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Here are some OpSail 2012 Virginia highlights. What amazing weather they had for the Parade of Ships!
Tall ships and small vessels decorate the Elizabeth River in downtown Norfolk during the OpSail 2012 Virginia Parade of Sail. photo: Hyunsoo Leo Kim/The Virginian-Pilot
So many ships! What a glorious sight!
The schooner Virginia unfurls an American flag as the Coast Guard barque Eagle passes during the OpSail 2012 Parade of Sail into downtown Norfolk. photo: Bill Tiernan/The Virginian-Pilot
Fun for kids and grown-ups alike…
Ariana Fray, 4, takes a turn at the wheel of the Cisne Branco of Brazil as crowds toured the various tall ships docked at Town Point Park. Ariana was with her mother Monica Fray from Hampton. photo: Bill Tiernan/The Virginian-Pilot
The Dewaruci crews enthusiasm delights the crowds! The Dewaruci of Indonesia was a big favorite of mine when they were here in New York. They should get some kind of award for “most enthusiastic and festive crew”.
The OpSail 2012 Virginia Parade of Sail passes Fort Monroe in Hampton, heading to downtown Norfolk. photo: Ross Taylor/The Virginian-Pilot
The majesty of the Parade of Sail is always mesmerizing.
The Coast Guard barque Eagle leads the way during the OpSail 2012 Virginia Parade of Sail from Virginia Beach to Norfolk. photo: Steve Earley/The Virginian-Pilot
Lighted ships gleaming under bursts of fireworks. I must admit, I am a bit jealous of the fine weather they enjoyed.
Fireworks over the Elizabeth River dominate the downtown Norfolk skyline for OpSail 2012 Virginia. photo: Vicki Cronis-Nohe/The Virginian-Pilot
Thanks to The Virginian-Pilot for sharing their experience of OpSail 2012 Virginia with us.
As the Tall Ships set sail for OpSail 2012 Baltimore, we wish them Fair Winds and Following Seas!
by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee
Tuesday May 22nd., the evening before OpSail’s Parade of Sail, Working Harbor Committee ran a special Preview Tour of the International Tall Ships anchored in Gravesend Bay.
First glimpse of the tall ships. photo: Mai Armstrong
The Verrazano Narrows shrouded in fog, revealed the first hint of the Tall Ships masts as we approached the bridge. We approached and were able to circle each of the magnificent vessels moored in the bay on the MV Zephyr several times, waving at exuberant crews on deck.
The Juan Sebastian de Elcano of Spain was anchored near a tanker. As we motored in close to the 3rd largest sail ship in the world, we could see her gilded Minerva figurehead.
As we circled slowly, there was ample opportunity to see the details of each ship; their figureheads, rigging, fine wood wheelhouses and massive masts. Norman Brouwer, eminent maritime historian, enthralled passengers with his narration of historical facts about each Tall Ship and Operation Sail.
Indonesian Navy’s Dewaruci was the most enthusiastic, her crew treating us to an impromptu Indonesian dance on deck complete with drums and over-sized ceremonial masks.
The crew of the Indonesian Navy’s KRI Dewaruci.
photo: Mai Armstrong
As the fog closed in and darkness began to fall, our boat headed back towards Manhattan, stopping at the Statue of Liberty for a photo-op. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw USCG Eagle gleaming in the illumination from Liberty’s lights.
A perfect finale to our evening with the Tall Ships.
Many thanks to Captain John Doswell and all the WHC volunteers for organizing these special tours.
by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee
One of 17 tall ships coming to New York harbor for OpSail 2012, the Cisne Branco – which means “White Swan” in Portuguese – is the Brazilian navy’s three-masted sail training tall ship. She was built in the Netherlands by Stocheepswerf Damen and launched in November 1999. Commissioned as a Brazilian naval vessel in 2000, she serves as a sail training vessel and as an international representative.
From SILive: The international flotilla will be led by the “Eagle,” and will pass under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, enter New York Harbor, and sail up the Hudson River to the George Washington Bridge. The ships will then turn and head to their respective berths in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Three of the ships – which are an impressive 250 feet or so in length – will head to Staten Island, arriving around 2 p.m.
Colombia’s “Glory,” Ecuador’s “Guayas,” and Brazil’s “Cisne Branco” will be berthed at The Sullivans’ pier at the former Stapleton homeport for the duration of Fleet Week, which runs May 23-30.
The Parade of Sail will occur the morning of May 23rd, with the USCG Cutter Eagle leading the fleet.
Watch this short video of her in full sail. What a sight!
From SILive: Millions of spectators are expected to witness the event from the city’s shores and the New Jersey waterfront along the Hudson River. The tall ships made their last visit here in 2000.
The Navy’s ace “Blue Angels” team also will fly over the flotilla during the opening event at 11:30 a.m.
The Working Harbor Committee has added two special tours for OpSail 2012:
- May 22nd – OpSail 2012 Tall Ships Hidden Harbor tour – see vessels at anchor up close
- May 23rd – OpSail 2012 VIP Parade of Sail tour – includes brunch!
Stay tuned for OpSail 2012 updates!
by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee
Coast Guard training cruise will include leading tall ship parades
New London — The Coast Guard barque Eagle leaves today for a historic summer training cruise, but soon it will be back, and it’s going to bring along a few friends.
Eagle, “America’s Tall Ship,” will lead the parade of ships into the ports that are hosting Operation Sail events to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” The July 6-9 event in New London is expected to draw thousands to the waterfront.
“It’s a wonderful honor to be able to lead that fleet into New London,” said Capt. Eric C. Jones, Eagle’s commanding officer. “We get to, in a sense, be the first to welcome the U.S. Navy combatants and international ships into our home port. We get to be the ones to invite them into the house, so to speak.
“The organizers of OpSail2012CT, politicians and other well-wishers gathered Thursday at the pier at Fort Trumbull State Park to say goodbye to the crew.
John Johnson, the local OpSail2012CT chairman, who said last week he was disappointed that more ships were not signing up to come to New London, said at the event that a Class C vessel, or a smaller, yacht-sized ship, had just agreed to participate.
Johnson declined to name the ship, but he did say that the total number of tall ships participating now stands at close to a dozen. That figure includes two of the large Class A square-rigged vessels, Eagle and the Cisne Branco, a training ship from Brazil.
The plan for Navy ships is to have the Yard Patrol Squadron from the U.S. Naval Academy bring four boats and for one of the Navy’s amphibious ships to dock at State Pier, said Navy Capt. Marc W. Denno, commander of the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, who was at the Eagle Thursday. Right now that amphibious ship is the USS Whidbey Island LSD 41, Denno said, but that could change.
A Portuguese submarine already had planned to be at the base in July. Denno said the diesel submarine wouldn’t be open for general tours, but the crew would take part in OpSail events. The base also would provide volunteers for OpSail and help with security, Denno said.
“It seems like there is some momentum starting to build,” said U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District.
Sailfest, the city’s annual summer festival that features food vendors, carnival rides, live music, and arts and crafts, will be held the same weekend in July. Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio said that while the city faces competition from Newport, R.I., which is hosting the Ocean State Tall Ships Festival 2012 the same weekend, “it’s still going to be a great event for the city.
“With close to 80 people training to be officers in the Coast Guard or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on board, Eagle will sail from the city to New Orleans for the first OpSail event, April 17-23. The USS Wasp LHD 1, along with five large Navy vessels, will welcome the tall ships.
Coast Guard Boatswain’s Mate 3rd class Manuel Perez tests his whistle as crew and trainees on board the barque Eagle prepare for a send-off ceremony Thursday at Fort Trumbull State Park. Sean D. Elliot, pool/The Day
New Orleans, unlike New London, is considered to be one of the major events for the bicentennial commemorations, said retired Rear Adm. John B. Padgett III, chairman of the national advisory group for the commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
The Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, perform at the major events in the ports where the Navy can educate large numbers of people about the history of the War of 1812, what the Navy does today and the importance of a strong Navy, Padgett said Wednesday.
“You have a limited number of ships, and you’re trying to distribute them most efficiently to get the message out,” he said. “You get a bigger bang for the buck in New York or in Boston than you would in New London. It’s just a fact of life, and you can’t put as many ships in New London as you can put other places.”It is estimated that nearly 1 million people visited New London for OpSail 2000. But millions went to the New York festival, Padgett said.
“That’s not to disparage New London,” he said. “It’s just not as big.”
Padgett said some of the Navy ships that will be in Boston, June 30-July 5, may be available for New London, depending on their operational requirements.
Finizio said this year’s OpSail is still “a work in progress.”
“If we compare it to, say, past OpSails, or what we would hope ideally OpSail to be, then our expectations would fall short,” Finizio said. “But if we look at this as every year we do Sailfest, and this year we’re going to have an event that doubles or triples the size of Sailfest. We have to look at it through that lens and see that it will be a tremendous success and a tremendous boon to our local economy.”