21 July 2012

Tall Ships

I know absolutely nothing about boats and ships - starboard, what? - except that they are awesome.  The bigger and old-timier the better.  If they inspire illusions of pirate booty and scurvy they become more intriguing still.  So, imagine my delight when I discovered that the Tall Ships Festival was being held in Halifax this year.

For the past few days ships have been arriving under full sail into Halifax Harbour and this morning we took the opportunity to walk the plank and shiver our timbers.  In ordinary parlance that translates to meander along the boardwalk and tour the boats in neat single file fashion. 

I can't pinpoint exactly what it is about these giant ships that set my pulse racing: the towering masts; the rattle of rigging and reels; the wind-snapped flags; the cool brass or the warm timbers.   Maybe it is the aura of adventure and of romance: high tossed waves; far away ne'er before seen lands, and; bereft lovers alone on shore.  Maybe it is the sheer danger of it all with with press gangs and pirates.

I can state with some certainity that I do love the solemn guidance of a ship's figurehead.  Here are two from the ships we viewed today.

This traditional figurehead looks suitable charged, willing to brave the waves and lead her men to shore. She oozes determination.

By contrast, this little frog sailor is ridiculously adorable and whimsical.  He does however look as though he takes his duties quite seriously and he is a natty little dresser to boot!

Come Monday the ships will again set course for the high seas.  It was a brief romance we shared, but it was fine while it lasted.

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