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Welcome to La-la-land

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 23, 2014

Irving Johnson, Exy Johnson, and Amazing Grace during the Parade of Sail into San Pedro. Photo: Port of LA

Irving Johnson, Exy Johnson, and Amazing Grace during the Parade of Sail into San Pedro. Photo: Port of LA

There is something about a fresh cinnamon roll that makes you realize your day is going to be just fine. This morning, during our early rounds of the Tall Ships(R) Festival LA, I timed it perfectly and was well rewarded for my efforts. The site was quiet, far different from all the crowds and preparation of the days before. However, it was the calm before the storm. Today, Saturday, the festival grounds are rocking and rolling – dozens of food trucks line the dock, cranking out everything from Mexi-Greek fusion to “lobstah” rolls, each with their own music and vibe. The four stages are constantly swarming with people listening to traditional Hawaiian music, classic rock and even The King-

He is alive!

He is alive!

People pose for photos in front of the six story rubber duck and wait patiently on line to board one of the twelve tall ships along the waterfront. Meanwhile, the crowds have the opportunity to see those same tall ships doing what they do best-sailing-out on the water. Our tall ships fleet is – American Pride, Tole Mour, Bill of Rights, Tiama, Patricia Belle, Jada, Curlew, Freda B, Amazing Grace, Irving Johnson, Exy Johnson and Spirit of Dana Point. There are some new faces in the fleet and it has been such a fun few days getting to know all of the ships and their crews.
Eliza, Halycon and I cruised into town on Monday and quickly made ourselves at home in San Pedro. I have been here a few times since my first visit back in 2008 and I am always impressed by the community here and the overwhelming pride and enthusiasm they show for their waterfront and their town. These past few days have been busy prepping for the ships, visiting with friends, and making sure the thousands of visitors are having a good time.

Wednesday was the Parade of Sail and my first with a six story yellow rubber duck. You could not have asked for a more perfect day, bright, breezy and sunny- the southern California trifecta. The ships arrived into downtown San Pedro with all their sails full and they looked amazing. Here are some photos (more photos on Flickr)

Parade of Sail into San Pedro. Photo Credit Port of LA

Parade of Sail into San Pedro. Photo Credit Port of LA

 

Patricia Belle

Patricia Belle

 

Yesterday, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the LA City Council meeting where Tall Ships(r)Festival LA and the tall ship captains were presented with a special resolution, recognizing the impact that the tall ships have had on the newly updated waterfront of San Pedro. Accompanied by Councilman Joe Buscaino (and a rather engaging gentleman dressed as Batman) and the Port of LA, our group received certificates and thanks for bringing the tall ships to the San Pedro community. The support of both Councilman Buscaino and the Port of LA has been instrumental in the success of this special event.

Tomorrow is the last day of the festival, which is so hard to believe, and soon we send Halcyon off to sail down to San Diego for the race on Monday. She is excited for her adventures and we can’t wait to hear all about how our East Coast intern does sailing on the West Coast.

Crew of American Pride

Crew of American Pride

 

Follow us on Twitter @tallshipsfleet and be sure to check out more photos from the event on our Flickr page

The TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) is on Facebook too!

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