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Notes from the Lynx – Regatta of Lights

Posted by Tall Ships America on December 14, 2010

Never having been here at this time of year, I had no idea what to expect of St. Augustine at Christmastime, but the city is decked out and beautiful.  We are in the midst of the Nights of Lights, which runs throughout the end of November and all of December.  The downtown area is totally illuminated with what must be millions of lights, and there are other decorations up all over!  Holly Jolly Trolleys amble up and down the streets with Christmas carols coming from their passengers, and even the weather decided to join in the celebration by dropping down into the 20s and 30s at night, just so folks couldn’t forget that it is winter.

                After witnessing the city rolling out its red ribbons and green pine boughs, we realized that we had to join the fun and get Lynx dressed up for the holidays as well.  After some discussion about how many lights would be needed to illuminate the vessel, and then a check of how much amperage our onboard electrical systems could actually support, we ordered rope light and last week set to lighting up the ship.  We opted for a classic outline of the hull and headrig, to show off Lynx’s sheer, then ran lights up the flying jib stay, high overhead between the topmasts, and down to the end of the main boom to show off Lynx’s size, and finally added a string of rope lights up the foremast and around the area where the fore topsail would be set because, well, we thought it would look neat.  And I think it does.

LYNX (left) and BLACK RAVEN all lit up

                This weekend we took advantage of the St. Augustine Yacht Club’s 30th Annual Regatta of Lights to show off our ship, as well as allowing those would couldn’t participate in the parade of lighted boats an opportunity to see them from the deck of another ship.  Due to the depths in the parade route, we were not able to join the procession, which was led by our neighbors and friends aboard the pirate ship Black Raven.  But we hung around in the area as best we could, even lumbering through the lineup at one point as we hung around near the Castillo.

                After the parade, many of the crews headed over to the St. Augustine Yacht Club for a reception and awards ceremony.  As I wasn’t even sure we were technically “in” the parade, I was shocked to learn we had won “Best Theme” for the Commercial Vessel category.  I accepted the award, cotton-mouthed, and was promptly upstaged by the crew of the Black Raven, who won “Best Overall” in the category and staged an impromptu swordfight of joy.  Next time, I’ll be better prepared.

                Even with the Regatta over, we intend to leave Lynx’s lights up for the holidays, and are doing our best to keep warm while this weather lasts.  If anyone chats with St. Nick, tell him we could use another 25 degrees down here!

With warm wishes,

LeeAnne Gordon and the crew of Lynx

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