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Archive for the ‘Los Angeles, CA’ Category

My Tole Mour Experience

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 30, 2014

My Tole Mour Experience

It was about 0800 when Erin and Eliza dropped me off at Tole Mour’s dock. It seemed like they were my parents, all happy and excited to see their young daughter go off on a new adventure. After they left, the crew on Tole Mour showed all the trainees which bunk section we would be staying in. I was staying in the section called Santa Rosa, with two other girls. We were able to pick our own bunks, so I choose the forward most bunk with a porthole view, which later became a problem on my part (seasickness).


About 0930, all hands were called forward for a muster. Captain Snark and Holly gave the welcome speech, talked about the boat, and gave information about the race. They showed us the course and explained the rules of the race. At that point I was very excited because I’ve never been part of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Series. After a clear understanding that we were going to win, they wanted us all to introduce ourselves, so we had to answer 3 questions. What is your name? Where are you from? And what’s your favorite animated Disney movie? With that, I learnt that most of the crew was from the mid-west and there were a lot of animated Disney movies I haven’t seen. By the way, I’m from New York and my favorite animated Disney movie is “The Tigger Movie.” After a round of funny but interesting introductions, we were given our sea watches. I was placed in watch one, with 4 crew members and 5 trainees. The first thing we did was reintroduce ourselves to each other, then did a tour of the boat. While we were touring the boat, the crew members spoke to us about drills and muster stations; within the next 10 minutes, we heard an alarm and the crew shouting “abandon ship drill, abandon ship drill.” Everyone gathered to their muster stations and donned life jackets. After the drill, we all mustered forward again to get divided into two activity stations: line handling and marlinspike & seamanship. My first activity was line handling; they showed us how to make a line off to a pin, take a line off the pin safely and how to coil. Also they taught us the terms they use when handling lines, like ”made ready” which means have a top and bottom turn on the pin and “super ready” which means to only have a bottom turn on the pin.

The race stared at 1400. We crossed the starting line about a minute after the race started with Irving Johnson next to us and Exy Johnson and Bill of Rights behind us. It was a wonderful sight, seeing the cliffs of San Pedro behind us as we sailed towards San Clemente Island and San Diego. We had great wind conditions the whole trip. While we were sailing past Catalina Island, we spotted two whales in the distance. It was an amazing sight, especially for me because I never see any sea mammals in New York Harbor.

My watch that night was from 0000 to 0400; that was my first time sailing through the night. And it was just horrible – from the moment I got on deck, I felt sea sick. A crew member gave me some ginger ale, crackers, and some tips on how to stop feeling sick, but none of that prevented me from throwing up at least 5 times in a red bucket that was labelled “you will feel better :)” but, on the plus side, while I was coming up for air, I noticed about 1000 starts in the sky, and no other boats around us.


We had breakfast at 0700 and I felt much better. Shortly after breakfast, the captain announced that we had crossed the finish line and all the other boats were about 3 hours behind us. So, of course, everyone on board was thrilled on our possible win of the race. We turned on our engines, struck all sails, and began motoring towards La Jolla for some more activities. At 1030, we anchored off of La Jolla to do some snorkeling and some shanty singing. I chose to go snorkeling, so I got fitted for a wet suit, mask, boots, and fins. After a half hour of me struggling to put everything on, I entered the water, feet first to start an underwater adventure. The water was surprisingly warm and clear, so that didn’t stop us from seeing 10 leopard sharks, 2 horn sharks and a lot of sea grass. We got back on the boat in time for dinner, which I can say was amazing, then continued with some lovely shanty singing led by the crew and trainees.

My last moments on Tole Mour were the best. While heading back to the dock, a pod of dolphins followed us for about 2 hours, having fun with their babies, jumping in and out of the water and crossing under our bow. It was an amazing sight that I only got on video and soon hope to share with a lot more people.

I loved the people I sailed with on Tole Mour and looking forward to more adventures on the sail up to Dana Point.



Posted in 2014, Festival of Sail San Diego, Internship Program, Los Angeles, CA, Races, Tall Ship Events | Leave a Comment »

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- Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2014, Internship Program, Los Angeles, CA, Races, Tall Ship Events | Leave a Comment »

#966 Singing to pass the time

Posted by Tall Ships America on November 3, 2011


This past weekend, I was in Los Angeles to help out a friend with a scare-you-senseless haunted house.  There were about 90 people (over half of whom were tall ship sailors) on site as part of the tech crew, construction crew and scarers in the house itself. Everyone met up at a parking garage to take a shuttle over to the site in the afternoon. There was a bit of a snafu with the shuttle and we ended up waiting about an hour on Level 2 of the garage, anxious and excited. Instead of grumbling, someone had the foresight to bring a guitar and everyone burst into sea shanties.

Much, much later that night, after the party had ended in the wee hours of the morning and all the paying guests were stumbling and shuffling their way out the gates, we were sitting around serenading them as they waited on line. We must have looked like we were having fun because people kept leaving the line to crash our party. Sorry, folks, sailors and crew only.  It was a great way to end the night and reminded me of the fact that, whether with a piece of  twine practising  knots or just singing a favorite shanty, on a boat or on land, tall ship sailors are so good at keeping themselves entertained and that makes them awesome.

Below is an example of a shanty from our annual conference in Cleveland a few years back – Read the original post here – Hank goes into a bit of detail about the history of the song and then the singing starts at about 1:15


Have an idea or a story you want to share? Email it to me at erin@tallshipsamerica.org and I’ll add it to the blog with props to you.

Major credit to 1000 Awesome Things for the inspiration

Posted in 2011, Awesome Things, Los Angeles, CA | 1 Comment »

Two Hundred Ten is a crowd

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 22, 2008


ASTA Interns Jesse, Karen and Jo

Written by Jo

If you’ve been tracking our adventure as ASTA interns this summer you know that we’ve experienced ships of every shape and structure. The USCG Barque EAGLE is no exception. The maximum number of crew and passengers I’d had on a tall ship up until this week was 26. The Eagle had 210. Measuring 295 feet in length and weighing 18,000 tons, it was more than evident that we weren’t on the schooner HMCS Oriole anymore. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2008, EAGLE Seamanship Program, Festival of Sail San Diego, Los Angeles, CA | 1 Comment »

A funny thing happened on my way to San Pedro

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 20, 2008

Written by Karen


Early Monday morning, Jesse and I departed Channel Islands Harbor aboard Lynx, sailing in tandem with Bounty, Seaward, and Californian on our way to safe anchorage at Santa Cruz Island. Soon after getting underway, however, Bounty’s crew found the wind unfavorable for square-rigging, so they furled her sails and motored off into the distance, leaving Californian, Seaward, and Lynx to coast side-by-side under moderate wind for most of the afternoon. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2008, Los Angeles, CA, LYNX, Oxnard, CA | Leave a Comment »

Five Down…Just Two to Go

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 18, 2008



Written by Jo 

The Spirit of Dana Point, a schooner owned by the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, became my new home for the trek to San Pedro. I had the opportunity to sail with her to her homeport of Dana Point and I must say the Ocean Institute is quite a magnificent organization. Along with having two tall ships they have a plethora of other boats as well as a facility that incorporates tons of hands on learning. I witnessed everything from second graders dissecting squid eyeballs to a saltwater tank of plate sized, multicolored starfish. It was great to see the children get involved  and be truly enjoying it. During our time at the dock, I got to help out with boat repairs and preparation for the festival in L.A. This took about three days as we had damaged two sails quite badly and had to have them taken down and sewn. However, an expert, Jim, stitched them up in a hurry and before we knew it we were on our way to San Pedro harbor.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2008, Los Angeles, CA | Leave a Comment »

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