By Brian Roulston
For centuries, tall ships were the super freighters of the world. They sailed the oceans and the great lakes delivering cargo, passengers, food, building supplies and fuels such as coal.
We are very happy and fortunate that Hamilton is one of 35 Canadian ports hosting Canadian and International tall ships during the Rendez-Vous (RDV) 2017 Tall Ships Regatta organized by Sail Training International, Rendez-vous naval de Québec, in collaboration with 3E and Canadian Heritage to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday. Eleven of the forty ships taking part will be moored along Hamilton’s Waterfront Pier 8 from June 30th to July 2nd. They last visited Hamilton in 2013.
The tall ships which are either historic vessels or replicas are taking part in a unique five month 7000-nautical mile international transatlantic tall ship race which started in Torbay, U.K on March 13th, 2017. The ships will sail through 7 different countries the U.K, Portugal, Canary Islands, Bermuda, France, Canada and the U.S.
On board the ship of course is the skipper and a small professional crew but also anywhere from 12 to 25 trainees. For them, it is the experience of a lifetime which is available to anyone with an adventurous spirit.
Thousands of people from all walks of life, ages, nationalities, religious and physical abilities have taken part in this seafaring adventure aboard the many different sailing ships. Each trainee, many with no prior boating or sailing experience learn new skills by doing a watch, hoisting sails, climbing the mast, cleaning the decks, cooking on board, navigating and steering at the helm. The average duration of a sail training voyage is 6 days however, they can last up to 4 weeks to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
You are more than welcome to come on down admire the ships, take pictures and post them to your friends on the social media. You are also encouraged to come aboard and ask the crew and trainees about their sail training experiences and the many ports they’ve visited, they love meeting new people. They can also tell you how you can have your own sail training adventure. You can also check out http://www.brigantine.ca/ , www.rdv2017.com/en/trainee or email firstname.lastname@example.org