De­light­ing Digby

Ar­rival of Tall Ships bring out young and old

Tri-County Vanguard - - NEWS - SARA ERIC­S­SON

Digby was in an era past as Tall Ships sit in its har­bour along the wharf Aug. 15 and 16 for the Digby Ren­dez-vous 2017 Tall Ships Re­gatta.

It’s the first time tall ships have re­turned in nearly two decades and many peo­ple were out en­joy­ing the sights.

Peo­ple lined the cliff sides of Point Prim to see the ships sail in and lined the wharf await­ing their turn to board one of the boats.

“This really is some­thing peo­ple are tak­ing ad­van­tage of,” said Mayor Ben Cleve­land.

“It’s a rare op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to get to see these ships here in Digby.”


The event also has peo­ple from Digby show­cas­ing their re­spec­tive tal­ents and trades.

Many mu­si­cians signed aboard to play and busk dur­ing the event, in­clud­ing Paul O’Brien and Scott Hen­der­son, who brought sev­eral tra­di­tional Celtic in­stru­ments to play.

O’Brien plays gui­tar and the bodhràn, or tra­di­tional Ir­ish drum, and one not- so- tra­di­tional in­stru­ment, called the bouzouki.

“This is a Greek in­stru­ment and was brought back by one man to Ire­land in the 1960s, and has since be­come a big part of Ir­ish mu­sic,” said O’Brien.

This event is the two men’s third time play­ing to­gether, and the tunes flowed well – align­ing well with the by­gone theme that sailed in with the ships.

Nos­tal­gic feel

An­other nos­tal­gic fig­ure show­cas­ing her wares was Mar- garet Gray of Sea Ewe Round, a mo­bile yarn and fi­bre stu­dio.

Dressed in a colo­nial garb she cre­ated her­self, sev­eral peo­ple stopped to look at her dis­play and also her cos­tume.

“You look like you’re fresh off the boat,” said one man as he passed by.

“That’s the idea!” laughed Gray.

Us­ing var­i­ous spin­ning wheels from the mid- 18th cen­tury, Gray spins wool with tra­di­tional tech­nique.

She en­joys speak­ing with and ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple on her prac­tices.

“I had a seven- year- old girl come by ear­lier to­day and spin yarn… and then an eight- yearold boy buy some tools so he can knit at home,” says Gray.

“I thought he was jok­ing at first, but his fa­ther walked up and said he was se­ri­ous! I love when young folks get ex­cited about this stuff.”

Cap­tur­ing the mo­ment

And cap­tur­ing all of this nos­tal­gia was painter Michel Doucet, a reg­u­lar along the wharf, where he reg­u­larly stops to paint the fish­ing boats. Now, he painted the tall ships.

Doucet is a con­trac­tor by trade and has been paint­ing for 10 years. He says his favourite spots to paint are along Digby and Yar­mouth coun­ties.

“I grew up with Smith’s Cove painter Kelsey Ray­mond’s paint­ings on the walls,” he says. “This is some­thing I’ve al­ways wanted to do.”


The Bluenose II, left, and the Pic­ton Castle sit docked at the Digby Wharf dur­ing the first day of the Digby Ren­dez-vous 2017 Tall Ships Re­gatta.


The Dutch ship the Wylde Swan, which event or­ga­nizer Saskia Geerts was most ex­cited to see.

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