TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Series Official Blog

Sea stories, scuttlebutt and fantastic photos covering America\’s official Tall Ships® Races!

  • Follow Us

  • Follow the blog- Click below to have posts delivered to your inbox

  • Search posts by category

  • Archives

  • Advertisements

Archive for the ‘Guest Blogger’ Category

A first for Pride of Baltimore 2

Posted by Tall Ships America on December 12, 2011

Pride of Baltimore 2

This time of year, the main topic of conversation for many of the tall ships and crew is “winter maintenance”. It’s the time between November and March that the organizations need help to get the ship ready for another round of sail training. At the end of each sailing season, the boat is  hauled out and worked over, top to bottom, usually by a small group of crew and dedicated volunteers. Being a volunteer in this process earns you a rare glimpse into the inner workings of a traditional sail training vessel and a chance to work closely with the crew.

Now you can have an opportunity to work with the crew of Pride of Baltimore 2 as they work on the ship this winter to get her ready for the the 2012 summer events.

To read more about the experience and what it entails, click here – A Call to Arms For Volunteer Winter Crew .

Advertisements

Posted in Guest Blogger, Tall Ship Events | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Guest Post: Landfall, Gloucestering, Bean-town and New York Bound

Posted by Tall Ships America on October 14, 2011

6 October, 2011

Pos: 41 07.1′N x 072 39.5′W
Wx: WNW F2, Seas calm, Sunny

PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II made landfall in Portland, Maine, five days ago. I can hear what you’re thinking – if you were so early getting the boat to the US, why is the blog so late? Well the interim days have been a bit of a whirlwind. In making Portland, we drove PRIDE II hard from the time of the last blog. Starting with a strong breeze just abaft the beam, we slowly took in sail as the wind veered, all the while laying a rhumb line for Portland. The Stuns’l had to come in when a fairlead for it parted, the T’gallant and Gaff top were too much by sunset, and near midnight, with the wind ahead of the beam, we reefed the Mains’l and took in the Jibtops’l. Even still, PRIDE II was charging along at 10 knots through the inky black and squall speckled night. Approaching Portland harbor, we took in the Foretops’l and saw the last of the rain.

Originally intending to anchor off of Portland Yacht Services (PYS), we sailed all the way to a spot I’d picked days before near the mooring field. But Phin Sprague, owner of PYS is a lover of tall ships and was kind enough to offer us a dock for clearing customs. There is no sailing through all the classic yachts and fishing vessels off PYS, so we took in sail where we would have anchored, and picked our way through the scattered boats under engines for the first time since securing in Lunenburg. Arriving at dawn, we were cleared through customs by 0815, but the crew was another three hours in stowing. We had, after all, used every sail we had.

Click here to continue reading about Pride of Baltimore 2>>>

Posted in 2011, Boston, MA, Guest Blogger | Leave a Comment »

Guest Blogger: Waiting for wind with Pride of Baltimore 2

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 23, 2011

Too Busy for Blogs and Setting Up for Southerlies

22 September 2011
Pos: 48 12.2′N x 064 02.9′W
Wx: South F 1, seas calm, 3/8 Stratus in the Southeast Distance

When I last wrote and said we had sailing to do, I had no idea how intense an understatement I was making. We had a forecast, past the pilot station, for Southwest and West winds of decent strength, and I was guessing that with the current, we’d be able to sail. I never expected that we’d see stretches longer than a mere gust into gale force, or that we’d have Pride of Baltimore II surging up to 13 knots over the bottom.

But that’s how the story played out. Sailing through the night of the 20th to 21st under Fores’l, Stays’l, Foretops’l, Jib, T’gallant and Stuns’l, we made great progress with a West-Southwest breeze. As the forecast called for a Westerly veer, we didn’t set the Mains’l to minimize the work of the crew in wareing ship – this is the action of turning the stern of the vessel through the eye of the wind. Commonly, it is called gybing these days, but though the terms are nearly synonymous, gybing is what you do with a fore-and-aft rigged sail such as Pride II’s Mains’l, while wareing is the action of the ship itself.

Click here to keep reading about Captain Trost and the crew as they make their way to Prince Edward Island >>>

Posted in 2011, Guest Blogger | Leave a Comment »

Guest Blogger: Pride of Baltimore 2 back in the salt

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 22, 2011

Tides, Again

20 September 2011
47 21.4′N x 070 15.5′W
Wx: SW F3, Light Rain

Some say all good things must end – casting off lines and heading out from Montreal yesterday at 1230, the crew of Pride of Baltimore II were in full agreement. Canada’s little piece of Europe had plenty to interest and even overwhelm the crew ashore, while Pride II was herself a spectacle for 8,789 visitors to Les Grand Voiliers sur les Quais. After brilliant weather for the opening Parade of Sail, things turned to chilly rain for Thursday, keeping all but the hardiest away from the ships. The visit brought a crescendo of improving weather which crested Sunday with clear skies, calm winds and temperatures near 70 degrees. A perfect late summer day in a perfect port!

Click here to continue reading about Pride of Baltimore 2’s journey out of the Lakes>>>

Posted in 2011, Guest Blogger | Leave a Comment »

Guest Blogger: Captain Jamie Trost on Pride of Baltimore 2

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 19, 2011

St. Lawrence Sailing

15 September 2011

Pos: Alongside Jacques Cartier Basin, Montreal, Quebec
Wx: Overcast, cool, French

It is physically possible for Pride of Baltimore II’s passage from Hamilton, Ontario to the Iroquois Lock in the St. Lawrence River to have included more sailing, but only just. Having sailed off the dock in Hamilton Monday morning, we were less than a mile from the head of Burlington Bay, and when the foretops’l finally came in on Tuesday, 225 nautical miles and 27 hours later, the Iroquois lock was in sight. That’s an average speed of 8.25 knots. Our passage across the Lake took less than 20 hours, and at one stage the Vessel Traffic Control center at Seaway Sodus was concerned that at 11.5 knots we were going TOO FAST and would get to the Snell Lock before a pilot could be scheduled to meet us!

Click here to continue reading about Pride of Baltimore 2 and her transit to Montreal >>>

Posted in 2011, Guest Blogger, Tall Ship Events | Leave a Comment »

Guest Blogger Matt Maples: The “Friendship” Sail

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 23, 2011

August 22, 2011

0605 – 52.44.9’N x 4.32.4’E

By Matthew Maples

                It was a good night, all sail aloft, dark, calm waters and a clear-starred sky. Our sail down the coast of Holland has already been one of the most pleasant of our summer so far. As they usually go, nice nights follow fine days, and so it was blue skies, sunlight, warmth! To report such good sailing weather would become tedious on our long ocean crossings, but here, in the north of Europe, our sailing, while excellent, has often been marred above by clouded skies. It says something when I can only remember one earlier clear night sky in nearly two months.

                It is fitting that we have such good weather, for this sail we are having is a special one. The “friendship” sail as I call it is a short, one day sail for just friends, family and crew (past and present) of the Europa. It seems that in recognition of our event that the weather gods are going to go easy on us, at least for a day.

To continue reading Matt’s adventures on Europa, click here

Posted in 2011, Guest Blogger, Matt Maples | Leave a Comment »

Guest Blogger Matt Maples: 100

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 22, 2011

17-08-2011 10:00 

1900 – 53°35.4’N x 5°16.1’E 

By Matthew Maples

Happy Birthday to us! The Europa celebrated her centennial birthday on August 13 in Hamburg, Germany. All who sailed on her, past and present, were invited to her exclusive party. Dozens of voyage crew from past sails came aboard to mingle their stories amidst our colorful deck, complete with trays of appetizers and evening drinks from the bar. Both Rederij director Reinoud and Captain Klaas gave speeches, toasting the alacrity of our ship and its equally adventurous crews. Klaas said the ship was even older than him, though he is working on that! Then our current trainees gave a short presentation detailing their eventful sail from Halmstad. No doubt those who were present had a moment to recall the experience of their first Europa sail.

On the 15th, Europa moved closer to the mouth of the Elbe River to berth in Cuxhaven alongside one of her sisters, Elbe 1. As you may (or may not know), the Europa was not always the Ocean-Wandering sailing bark and was not always counted among the most famous tall ships in the world. Quite the opposite in fact, she was a floating lighthouse! At anchor in the Elbe River, the Europa’s original name was Senator Brockes, and was third in a series of light-ships that guided mariners into the Elbe River, hence her original designation as Elbe 3.

To continue reading Matt’s adventures on Europa, click here

Posted in 2011, Guest Blogger, Matt Maples | Leave a Comment »

Guest Blogger Matt Maples: Real Deal

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 12, 2011

August 12, 2011

0500 – 54°22.3’N x 10°09.9’E

                By Matthew Maples

                “Busy” is a word that could be used to describe the Europa on any day of the year. However, the past few days seem especially deserving of this description. We have on board a full complement of young European trainees who have been fully integrated as crew. Not only are they doing sail-handling, steering and lookout, but their duties extend to ship’s maintenance and even cleaning. They are getting the real experience of what it takes to run a deep-sea sailer like Europa. From furling square-sails high aloft, to looking down the bowl of the day’s dirty toilet, they are left with fresh hands rudely blistered by rough rope and brains burned by their quick learning of our hundreds of lines for our sails. Cheeks and noses are reddened from hours in wind and rain.

                That alone is a daunting itinerary, but our trainees are packing yet more into their schedules. Their days go beyond the rails of our ship and ship life, to the boundaries of Europe. Sailing and sail-training is not the final goal for our trainees, our sails are a medium for cultural interaction. “Cultural Interaction” so what does that mean here? “Cultural interaction” is a mainstay on bark Europa, long before our current trainees arrived. Here, people from all over the world find themselves on a complicated sailing ship, needing to get from point A to point B. No single person can run this ship alone, many hands coordinated by teamwork make this ship run smoothly, and everyone needs to rise beyond the boundaries of their nation, its language and culture, to find the common ground on international waters on our international ship.

Click here to continue reading Matt’s adventures onboard Europa

Posted in 2011, Guest Blogger, Matt Maples, Tall Ship Events | Leave a Comment »

Guest Blogger Matt Maples: Fickle Neptune

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 8, 2011

05-08-2011 10:00
 0230 – 57˚15.5’N x 11˚49.1’E
By Matthew Maples
 
     King Neptune himself must have been upset with us – the race has ended early due to foul winds. A south-east wind blew in the face of all the sailing ships who tried to tack around the north-west coast of Denmark. The tall ship fleet must be in the Swedish port of Halmstad by noon today. With a tight schedule unfit for easy winds, there is but one thing we can do- douse all sail and turn on the “iron jib” down below and steam into the winds. After leaving Stavanger we went south, but needed to sail halfway to Holland before we could make a tack to carry us in between the Danish and Norwegian coasts, and even that tack was not in a position to pass a waypoint that was close to the coast of Denmark. For that we would have had to probably sail yet farther south to continental Europe.
 
     It is an inglorious end to a race that never really seemed to get started. From little wind to wrong wind, the race was ended by the race authorities at 1400 local time on August 3rd. Most ships were still under sail by this time, but a few of our competitors, such as Oosterschelde, Shtandart, Morgenster and Alexander von Humboldt, had abdicated their positions prematurely and turned on their engines. The trio of large Russian ships, Sedov, Mir and Kruzenshtern stubbornly stayed in the race, along with our the larger Scandanavian vessels such as Christaan Radich and Staatsraad Lehmkuhl. We can be counted among their number, tacking our ship until the end. In the preliminary results, we are set to finish 11 out of 20 in our class, and 44th overall.
 

Posted in 2011, Guest Blogger, Matt Maples, Tall Ship Events | Leave a Comment »

Guest Blogger Matt Maples: A Slow and Exciting Start

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 1, 2011

01-08-2011 10:00 

By Matthew Maples
It is the first night of our last race. There is little wind to fill the sails and the tall ship fleet is slowly sailing down the west coast of Norway. Red and green lights at all our sides bob like the colored lanterns of All-Hallows Eve, the only visible traces of our competitors. Even with our studding sails set on starboard we only make about 3 knots.

Even though the winds were not strong, the beginning of the race was exciting enough. Just before the race began nearly all the class A tall ships (the biggest size class) mustered at one end of the starting line just a few miles from Stavanger. As the race was beginning, the ships began to turn and hoist sail, making for the line. The Europa was in front, hovering just behind the starting line and we seemed to have waited until the last moment to turn. The cameras on our deck whirred like incessant insects as the entire fleet of class A’s headed straight for us. Leading in the front were the two big Russians, Mir and Sedov. Mir quickly pulled past us, her sail being hauled aloft to the tune of large deck speakers electronically barking orders in Russian to the sailors and cadets. Sedov came alongside our port, looming like a horizontally-placed black skyscraper over our comparatively tiny Europa. Sedov was close enough to us that Captain Klaas would later joke (was it a joke?) that we almost tapped them with our stern as we turned toward the line. With several dozen ships present there was a forest of masts, enough that it began to be difficult to tell which masts belonged to what ships!

To continue reading Matt’s adventures on Europa, click here

Photos from the Sail Training International events can be seen here

Posted in Guest Blogger, Matt Maples, Tall Ship Events | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: