TALL SHIPS RDV 2017
With 40 ships, five months, six countries and 7,000 nautical miles, you have the ingredients for one heck of a regatta!
The Tall Ships recently visited the historic city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, on the last leg of their transatlantic summer tour. The event, Rendez-vous 2017, started in April, appropriately in the port of Royal Greenwich, England, ground zero if you’re talking longitude. From there, the fleet sailed to Portugal before making the hop across the Atlantic Ocean to Bermuda, also host to the 35th America’s Cup. Then it was on to Boston and up the coast to Canada, where the Tall Ships ventured into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, up the river as far as Quebec City, before turning back east.
While in Canada, the fleet, made up of historic replicas, sail-training ships and working original vessels, visited more than 35 ports in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Quebec and Nova Scotia as part of their Guest Ports Program. Their arrival coincided with summer celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the confederation of Canada, making both events extra special. The Guest Ports Program allows the public to board and explore the vessels, meet the crew and, in partnership with Sail Training International, even sail on board one of the Tall Ships as a trainee.
While in Nova Scotia, the Tall Ships were greeted by the newly restored Bluenose II, a replica of the original 1921 Grand Banks schooner that was built in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The original Bluenose went on to racing fame, holding the Fisherman’s Trophy for 17 consecutive years, earning a place on the Canadian dime and in the hearts of Nova Scotians. After a long restoration, Bluenose II was launched in time to lead the fleet in the annual Parade of Sail around Halifax Harbor.
The Tall Ships Regatta will race back across the Atlantic to La Havre, France, arriving at the beginning of September. For more information about the regatta, the route, and participating Tall Ships, check out the event’s website (rdv2017 .com). — Heather Francis
The schooner Bluenose II attracts a crowd on the dock in Halifax.