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Cable cars, tall ships and a golden gate

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 11, 2008

Posted by Karen

 

While Jo and Jesse made their way down the coast on Oriole, I headed to San Francisco early to help organize and set up for the upcoming Festival of Sail. I worked long hours each day, managing volunteers and arranging ticket distribution for the sprawling and extensive event. Each night before bed, I checked up on the conditions at sea where the girls were racing, wondering how my fellow interns fared on the sleek and brisk Canadian Naval vessel. When we finally reunited in San Francisco, I sat captivated and listened to their many tales from the high seas, and reveled in their exhilarating accounts of the race. I must say, though I’m thrilled that the girls had such an exciting time on Oriole, I’m quite pleased that my friends on Lynx have done so well in the race series! Such a hard-working crew deserves all the merit they can get!

The next day in San Francisco, we all gathered to watch the Parade of Sail at the National Maritime Park Association lunch, and a lot of my hard work in the office paid off when I saw the ships glide beneath the Golden Gate Bridge under full sail. It was just the kind of day we had hoped for all week: blue skies, a blustery breeze sweeping through the Bay, and plenty of buzz all over the city about the incoming ships. During the parade, I got my first glimpse of the Robert C. Seamans, a Sea Education Association training vessel quite similar to one I sailed on during a semester at college. I got the opportunity to climb onboard and meet other SEA alums later in the week, and I felt an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for my own semester at sea. I also checked out some new ships, including Gas Light, Nehemiah,and Californian,  all of which enthusiastically joined the Tall Ships fleet for San Francisco’s festival.

       

As this was my first visit to Northern California, the girls and I also spent some time exploring San Francisco. We rode on the famous cable cars up and down the six-mile venue, traveled to Pacific Heights in search of Full House landmarks, and, of course, made a pilgrimage to the local In N Out Burger. Before the festival wrapped on Monday afternoon, the girls arranged a little get-together in our hotel lobby for their shipmates from Oriole, and a friend of ours from Kaisei. It was a real treat for me to meet the cadets that the girls had spent the week with, and to trade stories about our time at sea. It felt like we had really become part of the Tall Ships community, with friends and allies on every ship, and “yarns” of our own to spin.

Early the next morning, Jo made her way to Bounty and Jesse left for Lynx, and I couldn’t believe that another festival had come and gone so quickly! In less than two weeks’ time, we would all meet up for the final ASTA whirlwind – a three-week stint in Southern California. Though I was reluctant to leave San Francisco behind, I couldn’t wait to greet Oxnard with open arms!

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