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Tall ships sail into Charlottetown


CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. -  The Charlottetown harbour was a magnificent sight to behold Friday.  

Several tall ships graced the capital city harbour in the span of two hours during a parade of sails as part of the RDV 2017 Tall Ships Regatta.

Justin Bourbonnais and Stephanie Gauthier of Cornwall Ontario were two of the 4,000 plus people who arrived in the afternoon Friday after the parade to tour the several tall ships docked at the Port of Charlottetown and Queen’s Wharf.

“They are pretty impressive,” said Bourbonnais. “It’s nice to be up close and see how everything works.”

This was the first time the young couple have been on a tall ship and thought it was cool to see how far some of them have travelled.

Gauthier said her favourite one was the Europa from the Netherlands because it “looked really old”. The ship is 106 years old.

Meanwhile, Bourbonnais liked the BAP Union from Peru built in 2014.

Jillian Brown, 9, of Sherwood just walked off the BAP Union with her grandparents, Kevin and Patty Jones of Cornwall, when The Guardian had a chance to hear what she thought of the massive 378-foot ship.

Jillian thought it was neat that the crew was baking on the ship, handing out fresh hot rolls.

She was also impressed with the steering wheel, which she admits was “pretty big”.

That was their first tall ship tour. They were heading towards the USCG Eagle from Connecticut, built in 1936.

“They are all pretty cool,” said Jillian looking around at all the ships. “They are nice and big and they can fit a lot of people.”

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Maryann and David Johns of Londonderry, New Hampshire were having a delightful afternoon touring the various tall ships from all over the world.

“It’s just fabulous,” said Maryann, who was fascinated with the rigging, masts and sails on the tall ships. “When you look at them close up you imagine what people have to learn and know in order to run these ships, it really strikes a cord with you, it helps you understand what its like.”

The Johns, who have a summer home in Mount Stewart, had just had a tour on the HMCS Oriole.

“We just had the most wonderful and inviting tour of the (HMCS Oriole), the sailors took time to explain anything that we asked and they were just so welcoming.”

David said they have seen tall ships before at the Boston harbour but never had the pleasure of actually touring one.

David said to actually walk around on the tall ships added to the experience.

“This is a much better way to see a tall ship,” said David.

“It’s just wonderful to be invited on them,” said Maryann.

The free tall ship deck tours will continue on July 1 and July 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

maureen.coulter@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/MaureenElizaC

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