TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Series Official Blog

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

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Blue Skies and Blue Angels

Posted by Tall Ships America on April 17, 2018

Photo B Holmen

It was a picture perfect evening in Pensacola. Crowds of people milled about in the fading light, waiting for their arrival. A helicopter hovered nearby. Then, a low roar in the distance and the crowd started to cheer as the Blue Angels screamed through the sky overhead and towards the horizon, perfectly in formation. It was my first time seeing the Blue Angels perform and, I have to say, it was pretty cool. Even people who see them regularly (they practice nearby) were yelling and whistling like it was their first time. It was a performance that capped off a very special, and very busy, weekend in Pensacola.

Photo B Holmen

Tall Ships® Pensacola ended Sunday and the tall ships are on their way up the Mississippi River to Tall Ships® New Orleans (you can track them here). This was not the first time Pensacola has hosted a tall ship, but it was the first time they had hosted a whole fleet of vessels. Oosterschelde, Picton Castle, Elissa and Oliver Hazard Perry were our boarding vessels and the visitors came down to Plaza del Luna by the thousands. Our two day sail vessels were constantly sailing in and out of their dock, to the delight of the crowds. It’s one thing to board the vessels while they are at the dock, it’s another to see the ship in action – sails full of wind, captain at the helm giving orders and, of course, the cannons. Lynx always obliged the crowds with their cannon fire. I could actually hear them ten blocks away!

 

Lynx fires her cannon Photo J Rogers

 

Intern James had the opportunity to go sailing on When and If  and it looked like a beautiful afternoon to be out on the water. Lucky intern….

Looking at Lynx from When and If
Photo J Rogers

All too quickly, it was time to hit the road. We left town yesterday morning and, by the afternoon, were in New Orleans. It’s hard to believe that after two years of planning for this Gulf Coast series, we are here. From New Orleans, Lynx, When and If, and Oliver Hazard Perry will continue up the Atlantic Coast and we will see them again at Sail Philadelphia over Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-28. Until then, laissez les bon temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)

 

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Posted in 2018, Internship Program, New Orleans, Pensacola | Leave a Comment »

Tall Ships® Pensacola Day 1

Posted by Tall Ships America on April 14, 2018

Parade Pensacola

By James

It was a long three-day passage from Galveston to Pensacola. For the first two days, the weather was consistently rainy with rough seas. The deck of Picton Castle was soaked with ocean spray at any given time. Unfortunately the meant that nearly half the people on board were battling seasickness. Thankfully, the weather cleared up by Wednesday afternoon, and left us with perfect sailing conditions for yesterday’s Parade of Sail into Pensacola.

The parade itself went handsomely, with Picton Castle leading the procession, followed by Oosterschelde, Elissa, Oliver Hazard Perry, and When and If. Lynx was delayed on the way into Pensacola due to weather but the fleet put on a fantastic show for the parade. By my count, the parade was joined by hundreds of local boats and even a pod of dolphins!

dolphins in the headrig

Everyone aboard, especially our resident New Orleans Maritime & Military Aacademy trainees, couldn’t wait to make landfall. Everyone aboard Picton was tired and covered dirt from hard work under the sun, so showers were a DEFINITE priority for all.

Now, Tall Ships® Pensacola is geared up and in full swing under the bright blue skies. The ships have drawn families from all over the southeast to come get a small taste of history. All the staff members, myself included, have been working hard through their  different, trying to keep things running smooth and as organized as possible. all in all, its a great day for a tall ships’ festival, and I cant wait to see what tomorrow brings!

lines OHP

 

Posted in 2018, Internship Program, Pensacola, PICTON CASTLE | Leave a Comment »

Tall Ships Galveston Day 4

Posted by Tall Ships America on April 8, 2018

Sunday, April 8, 2018

by James Rogers

As Tall Ships® Galveston comes to a close, I get a distinct feeling of anticipation from the crew members. Galveston has been more than accommodating, but the ships are eager to set sail. Myself included! I moved into a tiny bunk the Barque Picton Castle’s Fo’c’sle and I cannot wait to get underway.

Despite everyone’s state of exhaustion, or perhaps as the cause of it, The Galveston Historical Foundation threw a social function on Elissa’s Pier 21, which later became an impromptu social gathering aboard the Dutch topsail schooner Oosterschelde. All in all, people seem very satisfied with the hospitality shown by GHF and the ships in general, seen in the photos below.

 

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A line of partygoers forms at the buffet table

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Local band “Kickin’ it Dixie” provides a great show for everyone

 

Posted in 2018, Galveston, TX | Leave a Comment »

Tall Ships in Texas!

Posted by Tall Ships America on April 6, 2018

Friday, April 6th, 2018

It’s beautiful weather here in Galveston, Texas for the first ever TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Gulf Coast Race Series! Crew members and event staff alike are all super excited to be here. We could not have asked for better weather for yesterday’s Parade of Sail. I watched some superb seamanship from the deck of Galveston’s own historic Tall Ship, Elissa. What a show! I especially enjoyed seeing Lynx, a square topsail schooner, set her split course sail from her lower yard. She might as well have been a brigantine! I got some exceptional photos – see below

 

 

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Elissa volunteer crew members unfurling the fore topsails

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From left to right: Oliver Hazard Perry, When and If, Lynx

Towards the end of the parade, the sun finally hid behind the clouds, but not before leaving me with a quality sunburn. As the sky darkened, the waves grew longer, and the ships began to come into port. We were very lucky the weather never got worse than a few raindrops here and there. After a long day of fair winds and great sailing, Elissa finished with masterful docking maneuvers, and we ended the day at a party for the ship’s crew members.

Today has been non-stop activity, since before the festival even kicked off. It has been a constant scramble to get video’s for social media, or lug boxes of Tall Ships America directories to the ships, among other things, but it wouldn’t be a tall ships festival without a bit of running around. All in all, everyone is looking forward to the inevitable success of Tall Ships® Galveston, and what that means for Sail Training – building awareness and helping to build community. That’s all from me for today, but you can follow the event news on your own at http://www.galvestonhistory.org/events/tall-ships-galveston-2.

-James Rogers

 

Posted in 2018, Galveston, LYNX, PICTON CASTLE, TX | Leave a Comment »

USCGC Eagle Opportunity Fall 2018

Posted by Tall Ships America on March 23, 2018

Eagle

EAGLE – Parade of Sail in Halifax 2012

 

Enjoy the unique opportunity for Tall Ships America Members to advance their professional training, qualifications, skills, and credentials in a sail training program aboard America’s Tall Ship. Restrictions apply. Applicants will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Voyage : 23 September, 2018 – 4 October, 2018     5-6 spots available
Depart: Coast Guard Yard, Baltimore, MD

Arrive: Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD

Experienced tall ships sailors are invited to join the ship on a voyage 23 September to 04 October.

During this run, sailors will join Coast Guard crew and officer trainees. Participants will embark on Saturday, September 22nd,  at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, MD. EAGLE will sail out of the Chesapeak Bay into the Atlantic for some off-shore sailing.  EAGLE will sail back to Baltimore for arrival on Thursday, October 4th.

These opportunities are open to new applicants only. Applicants must be current Tall Ships America members between 18 and 50 years of age and should be experienced mariners interested in professional development. Be advised that berthing is in the trainee accommodations.

This experience will be a great resume-enhancer and tonnage-time booster! Applications must be received no later than 2 July at 1700 EDT.

See below for program and application details.

Program Details:

1.)You must be at least 18 years old and not more than 50 years old.

2.) You must be fit, willing and able to work aloft. You must pass a medical clearance.

3.) You must be a U.S. Citizen.

4.) You will be full a participant, along with the USCG trainees, in the operation of the ship: standing watch, helm, lookout, bridge, maintenance, working aloft, galley and all other regular trainee duties.

5.) You are welcome and STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to attend training classes with the USCG trainees.

6.) The ideal candidate is an experienced, rising sail training practitioner. This program is not for “Old Salts”, and it is not for first-timers.

7.) Upon successful completion of the program, EAGLE will issue to you (if you request it) a letter of Sea Service or other formal documentation of your sea service in EAGLE.
8.) Participants must pay $12/day for food and expenses, etc.
9.) Participants will write a post voyage blog post and share pictures with Tall Ships America to share with their members.

Application Details:

1.) All applications must be submitted electronically to Tall Ships America at erin@tallshipsamerica.org.

2.) You must be a Tall Ships America member in good standing to apply. Not a member? Become one now!

3.) Applications must include the following:

a.) Resume of your traditional ship experience, as crew or as trainee

b.) Letter of recommendation from your current (or most recent) Captain or First Mate

c.) Welcome packet with Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement and Guest Medical Forms will be provided to accepted applicants

 

This opportunity is available to you based on the mutual regard and respect that is shared between the EAGLE leadership and Tall Ships America, and in support of our shared mission in promoting leadership training under sail. This is truly a rare and special opportunity, and we are very happy to be able make it available to you, the up-and-coming next generation of sail training officers and crew.

We expect that all participants in this program will work hard and do their best to uphold the excellent relations that exist between EAGLE and the civilian sail training community, and in all ways observe and respect the policies, procedures, and rules of comportment as established aboard EAGLE.

 

Posted in 2018, USCG | Leave a Comment »

Gallivanting around Galveston

Posted by Tall Ships America on October 19, 2017

It finally happened. I have walked the decks of the tall ship Elissa in Galveston, Texas.

Over the past ten years, Galveston and Elissa had become my white whale. This iconic ship, the starting place of hundreds  of tall ship sailors, with a volunteer program that is the gold standard within the industry and which many other organizations have used as a blueprint for their own, combined with a storied history, had been on my bucket list. And now, with Galveston as the kick off to our TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) 2018 Gulf Coast Race Series, I was able to cross Elissa off my list.

This is not me but it is how I felt on the inside.

Patti and I flew to Galveston recently to head up the 2018 Port Planning meeting. Next April, for the first time ever, three ports will host the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) Race Series.

The series kicks off in Galveston, Texas for April 5-8, then the fleet will race to Pensacola, Florida for April 12-15. The third portof the series in New Orleans, April 19-22, and will celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Big Easy.

 

She even has her own beer!

 

 

Posted in 2018, TX | 2 Comments »

48 Hours in Quebec City

Posted by Tall Ships America on July 28, 2017

Quebec rest stops are the best. Gas? Check. Water? Check. Mini dinosaur park? CHECK!!!

 

Last Wednesday, Darlene and I road tripped up to Quebec City to see the Canada 150 festivities that we had been hearing about for so long, and to see some tall ship friends. Also, Quebec City is so pretty, especially in the summer. This was the view from our hotel room. It was OK if you like looking out on historic buildings and charming streets-

 

Hideous photo by Darlene

Forty ships sailed into Quebec City and were berthed along the waterfront. Our Rendez-Vous fleet was joined by Great Lakes tall ships including U.S. Brig Niagara, Denis Sullivan, Appledore V, Black Jack, Empire Sandy, Fair Jeanne, Pathfinder and Playfair, Mist of Avalon, and St. Lawrence II. Normally, we only get to see these Great Lakes ships every three years, so having the gang back together in Quebec City was particularly fun.  Not only that, but the Rendez-Vous fleet brought ships into the St. Lawrence River that don’t normally (if ever) come this far into the Great Lakes (or, rather, the St. Lawrence). As you can imagine, there was a lot of nerding out among the crew as they clamored all over each other’s ships and proudly showed each other around.

Thursday was the crew parade and awards ceremony for the race from Boston to Canada. Thousands of people lined the streets as the crew marched through Old Quebec. Three words – Maple. Leaf. Onesie.

Photo by Darlene

Black Jack

Niagara crew

 

US Awards recipients L-R
Geronimo -1st in Class C/D
EAGLE – 2nd in Class A

 

Spirit of South Carolina – 3rd in Class B

All too soon, it was time to drive home. Darlene and I had a whirlwind of a time in Quebec City and, based on what we saw, the ships did too. This weekend, the ships will be in Halifax, Nova Scotia, two-time winner of Tall Ships America’s Port of the Year award, and one of my  favorite ports. From there, they will race to Le Havre, France, the final port of Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships(R) Regatta.

Our host ports welcomed ships from all over the world with open arms. People came down to the water by the thousands to see these ships and walk their decks. A lucky few even got to sail aboard (there is still time and berths are available!). It was a summer of new friends and new experiences, and we can’t wait to do it again.

Admit it Paul, you and the Sail Training International team are going to miss us.

 

 

Posted in 2017, APPLEDORE V, NIAGARA, Sail Training International | Leave a Comment »

We rendez-vous’d and you can too

Posted by Tall Ships America on June 29, 2017

Gulden Leeuw (Netherlands) celebrates their 3rd place in the Class A race from Bermuda at the Crew Parade in Boston

It’s funny. It doesn’t matter how many ports we have lined up for the summer, it always feels like it went by way too fast. This summer was no exception. Just last month, we welcomed a fleet of ships to Charleston and it was only last week that we waved goodbye from Boston. In between, I had the opportunity to spend a week in Bermuda and next month, Darlene and I are road-tripping our way to Quebec City for the final send off before the ships sail back to Europe as part of the Rendez-vous  2017 Tall Ships® Regatta.

But first, we begin in Charleston where Tall Ships® Charleston welcomed an international fleet of vessels. Ships represented Argentina, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, and the states of South Carolina, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, and Florida. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2017, Boston, MA, PICTON CASTLE, Sail Training International, USCG | Leave a Comment »

Sail on EAGLE this summer!

Posted by Tall Ships America on May 25, 2017

USCGC Eagle. Photo Credit: Thad Koza

Two opportunities to sail aboard EAGLE this summer!

Enjoy two unique opportunities for Tall Ships America Members to advance their professional training, qualifications, skills, and credentials in a sail training program aboard America’s Tall Ship. Restrictions apply. Applicants will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Voyage 1: 07-18 August      4 spots available
07-11 August: Portland, ME to New York City
14-18 August: New York City to Coast Guard Yard, Baltimore, MD

Experienced tall ships sailors are invited to join the ship on a voyage 07 – 18 August.

During this run, sailors will join Coast Guard crew and cadets. Participants will embark on Sunday, August 6th,  in Portland, Maine. This leg is with Coast Guard swabs and will include basic seamanship. EAGLE will moor in New York, New York on Friday, August 11th.  EAGLE will depart New York City on Monday, August 14th and sail back to the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, MD for arrival on Friday, August 18th.  The second leg is a crew only patrol, but will have some other guests aboard. There will be sailing and it does include a transit up the Chesapeake Bay. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2017, Member Programs, USCG | Leave a Comment »

Game on, Charleston!

Posted by Tall Ships America on May 15, 2017

Spirit of South Carolina welcomes you! Photo K. Ryan

Tuesday morning, bright and early (with coffee clutched firmly in hand), I will make my way to South Carolina for Tall Ships® Charleston, 18-21 May. This is the fourth time Charleston has hosted the tall ships and will be the third event there I’ve participated in. This lovely southern city has yet to disappoint.

We could not be more excited for the incredible fleet that will be at the dock. Vessels from Argentina, Cook Islands, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and the U.S. will be available for public boarding and sail aways.  Tickets are still available.

Join us for the Parade of Sail on Thursday, 18 May at 1:00pm when the ships will sail their way past downtown Charleston and up the Cooper River. Then, come by and see the tall ships up close.

More information about Tall Ships® Charleston is available on their website www.tallshipscharleston.com

I’ll be posting blogs from the road and, for more timely updates, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

 

Posted in 2017, Charleston, SC | Leave a Comment »

 
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