Saturday, March 27, 2010

Such A Special Day

There are "Tall Ships" and there are "Small Ships", and they all need men to sail the seas. But for each and every ship, those men and women who sail the oceans of the world are special.

Life at sea is not for everyone, there are those who choose it for love and for passion, and there are those who through life's circumstances just accept that its their life.

But for all the different types of people that you find that go to sea, the sea becomes part of them, its something that you cant quite explain, but when placed on land for some time a sailor become restless and uneasy.

Around the world every sailor that is married to the oceans, there is one piece of water that has the respect and fear of everyone, Cape Horn.

The morning of the 24th of March 2010 was a special day at that formidable place Cape Horn, gathered to the west of the gnarly rocky island was an armada, but an armada of many nations.

Nine tall ships and one sailing yacht representing the countries of the Americas and Europe came together not to fight but to celebrate a 200 year anniversary, most were navy and sail training ships, but the one yacht was Xplore.

For two years we had been working and negotiating Xplore's involvement in this monumental occasion, and that day had come. We were there as an official photographic vessel to whiteness what possibly has never before been seen in history, the rounding of Cape Horn by nine tall ships at the same time.

As the black of night started to dwain, and the twinkling lights in the rigging of these grand ladies of the sea were turned out, the men on board prepared for a historical day.

The winds were fare from the WNW, a mid level cloud covered the entire sky as the fleet formed into place, to commence a very special race. Yards squared round as they made course for the Horn, sails were let loose like a flock of doves being thrown to the skies.

With masts stretching to the skies, they flew like you would never believe, skipping over the waves they drew closer to the Horn, resting place for thousands who had toiled and strained to round this cape, but today was going to be joy not sorrow.

On board Xplore the cameras whirled, memory cards were filled to the brim and the batteries were flattened and changed time after time, there was so much happening as each ship of sail changed their angle and showed another pretty face to take just one more shot.

That day made history, and will stay in the minds of everyone involved.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tall Ships of Fame

Tall Ships of Fame

When I first heard two years ago about the Tall Ships circumnavigation of South America to celebrate the bi-centenary of the commencement to gain independence from Spain by Argentina and Chile I was instantly committed to being part of it.

Now the day has come, we are sitting at anchor in one of the small bays in Isla De Los Estados (Staten Island) waiting for our official reunion with the fleet before entering the Beagle Channel.

The only problem that the fleet has at present is the weather ! for the last 3 days the wind strength on the South East coast of South America has been appalling, the fleet has been scattered in different directions, with even the strongest and sturdiest ships making virtually no head way. The Mexican ship 2 days ago turned and headed into Puerto Madrin for protection, and at present the Chilean ship Esmeralda is the most furthest south.

The next 24 hours will be telling to see if the scheduled rendezvous here in Staten will be possible, or that with the delays we will have to move back into the Beagle Channel East where there is a second meeting point on the 19th.

Xplore is the only modern designed yacht which is a part of the 11 sailing ships involved in this momentas event, we will have 3 days in Ushuaia for local festivities and official events, before we take to sea again and head for Cape Horn.

More news to come as the fleet reaches the south