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A little rain never hurt anyone…especially a sailor

Posted by Tall Ships America on June 29, 2009

It was a wet and wooley race start out there on the ocean tonight. I am still swaying from all the bumping and tossing our 30ft Dory took.  The race participants are on their way to Boston along with Jennifer, our Operations Coordinator on Spirit of Bermuda, Nelly and Amelia on Virginia, and Matt on Europa.

The Parade of Sail out of Charleston was lovely with crowds lined up all along the harbor and surrounding islands, bidding a fond farewell to the tall ships. All of the sailors were the recipients of that famous Southern Hospitality that Charleston is best known for and many were sad to leave. Starting at four this afternoon, the ships made thier way out of the harbor behind the Coast Guard Barque Eagle and ultimately followed by the Spirit of South Carolina. There were hundreds of spectator boats, many more than I was expecting considering it was a sultry Monday afternoon. The crew of Mircea looked like little ants as they climbed up and lined the rigging, and I spied several of them blowing kisses to the crowds.

Waving goodbye from MIRCEA

Waving goodbye from MIRCEA











As the ships made thier way past Fort Sumter and out to sea, the spectator boats stayed behind in the harbor, forming a forlorn line of goodbyes. I was on the race committee boat, one end of the start line and as we motored our way out to the start line, several miles out to sea, we could see some dark clouds forming to the side of us. Regardless, we set up the line and waited for the ships to muster.  We didn’t have long to wait because 20 minutes before the Class A start at 7pm, the rain drops started falling and we couldn’t see the vessels through the rain. Every so often the weather would clear up and Kruzenshtern could be seen setting her sails and then she would disappear into the mist.  Luckily, having all done these starts a few times, we had a back up plan and the vessels took thier own latitudes instead of crossing the start line. We turned around and got out of there as lightning flashed on the horizon.  Wouldn’t you know, by the time we got back to Charleston, it was clear and cool….

KRUZENSHTERN start of Race Four

KRUZENSHTERN start of Race Four

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