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Arrival at NIAGARA

Posted by Tall Ships America on July 7, 2016

Blog 75

By Ben

Arriving at the Erie Maritime Museum is an intimidating experience. From more than a mile away along the lakeshore you can see Niagara‘s topmasts rising beyond the museum. As we pulled up to the pier on sunday evening, I couldn’t help but think how anyone ever voluntarily climbed its rig.  When the ships was revealed in its entirety, the second thing that was apparent was the  sheer quantity and complexity of its rigging fore sheets go aft, main sheets go forward, a mainstay that terminates past the step of the foremast, and a bowsprit more than half as long as the ship itself.

As we boarded the brig, the trainee crew descended on us out of the rigging. What followed was a sea of names and faces that by this morning have become familiar. All the while I busied myself trying to make head or tail of the rigging, which is no small task as the head rig by itself is comprised of several miles of line.

After dinner, unpacking, and a demonstration of how to hang a hammock, it was time for the evening muster where we discussed the upcoming day. The 4th of July on the Niagara is not an event to be missed. Over the next 24 hours, nearly 1000 museum visitors crossed Niagara’s deck. I had to take a crash course in Niagara’s history at superspeed to be able to lead a tour the following morning, but the crew and trainees were also very helpful in that endeavor.

The rest of the day passed with little event. The starboard watch was relieved of the deck tour duties at noon, and then relieved the port watch again in the afternoon. While the visitors were obviously excited to see a living piece of America’s history, there were quite a few knocks on the head by the end of the day. Few were ready for the little to no head clearance available below decks on Niagara.

Besides the birthday of the USA, the 4th also saw the birthdays of multiple members of Niagara’s professional crew. Following brownies served with dinner, was a cheesecake for the first birthday, and and astounding lego mechanized BB8 cake. It turned out as tasty as it was beautiful.

Blog 74All that remained was the shipping of the brigs provisions, as she would be leaving in the morning to sail towards Fairport Harbor. It is sure to be an exciting passage, and an even more exciting festival now that the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes 2016 is finally coming to an American port.

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2 Responses to “Arrival at NIAGARA”

  1. LelandJim said

    Any idea when the tall ships might be cruising through the Straights of Mackinac on their way to Chicago?

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