Item posted: Thursday 20th February , 2014
Well, the day had finally arrived. Three Dutch Tall ships were in South Australian waters. They were to be greeted by a flotilla of yachts and motor boats from the various yachting clubs.
Months of preparation by so many community organisations, government departments, local council and individuals...all the tooing and frowing were now beginning to come to fruition.
And now they were here.
The weather was perfect.
Balmy with a whisper of wind and glorious spring sunshine. The salt sea air was renewing to breathe. Ahh, beautiful...a good day for a sail. It was a pity that Falie wasn’t in survey, the flagship of South Australia’s living maritime heritage to be greeting her Dutch sisters. Would have just capped the day. But our STV One & All Headed down the Port River with a growing air of excitement. An anticipation of the up coming planned activities that were now beginning to unfold.
But the tall ship festival was about much more than the romance of tall ship sailing. Each tall ship outfit were sail training vessels where the passengers learnt to become crew. Various aspects of seamanship are taught, learnt, practised, embraced to become an important life challenging and impacting experience. Learning and applying team skills, safety, in a confined space. Friendships made, stories told, adventures begun, and songs sung.
Our One & All was purpose built for this and Falie’s program included the Falie Scholarship Program that saw sail training voyages for many schools.
Yet in amongst all of this, in an age of such incredible technology and advancements, is the witness from the excitement of this welcome on shore and on water and from the activities and festivities that unfolded, of how tall ships still inspire us and draw us back to the sea. Draw us back to nature and enaging in with the winds and waves for safe journeying.
Walking on McLaren Wharf where they were all moored there was always a tangible ‘buzz’ in the air. People were friendlier...almost the same kind of atmosphere one finds when out Christmas shopping.
This atmosphere has influenced me in how I have approached the set up of Our (South Australia’s) Tall Ship Festival 2013. This book is more of a community family album as a way to reflect visually the excitement of these majestic graceful yet ocean going tall ships.
The whole entire festival was sooo awesome, exhausting, and wonderful in so many ways.
So from here, with the sun on our faces, and salt sea air...mmmmm... yes,
our story begins...
I grew up around family members who were either building wooden boats, piloting tugboats, roaring around in a speed boat, who knew the art of putting ship into bottles, boat blue prints, drawings and paintings, chatter regarding boats amongst other things and summers at the beach.