As the first majestic ship enters the Sturgeon Bay Harbor, with bridge raised, horns announce the arrival of the historical presence. Onlookers literally gasp upon its entrance by the Stone Harbor Resort where people flank the water walkways, as a state of wonder is evident in their responses. http://www.stoneharbor-resort.com/ The viewing is like reaching out and touching a piece of history that you didn’t know, but now are a able to grasp a bit of this window in time. The presence of the ships is not easily forgotten, and is a treasured memory to be considered again. Questions arise: how could they ever have built that magnificent ship in the early 1800’s; who sails this large ship and how is that done without modern conveniences; what is the history of the people who manned these exclusive ships? The wonder continues long after the events takes place.
A tall ship, is a traditionally rigged sailing vessel, including topsail schooners, brigantines, brigs and barques, with riggings that may include square rigs and gaff rigs, and separate topmasts and top sails. It’s use in the mid-20th century has expanded as the ships' races evolved. Currently, the annual services of ships rotate on a three-year cycle between the Atlantic coast, the Great Lakes and the Pacific coast. The Tall Ships challenge takes place in 32 cities, with more than 20 million visitors at these ports over the past 10 years. www.sailtraining.org .
The schooner Appledore IV carried passengers from Sturgeon Bay to Green Bay as part of the Baylake Bank Tall Ship Festival. Participants experienced what sailing was like in the 18th century. Once on Lake Michigan, the 85-foot schooner’s only sounds onboard were the wind and the waves slapping the hull. The ship’s 15-person crew hoisted sails, navigated the waters of Green Bay and carried out other tasks of a sailing ship. http://www.baysailbaycity.org/
The two-masted vessel was designed in the style of ships that sailed the Great Lakes and along the East coast in centuries past. Today, the crews come from all over the country to work on the ships. The Appledore IV, is based in Bay City, MI and owned by BaySail. http://www.baysailbaycity.org/port/port.htm Normal cruising waters include Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. They provide public and private sailing as well as teaching young people about sailing. The learning includes the Great Lakes ecosystem as well as the different fishing options, the invasive species, the fowl, and the marshlands. Experiencing hauling sail, and learning about the science of the Great Lakes provides an in-depth perspective of the ships and the waters.
For further information:
The Tall Ships Challenge http://www.sailtraining.org/tallships/2013greatlakes/races2013.php