Fourth of July in Norfolk, Virginia, along with foreign visitor sail training vessels CISNE BRANCO and CAPITAN MIRANDA, was blessed by some of the most uncommonly fair weather for the time of year. Low humidity and not extremely high temperatures. To complete the picture there was no rain…until today.
So called “tall ship” festivals have been an annual event for Norfolk for 33 years now…a somewhat unique track record as American East Coast ports are concerned…and both the Brazilian and Uruguayan vessels are frequent guests. Why neither of them wanted to do the Atlantic Challenge race between Charleston and Boston is an interesting question considering both vessels are financially fully supported by their home governments and not receiving monetary exchange from Norfolk for attending. Maybe it has to do with both vessels being naval training vessels hence are taking the opportunity to further enhance a close relationship with the American Navy during a holiday that has popularity outside of the United States as well within.
CISNE BRANCO did not participate in the Bermuda to Charleston race either…but she sailed from Bermuda around the time of the Class A start from Bermuda and she did indeed take off very quickly (as observed via IS) to lead the Class A’s both in speed and in going to windward. Considering how well CAPITAN MIRANDA did in the Bermuda to Charleston race it is too bad the Brazilians did not participate.
All three of us (CAPITAN MIRANDA, CISNE BRANCO and PRIDE) are motoring ahead quickly for Boston now. The weather is not favorable for covering the distance under only sail power…we have almost 500 nautical miles to make by Wednesday July 8th. The wind is not blowing strongly enough to provide the power to sail fast enough and it is forecast to go against us for a bit as well. Hence I believe this leg will be more a motorboat ride than usual. But there is compensation at the end of this leg…rejoining the rest of the international sail training vessel fleet in Boston to be followed by the cruise in company to Halifax for the last port festival in North America for TSAC 2009 fleet. Unlike in Europe, international sail training fleet gatherings in the United States are rare and often are smaller in the number of attending vessels…especially this year considering the Tall Ships Race in the Baltic numbers some 150 odd vessels. So it is with great pleasure and anticipation that we aboard PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II look forward to seeing again our international sailing friends.
Jan C. Miles, Captain aboard Pride of Baltimore II