I have never seen Hamilton as busy as it has been this weekend as 22 of the world's Tall Ships rest proudly in Bermuda waters alongside Front Street. We strolled amongst them yesterday afternoon and it was a glorious sight. The ships are used for a variety of naval training, educational programmes and racing and vary in shapes and sizes from the huge Russian owned 376ft long Kruzenshtern
with the baby faced crew to the 74ft Jolie Brise
, based in Hamble, and the first winner of the Fastnet Race in 1925.The HMS Bounty
which was built for the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty
by MGM Studios to tell the story of the famous maritime mutiny that occurred in the South Pacific in 1789, was one of my fav
ourites. Samba music was being pelted out by a band on the Cisne Branco
, the Brazilian ship built as recently as 2000 but inspired by 19th century clippers but with added mod cons.
The drums were beating onboard the Capitan Miranda
, based in Montevideo and used as a training vessel for the Uruguayan navy. The bright welcoming sun in the Uruguayan flag formed most of a huge colourful spinnaker above this 80-year old beauty.
None to suprisingly bearing in mind the amount of American tourists on the island this weekend, the most popular ship was The Eagle
. With more than 20,000 of sail and 20 miles of rigging there was a lot of crew. 'US Coast Guard' was proudly blazoned across the bow and this Tall Ship acts as a training ground to future coast guards. And The Europa
had me just staring up at it
as a Dutch flag fluttered on top of a sinew of masts, rigging and ropes.
Excited people of all ages clambered aboard the ships open to the public and it was an incredible scene and tomorrow we are fortunate enough to have been invited out on a catamaran to witness each one of the Tall Ships parade out through Hamilton Harbour to the start of the next leg of the Atlantic Challenge
off St Davids Head. Earlier this evening I was watching some old television clips of the last 'Parade of Sail' in 2000 and the scenes were extraordinary.