Slideshow: Tall Ships Parade of Sail a special one for Larinda
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Larinda’s spin around the Halifax Harbour in Monday’s Parade of Sail was an especially proud moment.
The tall ship sunk in that very same harbour by hurricane Juan in 2003 and was lifted out of the water and restored over the past nine years. This festival was the first one Larinda attended under the strength of her own sails.
“So today for the parade, this is the first time she'll have all sails up and in company with the others,” said Larinda’s captain Michael Watson, hours before she set sail. “It's hard not to get choked up for most of the core crew here as they've been working on her for years.”
Larinda, whose home port is inBoutiliers Point, carried a crew of six on Monday but they also had several family members and friends on board.
It wasn’t just the crew who were emotional over the Larinda’s presence in Halifax. Watson said he’s never seen a warmer crowd.
“Almost everyone knows this boat and what happened to it,” he said. “When they have done the tour, especially downstairs and back, they put their hands on their breasts and say 'God what a beautiful job.' It makes me as captain think this is pretty special.”
Parades of sail are often the highlight of a festival as thousands and thousands of people line the shores to catch a glimpse – and more than a few photos – of the tall ships as they head out.
“It's like you're in traffic but you're really on show and everyone looks their best. It's like a marching parade only we're sailing,” Watson said.
Everything is well orchestrated and even with pleasure craft cluttering up the harbour, the ships managed well enough. But that doesn’t mean accidents can’t happen.
Richard Bailey, captain of the Gazela, said the ship was in a parade of sail in Bermuda in 1976 at the start of a race when things got a little hairy.
“Two big ships squashed Gazela between them and she lost her main top mast, but that was light damage and it was 30-odd years ago,” Bailey said.
Still, it’s a beautiful way to say good-bye to a city and it can be emotional for any crew.
“If we were sailing to Europe we might be feeling super nostalgic and a little heartbroken but since we're only sailing overnight to Port Hawkesbury I don't think we'll be too bad, but I think everyone will miss Halifax.”
Especially since Halifax has been so very good to the Gazela, Bailey said.
“Many of this crew have never been to Halifax so I told them ahead of time this is a city unlike any you've been to this year. It's the warmest, friendliest place.
The waterfront is wonderfully maintained and managed and developed,” he said.
And the crew’s good time didn’t mean getting “stupid drunk,” he added.
“But it involved meeting people and it did involve a few beers and some rum.”
The Schooner Larinda heads past the large crowd on the Halifax waterfront Monday.
The HMS Bounty passes in front of a huge crowd watching from the waterfront.
The Roseway, based in Maine, heads past Georges Island.
A local boat gets close to the USCGC Eagle, where crew members line the deck and the rigging.
The USCGC Eagle, the largest ship in Monday's Parade of Sail
Theodore Tugboat and HMS Bounty head out to start the Parade of Sail. Metro/Jeff Harper
Pleasure craft escort participants in the Parade of Sails event at the end of the five-day tall ship festival Halifax on Monday, July 23, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan
A wide range of sailing vessels participate in the Parade of Sail.