White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Monday, June 19, 2017

"The Parade of Sails," Sail Boston 2017, Part 1 of 3, Boston, Massachusetts, USA



In was an inauspicious beginning to the long-awaited event in Boston - the arrival of the tall ships and the formal "Parade of Sails." Low clouds and fog put a damper on both the event and the folks eagerly anticipating the arrival of the ships - not since 2000 have so many of the world's tall ships descended en masse on Boston. But Bostonians and others attending would manifest the spirit for which they are well-known - waiting out the bad weather, hanging tough, and prevailing in the end. In spite of the weather, it was a spectacular event.



I dragged myself out of bed at 3:45am to head into the big city before the crowds. (I haven't been up that early since my pre-retirement working days). Starting out at Fan Pier, I wandered past the docked vessels. Many folks had purchased tickets to sail on various charter vessels to either or both observe the parade from the water level and/or actually sail in it.



It may have been damp and glum but, mostly spirits were high with anticipation.



The bright light at right on the dock is a news crew filming an interview with ship personnel.



All types and sizes of vessels were in the harbor for the event - including the Mississippi-style riverboat in the background and this two-masted sailing ship in the foreground.



Optimists all, they eventually left the dock and headed off into the fog out of the harbor to the staging area to the east.



Of course, security was ever-present from road closures.....



....to armed amphibious patrols,,,,,,,



....to canine units sniffing for bombs, and hundreds of law enforcement personnel wandering among the crowds. Of course, everybody had to go through airport-style metal detectors and physical inspection to get near the waterfront.



I was hanging out in a media area near the east end of the harbor waiting for the Parade to begin. With the low clouds and fog, organizers postponed the start from 9:00am to 10:00am. At 10:00am they postponed it until 11:00am.



Nearby, docked at the North Jetty,  the Navy vessel USS Whidbey Island personnel awaited the beginning.



Boredom and anticipation in equal measure drove folks to create their own diversions and entertainment during the wait.



But finally, the clouds rose, the fog lessened and, at about 11:20am, led by a Boston Harbor fireboat spraying fountains of water, the "Parade of Sails" officially began with the US Coast Guard vessel Eagle entering the harbor.



At 295 feet in length, the Eagle was one of the larger vessels in the Parade.



As the Eagle passed by and headed toward the city, I'll end Part 1 of this blog series.....check back soon for Part 2 which will show some of the vessels as they entered the harbor for the Parade.


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