One of the highlights in the celebration of Bermuda's 400 years of permanent settlement is the arrival of tall ships - from the "Atlantic Challenge 2009" that began in Vigo, Spain. This race has a lot of port calls (or stop overs? hehehe!) and one of them is this island. This challenge will end in Belfast, Northern Ireland - a true race around the Atlantic.
The tall ships provided a different kind of excitement compared to the usual festivities and street parties. Plus, the ships docked in the city actually changed the landscape of the capital for a week. There were various events that has relevance to sea navigation and... we were allowed to get inside the ships!
One of my favorites is the HMS Bounty,
which was built in Nova Scotia for MGM Film Studio's
1962 movie, Mutiny on the Bounty which stars Marlon Brando.
Based on their flyer, it is designed as amovie prop and a sound stage. The ship has extensive decks, long hallways and eight-foot ceilings. Her first journey out of the shipyard was to Tahiti and her second was to England to promote the movie.
Some of the other ships were
interesting as well. Of course, there are endless, endless lengths of ropes all round. Well, it's for their sails, what else? Other ships that are a part of the race and the festivities include
Etoile and Belle Poule both from France,
Mircea from Romania (close favorite)
Concordia from Canada
The Bounty, Eagle, Pride of Baltimore, Fasizi, Virginia, Spirit of Carolina and Amistad from USA
Kruzenshtern from Russia
Europa, Urania and Tecla from Netherlands
Capitan Miranda from Uruguay
And even if small, Bermuda has its own tall ship called the "Spirit of Bermuda." (Shown above, second photo from the top)
With a couple of friends, we watched the unberthing of ships from Hamilton. They are now on their way to another port. It's like
another festivity. A lot of tourists witnessed the event. Canons were fired by some of the ships. One of the ship even had tis crews get up the sails... And stood there on the ropes! whew!
I hope they will have a safe and fun trip until the end of the race.