Monday, July 15, 2013

Tall Ship Celebration - Bay City, Michigan

Over the weekend, Bay City was the site of the Tall Ship Celebration.  This would be the fifth time that it has been held in Bay City with the last time coming in 2010.  I didn't attend the one in 2010 but I did attend the one in 2006.  And I will try to attend the next one and I may even try to get there on the day that the ships are entering the Saginaw River.
 I'm not sure if they had music last time but they did this time.  This group was pretty good and they were singing sea chanties.
 But I didn't stay too long because I was looking for ships and not songs.
 And then I got to my ships.  This first one is the Peacemaker, she was built in Brazil by a family of Italian boat builders.  They used traditional methods and the finest tropical woods in her construction.  She was launched in 1989 and was going to be used as a yacht for Brazillian industrialist but that never really happened.  She ended up in Savannah, GA until she was purchased by Peacemaker Marine and became a sail training ship.
 Next up is the Unicorn.  She started her life in 1947 as a fishing boat built of old German U-boats.  She is the only tall ship that is manned (or womanned) by an all female crew.  She serves as a training platform for teenage girls to connect their experiences on the ship to their real life experiences.  This year, she is sailing with the daughters US and Canadian military families.
 This was about as close as I got to most of the ships as the lines were pretty horrendous.
 Next up was the Sorlandet (the o looks kind of funny those).  She was built in 1927 in Verksted Shipyard in Kristiansand, Norway.  She was designed to be a sail-training vessel.  Many of the world's navies will used sail ships as training vessels because it builds a sense of teamwork.
 She first visited North America in 1933 when she served as Norway's pavillion at the Chicago World's Fair.
 Currently she serves as sailing classroom for Class Afloat which is a private school offering 11th and 12th grade learning.  In this class year, her students will have visited 22 ports of call.  I'd have to believe that would be a pretty good learning experience.
 Next up was the Pride of Baltimore II.  I've seen her before when she visited in 2006.  She is a reproduction of the War of 1812 era Baltimore Clipper named Chausseaur.  Her captain was Thomas Boyle and he served as a Privateer.  A privateer is a pirate that is condoned by a government and paid to harass an enemy.  During his tenure, he sailed to the British Isles and captured or sank 17 British ships.  He returned to Baltimore as the "pride of Baltimore".
 This is a picture of the ships that were on the other side of the river,but I didn't visit those.  They were the Denis Sullivan, Pathfinder, Playfair and Madeline.  The Pathfinder and Playfair come from Toronto.  The Sullivan and Madeline come from the United States.
 Another angle of the Sorlandet.  I kind of wish I could have seen some of these ships under full sail because I have to believe that would have been pretty impressive.
 The front of the Pride of Baltimore II.  She is definately a pretty sleek looking ship.
 A shot of her bow.
 Next up was the Flagship Niagara.  This is a ship I saw last year when she called on Detroit as part of the War of 1812 Celebrations last year.  I hope to catch her again during Memorial Day weekend when she'll be at Put In Bay for the re-enactment of the Battle of Lake Erie.
 The original Niagara served as the Flagship of Oliver Hazard Perry during the Battle of Lake Erie.  As you can see, she is still sporting the flag from that time period.  Well maybe you can't see as only one star is showing.
 I would go so far to say that she is a replica of the original ship but she is a little bit more than that as she does use some of the timbers from her.  Her current iteration serves as the Flagship for the State of Pennsylvania.
 She is homeported in Erie, Pennsylvania (where the original was built) and I think you can take cruises on her (which I would like to do some day).
 A shot of the Lynx from her bow.  The Niagara was one of two ships that I went on board.  It was kind of cooler last year because I didn't feel quite so rushed.  It was also cooler because I could compare her to a modern naval vessel.
 A replica of the original bell.
 One of her cannons.
 Looking up at her rigging.
 A shot of the Niagara as I waited in line for the next ship.
 The next ship was the Lynx.  She was another recreation of a privateer and was built in 2001.
 Looking up at her rigging.
 Below are examples of typical ammunition of a warship from the Age of Sail.  The ball is a normal cannon round that you are used to.  The two half balls are part of what is known as chain shot.  this was typically used to foul the riggings of enemy ships.  The long cylindrical pieces are a modification of chain shot since chain shot tended to jam.
 The last piece is what is known as grape shot.  It basically was like a shotgun and was used for anti-personnel.  Typically it would be used during boarding operations.
 Looking up at the Lynx's flag.
 And her wheel.
 Another shot of her cannon.
 Then I decided to head up to Vets Bridge to get some shots from a different vantage point.  Actually,  I think this offered a better view than from the park.  Looking down at the Lynx.  It's amazing how sleek she looks.
 Another angle of the Lynx.
 A more straight on shot of the Lynx.
 Looking at the group of ships from the Niagara and back.  I'll have to admit this was pretty cool.  It almost reminds me of an old sailing port.
 Another shot of the Lynx.
 One more shot of the ships.
 A more straight out shot of the Niagara.  This is one I would love to see under full sail.
 Of course, I wouldn't mind seeing the lot of ships under sail.
 One more shot from straight on.
And just a shot to give you an idea of the crowds that attended.  It was about a half hour wait for the two ships I went on, the lines for the others was much longer.  But part of that was my fault because I should have been ready much earlier.  I still had fun and I hope that you enjoy this brief tour.

3 comments:

tugster said...

wow! pretty fine representation of tall ships you got!

Pater said...

You did get some nice pictures.

Pater said...

You did get some nice pictures.