In late July were were right in in the middle of one of the most exciting festivals in the Baltics – the Tall Ships Festival.
The race is done in legs between various Baltic cities, and the ships spend a few days in each city. The ships are open for visitors and there is a big festival, with live music and vendors.
It was really crowded, and we were docked right at the end of it.
From the hill you can see the line-up of tall ships in Stockholm’s harbour.
I was standing at the gangway of this ship, the Lord Nelson, when I was something interesting
Using a rope, and with much effort they were pulling a man in a wheelchair up the gangway.
I went on board to discover there was something very special about this tall ship – It is handicap accessible!
Operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust, this ship is open for anybody to be crew, anybody at all. They are custom built to allow people of all physical abilities to sail side by side.
Some tour guides, workers on the ship, pointed out the special design features of the ship.
A lift to get you to the bottom deck
Arrows on the railings point to the front of the boat
A ridge in the middle of the specially-widened deck allows blind people to walk along the middle of the deck
This thing (what do you call it?) is one of the only ones in the world wide enough to hold a wheel chair
And the ship’s compass will speak its co-ordinates, so a blind person could steer.
That ship really gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling. You can see the Jubilee Sailing Trust website here
One of the most amazing things I remember about this race in the past is being at sea in the middle of it. Tall ships surround you, and you feel as though you are in an old naval battle, or part of the King’s fleet.
We got a chance to watch the ships parade by us, and follow them out of the harbour.
Everyone gathers on deck to watch the ships parade by. No wonder, since this it the theme and highlight of the cruise. All cruise long we had lectures by a tall ship historian, and we all felt very well-educated. The tall ship expert was sitting on our bridge giving a commentary for us as the ships sailed by.
Look at the men sitting on the rigging of this ship!
It somehow reminds me of Aphids, I don’t know why..
The whole city of Stockholm turns out to watch the Tall Ships parade out. We are always a spectacle, also.
Look at them sitting on the rock!
Here I am at the bow of our big ship, watching the scene as we follow them out of the harbour.