Tall Ships Sail To and From Savannah
Sailing the Great Lakes 2016
Thirteen tall ships: USCGC EAGLE (USA), DEWARUCI (Indonesia), HMS BOUNTY (USA), PICTON CASTLE (Canada/Cook Islands), LYNX (USA), PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II (USA), LA BELLE POULE (France), ETOILE (France), ROSEWAY (USA), PEACEMAKER (USA), APPLEDORE V (USA), ALLIANCE (USA),and SIR MARTIN II (USA) gave the public permission to board at the port of Savannah, Georgia, May 2012.
Tall Ships America organizes such a sailing each year in cooperation with the rotating host ports in the United States and Canada. The TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® series alternates between the Great Lakes and the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of North America in a three-year cycle. For the first time in fifteen years the coastal Georgia city of Savannah was the site of the beginning of the race, which continued on to Greenport, N.Y., Newport, R.I., and finishes in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in July.
Seven of those tall ships (DEWARUCI, EAGLE, PICTON CASTLE, LYNX, PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II, ALLIANCE and APPLEDORE V) gathered on May 7, 2012, at the starting coordinates to participate in the first leg of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® race series. Race Leg One was a 185 nautical mile race from Savannah to Cape Fear, North Carolina. This race has yet to declare a winner because all the ships have different rigs and are different sizes. Each vessel receives a handicap rating that must be applied to the race. Two ships had to retire from the race before finishing, and some never made it to the start line on time.
The festival continued in Greenport, New York, May 24 - 28, 2012. Here are a few of the ships featured in the Savannah port.
The lead ship both in and out of the port of Savannah was this vessel of the United States Coast Guard. The ship itself was part of the reparations America received from Germany at the conclusion of World War II. It was one of five sister ships built for sail training in the 1930s. Today its 22,245 square feet of sail area is still used for training by the cadets of this service academy located in New London, Connecticut. Of all the ships in the flotilla, only The Eagle was on 24-hour duty during the festival for responsibilities beyond hosting tourists. The six officers and 49 enlisted members exhibited all the professionalism Americans expect from our all-volunteer armed forces.
This floating matinee idol was everyone's favorite star attraction of the event. Built for and featured in the 1960 MGM masterpiece, "Mutiny on the Bounty," visitors all but expected Marlon Brando himself to make an appearance. The ship has been utilized for many television episodes, documentaries, and such Hollywood movies as "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest". Once aboard, visitors quickly realized the difference between a boat that filled the purpose of a film sound stage and a ship with a commercial or national mission. Much more open and less equipped with the essentials of a sailing vessel, The Bounty looked more ready for its next close up than for a sea voyage. But like all Hollywood starlets, the lines for The Bounty were the longest of the festival.
NOTE: The Bounty sank in Hurricane Sandy later that same year. For details of that tragedy that cost a crew member and the captain their lives, go to http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/29/us/sandy-bounty-ship/ HubPages does not support the cnn video format.
La Belle Poule
While waiting in line for this beauty and her sister, Etoile, several of us used all the skills we had acquired in High School French to figure out the English translation for the name of this ship. The Beautiful Chicken? No, surely not. And no it wasn't. It was the beautiful chick, as in young girl. And we thought that was American slang only.
This ship set to sea for the first time in February 1932, a replica of the kind of fishing vessel used in Iceland up until the mid 1930s. During World War II the sister ships were based in Portsmouth, England, to aid the cause of the Free French Forces. Today, the ships are used for training the French navy.
The Picton Castle
Known for her voyages around the world from her home port in The Cook Islands,the crew delivers educational materials and supplies to the remote islands along the way, One of the ship's most interesting features was its large still-in-service cookstove, circa 1800. It takes up easily half the space in the galley. Everything and every one on this vessel serves a purpose in fulfilling its primary purpose: training. All hands onboard work, stand watch, and study the workings of a square-rigged sailing ship with 12,450 square fee of sail area.
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THE SINKING OF THE BOUNTY, NOVEMBER 2012
Bounty Captain Robin Walbridge's "reckless decision to sail ... into the well-forecast path of Hurricane Sandy" was reported to be the cause of the loss of the ship and two lives according to the National Transportation Safety Board's investigation.
The ship flipped sideways in heavy seas and high winds, sending all 16 crewmembers overboard into raging seas. Coast Guard rescuers failed in their efforts to revive deckhand Claudene Christian, a 42-year-old rookie. Captain Walbridge's body was never recovered.