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

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Off to Bay City, Michigan

Posted by alexsailor on July 18, 2006

Salut! What’s been going on, that’s probably why you keep on reading this blog and wondering whether or not it’s a good idea to get involved, right? Well, it totally is! Mary and Meredith the other two interns are now sailing towards Bay City  on Niagara now as I speak after the 35 mile race north of Kelley’s Island. During this part of the leg, I am taking a roadtrip with Erin and Jonathan to help them set up for the next port event so everything is ready for this little town of 35,000 to host 200,000 (overheard from a townie)!

Oh yeah lets get back to the race  that I attended in a speed boat….Quite exciting since this is my first time seeing any sort of sailing race. Remember, that my only background in sailing is from teaching it to physically handicapped children at the Southampton Fresh Air Home in New York! So this event was quite new to me as I sit on the topmost part of this boat behind the driver, a US Sail Racing Judge and Jonathan Harley, our Race Director who worked in the US Sailing Olympics for many years whom are explaining all the rules, regulations, flags needed for this event. Two large motorized boats go out, one anchored with Jen, our ASTA Development Coordinator and her two adorable kids, and the other has all these sailing judges, Erin and I. As we fly past many of the tall ships starting to haul up their huge mainsails, jibs, course sails, tagallants, we make ourselves parallel to the other anchored ship so that there is enough space for the first set of ships to cross, which will soon be the starting line for the first race of 2006. We have a minature silver 1 foot in length canon that we fire 10 minutes before the start and again five minutes before the race and then finally a third..BOOM! They’re Off!

 It was an amazing sight to see the Pride of Baltimore with all of her sails up, making us feel so tiny and miniscule out on the huge wavy lake. There wasn’t too much wind so it was hard for the ships to pick up some speed so the Niagara dropped out, and others ended up using thier motors. It was a surreal sight to spin around all the ships on our motor boat, taking photos that I had written about only a month ago in the office for our website and to see them close up…wow. I was also waving/cheering to the crews who already know me quite well from the Party like a Pirate night…I ended up swing dancing with some of the crew from the Royaliste, Picton Castle and Niagara while an alternative rock concert took place on the other side of the pier! Huge hotels and various buildings stand lit up in the background as stars chill in the sky with a yellow-colored moon…LOL!

 What an awesome summer this has been so far. It’s a lot of hard work in the sun during the day, however I like being physically challenged and getting some sun and getting in shape! The crew have been really friendly and we share traveling stories of Europe and Asia during the night while I was sleeping aboard the Picton Castle with the other interns during the events. The Captains Breakfast was quite enjoyable too, hosted by the Great Lakes Science Center, as all the First Mates, Captains, and port organizers come together to discuss upcoming events and changes in schedules. I met a hillarious Russian who I find out is the Captain of the small packboat called St. Paul whoi will be joining us with his wife and cat at Bay City on Thursday! So, everything’s peachy and I’ll probably go do some laps at the community center pool today after arranging inventory, and finishing this blog! Ciao for now!

-Alexandra Hagerty (Intern 2006)

Interested in knowing more? Have some questions about our internship or sailtraining? Contact me at hageral@earlham.edu


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