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Never a Dull Moment

Posted by Tall Ships America on July 13, 2010

11 July 2010

What a weekend it has been in Cleveland, Ohio! This summer, the arrival of the tall ships was not the only source of excitement in the city. Friday night, after the festival closed for the day, the city tuned into ESPN to see where free agent NBA player LeBron James would choose to play next year. Though Clevelanders were obviously disappointed with James’ ultimate decision to play for the Miami Heat, their energy kept the festival grounds abuzz into the night. The rest of the weekend, at least aboard the Dutch ship Europa, has been filled with feverish discussion about the impending World Cup championship game between Spain and the Netherlands.

With so much going on, whether I am sailing or representing ASTA in port, time passes very quickly. I only realized this morning when I looked at at my calendar that the Great Lakes United TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® has been in full-swing for nearly two-weeks!

With almost two ports and a quarter of the 2010 Challenge behind us, I can now explain with confidence what it means to be an ASTA intern – a question I field daily. As interns, Becca, Libby, and I are somewhat of an anomaly in comparison to the festival and ship crews. This is because we are both event staff by day and crew member by night. During festival days, instead of staying aboard the ships we sail to give deck tours and take passengers on day sails, the three of us work from shore. We answer questions about ASTA, encourage festival goers to try sail training themselves, and of course excitedly reminisce about our own experiences sailing tall ships. Every evening when the festival closes we revert back to our roles as crew, enjoy the company of our shipmates for dinner, and spend the night aboard.

Experiencing the festival from different perspectives, we get the best of both worlds. For example, a few nights ago we were invited to a crew-only get-together aboard the Bounty. It was quite a privilege to tour the ship without the festival crowds and the heat of the mid-day sun!

Today is the final day of the Cleveland Tall Ships Festival – we will be enjoying the sun, the conversation of fellow tall ship affictionados, and hopefully a little bit of the World Cup final. Tomorrow morning, weather permitting, the ships will peel away from the dock yard and set sail in a race towards Bay City, MI. Cross your fingers for wind!

–Samara

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