Greenwich Tall Ships Festival (5 – 9 Sept 2014)
On Friday I went to the first day of the Tall Ships Festival in Greenwich. A Thames barge parade was planned for 3pm. So I hopped on a passenger ferry to Woolwich for a better view of the boats.
The Tectona – built in Calicut, India 1929, now based at Plymouth
The Mercedes – two masted square rigged sailing ship from The Netherlands
The Oostershelde – three masted top-sail schooner from the Netherlands
The Eldorado (red hull) – a schooner from the Netherlands
The Eye of the Wind – a brigatine built in Germany in 1911. Its appeared in 3 Hollywood movies.
The JR Tolkien – a gaff-topsail schooner, built in East Germany and now from The Netherlands.
When I downloaded the larger image above, I spotted this woman perched on the bowsprit.
Thames Barrier – which prevents London from flooding
As we disembarked the passenger ferry, I glimpsed the magnificent figurehead on the Shtandart.
The Shtandart – a Russian Frigate replica of 1703 ship build for Peter the Great
The Tenacious (behind) – a 21st Century tall ship, completed in 2000 in Southampton for Jubilee Sailing Trust
Assembly by Peter Burke at Royal Arsenal, Woolwich
At Woolwich people were waiting patiently for the barge parade. Is that Johnny Depp??!!
By now the wind had dropped and the Tolkien returned to its mooring at Woolwich under engine power. Look, the lady is still sitting her perch on the bowsprit.
And how different the Mercedes looks with her sails now stowed. She was built in 1958, to fish the North Atlantic.
As the parade wasn’t happening and none of the stewards knew what was going on, I explored the nautical themed activities on land.
“Enter the Belly of the Whale” was a play for children inside this inflatable whale. This little lad wasn’t keen though.
Late in the afternoon, I noticed there wasn’t a queue for The Shtandart, Finally my chance to get on board a pukka sailing ship. She was magnificent. In particular, the decorative wooden carvings.
These happy people were returning from their cruise on one of the tall ships.
Back at Greenwich, getting ready for an inflatable giant lobster battle. There were plenty of things to see on land at all the sites but if you wanted to hop on a sailing ship, then the day would have been spent queuing which wasn’t for me.
All day this line from a John Masefield poem, Sea Fever that my Dad used to sing went through my mind. All I ask is a tall ship and a star to sail her by. John Ireland composed some music to it in 1913. And you can hear a lovely rendition by Russell Malcolm if you click on the link to the lyric.