Friday, July 22, 2016

Tall Ship Extravagance

This year we visited Bay City Michigan for the Tall ship gathereing.  It was not truly intentional we just happened to be in the area camping and saw all the billboards along the highway.  So we figured, what an opportunity! 
 We started the morning by heading to the beach at Saginaw Bay State Park where we were camping.  From here you can see the ships under sail in the bay.  They were pretty far out in the distance and only one had its sails up. (See previous post regarding lake wind conditions).


 After lunch at the camp site, we headed into Bay City for the grand show.  The ships were suppose to come in between 1-4pm The Denis Sullivan was the first to arrive just before 2:00.  We watched from the break wall as the crew masterfully brought the ship past us and along side the wall.  This is one crew that has communication down to a science.  Behind the Denis Sullivan came another blue hulled ship and docked on the other side of the river.  The event organizers had a shuttle running back and forth between the parks that mirrored each other on the river side.  We planned on going to the other side to check out the ships over there but never made it.  We spent a good amount of time checking out Wisconsin's flag ship and listening to her crew communicate repeating back requests and orders back and forth the crew chanted as they worked.



Veterans park side 



Then came the waiting and boat watching from shore.  The coast guard and coast guard auxiliary made a strong appearance as well as several local sheriff boats.  There were fairies, sleek wood Chriscrafts, and several other crafts cruising the river.










This is my favorite non sailing vessel of the day. It was pretty far off so the picture is a bit grainy. Still it's a pretty launch.

After some time the draw bridge went up and the parade of ships continued with cannon fire to boot.  

Each ship came in and pulled up to her spot on their respective side of the river.







The Pride of Baltimore II



Here the Pride of Baltimore's crew cleans the cannon they fired after passing through the drawbridge.
A clean and ready to uncork cannon.



Then the waiting began again after a while the Appledorne Headed out with a tourist group.  Then 5:30 rolled around the crowd began to thin out.  The remaining artists painted away and people were beginning to set up the amphitheater for a concert that evening.  We had hopped to see the last three ships come in but resigned to the heat of the day and headed back into town to find some ice cream before heading back to the camp site for our last night of camping.  




Along the way we ran across a small street festival put on by some local merchants and antique shops.