Features

Tall Ships to Boston's shores

... worth the wait for The Grand Parade of Sails

by Debbi Collar



Foghorns sounded in the distance. It was a warning for sailors to take caution
as their ships were preparing to glide through the waters opening the long
awaited Grand Parade of Sails. Yes, tall ships were here in 2009 and 2012 but this
Rendez-Vous Regatta would bring in more than 50 vessels in parade formation for the
first time in 17 years!  Fog though threatened to cancel the Grand Parade of Sails.  
However, hearty New Englanders and their visitors, were waking up to the buzzes or
rings of alarm clocks set for an earlier than usual time of rising.

Sail Boston 2017 was here and Massachusetts residents as well as guests from around
the country staked out spots very early in the morning June 17th, to get the best
views, whether their choice was to be on Castle Island, Deer Island, Pier 1, Pier 5,
Massport Terminal, Falcon Pier, LoPresti Park and Piers Park.  These hearty souls
and determined sailors of the more than 50 ships were not going to let a little thing
like the weather forecast bring disappointment to this event. As the saying goes - "If
you don't like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes." That quote, is
most often attributed to a well known author,Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain. Well,
the delay was more than a few minutes and more than an hour but the wait for the fog to
lift was well worth it.  Out of the misty waters, many spectators on Deer Island were
overheard referring to the arriving vessels as looking like "ghost ships" as the gray
skies and thick fog began to lift enough to allow the Grand Parade of Sails to come
into view.  

Those who chose Deer Island, Winthrop as their viewing point saw the ships gracefully
gliding behind the spray of the Massport Fireboat as it and the U.S. Coast Guard ship,
"The Eagle,"  led the way into the final leg into the waters of Boston Harbor  for this
portion of their journey. Photos below will tell the rest of this part of the Sail
Boston 2017 story.


Fireboat



 


Just  a few of the over 50 International rigs were berthed at various points throughout
the city.. Sailors greeted the crowds, welcoming them on board the vessels to see what
life was like and what life is like now on those tall ships that are so often ssociated
with yesteryear. Throughout the week there were many activities both on board and on
land from music to street parades or soccer games to another favorite -The Sunset
Salute at the Charlestown Navy Yard.


Entertaining visitors were the Irish American Police Pipe Band, The William Diamond Jr.
Fife and Drum Corps from Lexington, Ma ,Lynn English High School Junior ROTC Marine
Corps Color Guard, The U.S. Coast Guard Silent Drill Team, cadets from the Constitution
and the "Singing Trooper" Dan Clark, of Middlesex County also performed at the Sunset
Salute ceremonies along with many more singers, musicians, and marching bands.  
The public was there for viewing the vessels and to participate in the ceremonies. One
of the final moments of the Sunset Salute was the lowering of the flag from "The Eagle"
that was docked overlooking the U. S. Constitution, currently in dry dock, Boston
Harbor and The Boston Skyline.


William Diamond Jr. Fife and Drum Corps, Lexington, Ma

.
Irish American Police marching band, one of its drummers and U.S. Constitution
Cadets with Lynn English High School Jr. ROTC Marine Corps Color Guard waiting to
perform



Entrance from Pier into Charlestown Navy Yard and tall ships berthed there.

As darkness set in, visitors still wandered the grounds taking photographs of the
ships as well as the sightseeing boats taking visitors around to see each of the
tall ships docked at various piers and other points within Boston Harbor.


The U. S. Constitution in dry dock and Sail Boston 2017 visitors to ships
berthed near Boston Harbor Hotel



Visitations to view the Sail boston 2017 Tall Ships continued past sunset

As the crews left Boston, they headed for Canada.  Let's hope Bostonians and their
visitors don't have to wait another 17 years for the next Grand Parade Of Sails.


Tall ships depart Boston on their way toward Canada


Coast Guard Ship,"The Eagle," leading the way out of Boston Harbor from Winthrop's
Deer Island


*** all photos by Debbi Collar


July 7, 2017


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