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Ode To The Seafarers

Posted by Tall Ships America on July 12, 2013

Race Two – 12 July 2013
by Eliza

Early morning photo shoot

Early morning photo shoot

What do I love about sailing on tall ships? Is it the anticipation as the crowd pours through the gates on the first day of a festival? Or the amazement in seeing the rigging of a dozen ships crisscross the night sky as I walk home? Perhaps it’s the awe of setting so many sails as the fleet races across the Great Lakes? In truth, I love it all. But what I truly love about sailing on tall ships is the community.

Sailors are hard working. And determined. And responsible, honorable, courageous and welcoming. Such is the crew of the Pride of Baltimore II, with whom I had the opportunity to sail last week. No matter the hour of the day or night, sailors were tirelessly hauling away on lines to set sail or to sheet the jib topsail in just right. If two crew members were struggling against the wind, three more piled onto the line to help. When the crew finally had a chance to sit down and eat, portions were carefully divided so that everyone could enjoy some sliced plums with homemade whipped cream. Then it was back to work and everyone aboard lent a hand, whether it was taking the helm or rolling cartridges for the guns. If the weather got rough, they would don their foul weather gear and climb aloft to lash the sails in place.

After the hard work, crew gets to enjoy the sailing

After the hard work, crew gets to enjoy the sailing

But here’s the point. Such are the crews of all the tall ships I’ve sailed. Sailors are some of the most assiduous, laudable – and yes, quirky – people I know. So whether it’s Pride of Baltimore II or any of the ships lining the piers this summer, consider this as you go aboard: It’s the Captains and Crew that make these ships what they are. And the ships, in return, develop these drifting seafarers into a family, one that I am so proud and so grateful to call mine.

Sailing towards Bay City. View of Playfair from Pride of Baltimore II

Sailing towards Bay City. View of Playfair from Pride of Baltimore II

 

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