A day after launching the Egress we headed 90 miles west to Duluth to attend the Tall ships festival.
You can find the video below and then read about our experiences below the video.
The Duluth TALL SHIPS Fesitval takes place every three years. It was held August 18th-21st 2016 and drew approximately 300,000 people. And man was it crowded! It included 8 TALL SHIPS. Since I’m a bit of a prepper. We had bought are fast pass tickets and booked our hotel in Canal Park a year in advance. The fast pass tickets allowed us to bypass lines to tour the SHIPS. That was the theory anyhow. No real need to go more in depth of the organizational problems of the festival that I had observed. I’ll just say again that being one who likes to prepare, I had us in line early for everything we intended to see. And we saw everything that we wanted to see and had a wonderful time. When the day sails were announced months before the event , we purchased tickets to sail on two of the ships as we knew they would sell out fast. We purchased a sail on the WHEN and IF, GENERAL George S. Patton’s personal Yacht and the PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II. The weather forecast was perfect for the event and we greatly anticipated our time in Duluth.
It really turned out to be a wonderful event. Everyone we had met associated with the various SHIPS really wore their pride on the sleeves. Ah to be younger again and work on one of these magnificent vessels.
I need to mention a few specifically while still fresh in my mind.
First of I wanted to say thanks to Captain Seth Salzmann from the WHEN & IF for the wonderful sail. Also a shout out to the two fine crew members Gray Meyer and Jonathan Drolet. Gray was on his last tour on the WHEN & IF and was just accepted to become a crew member aboard the PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II, which of course was our next sail. Anyhow briefly back to the WHEN & IF. When General (Then colonel) George S. Patton commissioned one of America’s greatest designers to conceive him a boat to be build by F.F Pendleton of Wiscasset, Maine in 1939, he had the ultimate ambition in mind:
“When the war is over, and If I live through it, Bea and I are going to sail her around the world.”
She is a magnificent Yacht! Absolutely stunning in appearance and very well cared for. To find out more and to help her fulfill Patton’s dream of his Yacht sailing around the world please visit sailwhenandif.com
PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II
The morning of our departure from Duluth we had the pleasure to sail on the PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II.
Another amazing ship with much history behind her.
We wish to Thank Captain Jordan Smith for the wonderful sail and the witty banter. It was a pleasure to be on your ship.
Also a shout out to following:
First Mate, Chad Lossing
SHIPS cook, Philip Charles Keenan
Thanks for making our time on board memorable!
We also had the pleasure of meeting Captain Jan Myles upon our disembarkation. I have followed him and the PRIDE since hearing a podcast interview he did with Andy Schell from the 59north podcast. (Andy’s podcast is now titled “on the wind”).
Pride of Baltimore II was commissioned in 1988 as a sailing memorial to her immediate predecessor, the original Pride of Baltimore, which was tragically sunk by a white squall off Puerto Rico in 1986, taking her captain and three crew members down with her. Both ships were built in the Inner Harbor as reproductions of 1812-era topsail schooners, the type of vessels, called Baltimore Clippers, that helped America win the War of 1812 and finally secure its freedom.
Visit the PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II here.
The other TALL SHIPS that we toured.
We thoroughly enjoyed touring the GALEON. Wished we could have spent a lot more time on her but we had to make room for others to come on board. Unfortunately no sails were offered on this fine ship.
A little about her.
The Galeón Andalucía is a replica of a 16th-17th century galleon, the only one in the world that sails in present days. These ships were the type of vessel used by the Spanish Crown for maritime expeditions during the 16th through the 18th centuries. Galleons were intended to discover and then establish trade routes between Spain, America and the Philippines islands, and formed what was then called the “Fleet of the Indies”. For three centuries, these Spanish galleons crossed the Atlantic Ocean back and forth, sailed around the Caribbean Sea and the American coasts, and covered the Pacific route as well. They carried plenty of seamen, merchant traders and settlers, while their holds bore the fabulous loads resulting from American and Asian trade.this is a 500 ton galleon, with length overall reaching 160 feet and a beam of 32 feet. Four masts hold 6 sails which measure almost 11,000 square feet. She was built in 2010 and is presently based out of St Augustine Florida.
We toured her right after touring the Galeón Andalucía. This is where we got a taste of the lines and the crowds. Wow! We waited around two hours in line. So many people in our line were confused as to which line they were in. Were they in the “fast pass line” were they even in the correct line to tour the Niagara? Lines snaked amoung each other and no one knew what line they were in. It was very very disappointing. Can’t at all blame any of this on the SHIPS as the festival organizers were woefully unprepared. But I digresss.
The Niagara was a wonderful ship to tour. It was amazing how open the deck was. Yet it was built for war. She is a replica of the famous Ship that took part in the Battle of Lake Erie during the war of 1812.
The U.S. Brig Niagara is a two-masted, square-rigged sailing vessel, 198 feet sparred length, 118 feet tall. The current Niagara, the third reconstruction of the original vessel, was launched in Erie in 1988, the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie. Niagara sails the Great Lakes, preserving and interpreting the story of the Battle of Lake Erie, and acting as an ambassador in her capacity as the flagship of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. To learn more visit the U.S. Brig Niagara site here.
We did to get to tour one ship that was not a Sailing ship during our stay.
We had the pleasure of touring the Great Lakes Iron ore and coal carrier the William A. Irvin.
Some facts about the William A. Irvin
Built in 1938 at the American Ship Building Company in Lorain, Ohio
Owned and sailed by U.S. Steel’s Great Lakes fleet for 40 years
610′ 9.75″ overall with a beam (width) of 60 feet and depth of 32′ 6″
Retired in 1978 because she was too small.
She (or do I say he)? sits in Duluth as a museum ship. She is in her original condition. A trip back in time that we recommend. For more information visit the William A. Irvin site here.
One more to mention that we briefly had the opportunity to visit before we left Duluth.
The Abbey Road was built in 1989, she is a Vagabound 52 staysail Schooner based in Bayfield, Wisconsin. She was donated to Lake Superior TALL SHIPS which is a non profit organization that takes local area kids on sailing trips on Lake Superior.
The organization is also raising funds to build the a modern replica of the Alice Craig, a US Revenue Cutter that was based in Bayfield, WI on Lake Superior from 1859 to 1887. For more details on this venture and how to help please visit Lake Superior Tall Ships.org
And yes lest we forget the worlds largest rubber duck.