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We came, we saw, we inspected the bilges

Posted by Tall Ships America on December 2, 2010

What happens when you get 133 tall ship sailors and enthusiasts on board a former cruise ship in the sunny climes of Long Beach, California? A little bit of this –

A little of that-

And a lot of this-

The first two days were spent on the Queen Mary discussing important aspects of sail training and education that can serve ASTA members’ future growth and success. We navigated the regulatory seas, learned about hot topics in marine biology, the perils of plastics in the Pacific Ocean (*shudder*), were presented with maritme industry career opportunities, built a strong annual giving program and raised our tea cups late at night. For all of the sessions, speakers, brief summaries of what was discussed, a few videos, check the conference blog (www.tallships.wordpress.com).

The awards night was a wonderful time, as I wrote about here. After the applause and accolades, we danced to the Andrews Sisters and all the classics from the 60s and 70s. Below, the dance floor looks like something from Animal House, minus the togas –

The next day were the much anticipated Safety Under Sail  and Education Under Sail Forums. Representatives from Class Afloat spoke about what it was like to deal with the crisis  that was the sinking of the sail training vessel, Concordia, after being hit by a microburst off the coast of Brazil this February. It was a presentation that took what we most feared and turned it into a triumph as we learned about the heroism of the captain, crew and students on board as they spent 40 hours in  life-rafts waiting for rescue,  while the office staff worked around the clock to bring everyone home. It was an incredibly moving presentation, one we are still talking about. Later that day, we had a representative from NOAA explain to us what happened meteorologically to Concordia.

In the Education Under Sail forum,  attendees learned how to assess their sail training programs, learned about program diversification and made sure their programs met public curriculum standards. It was a busy and full day for everyone.

Finally, through the generosity of LA Maritime Insitute, those of us that lingered around for another day had the opportunity to go sailing on Exy Johnson. It was a spectacular day and the wind was blowing a stink that afternoon…


Now that the ASTA team is back in the Newport office, we are already planning ahead for next year’s conference on the East Coast. Stay tuned…

For more photos, see our Flickr page http://www.flickr.com/photos/tallshipschallenge/

Sessions and speakers are posted here, www.tallships.wordpress.com


One Response to “We came, we saw, we inspected the bilges”

  1. Elizabeth said

    Gee…I wonder who that could be enjoying the view of the inside of the Queen Mary bell????

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