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Bermuda – Nelly’s Update

Posted by Tall Ships America on June 15, 2009

Bermuda has welcomed us so well! As soon as we arrived at the dock we were greeted by our ships liaison who filled us in on all the activities and facilities they had set up for us.  Every night there has been a barbeque or festival which has given the ship’s crews great opportunities to get to know each other.  On our first night, we met the crew of the French ship Etoile and while I translated the best I could for those who didn’t speak English, our crews really started bonding when they started singing sea shanties.  The French started and as soon as they were done, Dan  jumped in with “Bell Bottom Trousers.”  We had dueling sea shanties for a while until the crew of Etoile sang the French version of “John Kanaka” which we all were familiar with and that’s when we got really loud, belting out the chorus and having a great time.  I wasn’t familiar with a single sea shanty before that night but over the course of the week I have picked up a few.  I borrowed Etoile‘s song book to learn their version of “John Kanaka” because we liked it better than the English one.  
Bounty arrived in Hamilton a day early so  I got to watch the ships sail into the harbor, some at full sail, firing the canons and sporting their dress flags.  The ships are all docked right downtown.  I watched as the captain of Mircea gave a shore talk to the crew (who had changed from their striped uniform to shore clothes) and, as soon as the captain dismissed them, flew off the ship and into town.   Ships such as the Kruzenshtern require that their sailors stay in uniform and as the biggest ship here they have the largest crew so you can hardly go anywhere without running into a band of young Russian sailors.  
Thursday night was Harbor Night, the weekly street festival here in Hamilton.  They closed down Front street which runs in front of the harbor and restaurants. Crowds of people poured out onto the sidewalks. There were dance performances and all kinds of vendors lining the street.  We decided to get our faces painted and after chatting with the artist, we found that he had been a sailor on Concordia for some time and he was happy to treat us all to sweet face paint. 
Friday we donned our ASTA hats so I made sure to do a good job cleaning the paint and tar off from the maintenance work I’d done on Bounty.  Amelia and I then spent the day touring the vessels helping them complete surveys of vessel specs and requirements.  The Captain Miranda crew was especially welcoming and invited us into their state room for refreshments and we did our best to translate from English to Spanish with arm waving and drawings. 

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