads home to Chicago. Ben is already back in New York City and leaves for college tomorrow. It’s hard to believe the interns are back on shore already!

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