Today in Learn Along with Claire, get to know your tall ships! In case you didn’t know, I will spending part of February, March and April sailing the Atlantic aboard the topsail schooner Oosterschelde. At the moment she and her sisters are off the coast of Hobart, Tasmania as part of the Australian tall ships regatta. A couple of local filmmakers hopped on board their boat and sailed out to the harbor to put together this video, which serves as an ideal tool to get acquainted with a pirate’s most important asset: the ship!
For the past few months, this blog has been in stealth mode. I’ve been hiding in the trees like some kind of fairy-tale witch, tossing out candy to see if anyone will take the bait. But now that
the advance check is in the bank it’s official, it’s time to reveal why I decided to start it–and it isn’t, as you might have guessed, just a sudden, unexplained obsession with eyepatches.
My first book, the memoir Princess of Pirates: Or, How I Ran Away to Sea is a go! It’s due out in 2015 from Cleis Press, with a hearty salute to my intrepid agent Anna Olswanger of Liza Dawson Associates. As a result, come February, I’ll be heading back to sea for the first time since 2006, as a guest crew member on the Dutch schooner Oosterschelde. And you’re all invited along for the trip!
In the coming months, I’ll be dishing up as many typhoons, swashbuckling duels, and wind-blown love affairs that I can cram into digestible 300-word chunks, as well as more pedestrian fare like…um, finishing my manuscript. All in real time (for the polished stuff, of course, you gotta buy the book!) As always, since this is the 21st century and not (sadly) the Golden Age of Sail, I’ll be cross-pollinating on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Some of you may get handwritten letters stuffed into glass bottles, too–but I can’t guarantee timely delivery.
See you at sea!
Have you been following the Astrid saga? The 100-foot Belgian brig was wrecked July 24 off the Irish coast of Cork, with its crew safely evacuated, and now the Coast Guard has given its approval to raise her, hopefully to find out what happened. Sad that after being built in 1918 and surviving two world wars, she might never sail again. Time to sing a dirge. “Heel ya hoy, boys…”
“The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) research yacht Celtic Mist is currently docked in Dun Laoghaire awaiting the start of The Gathering Cruise around Ireland.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 19-day event will see some 100 cruising boats proceed along the east and south coasts of Ireland from Dublin to Cork and Kerry.
Along the way they will be recording any sightings of whales or dolphins along the way using forms supplied by the IWDG.”
Sign me up!
Kicking off with a real-life sea battle (ok, maybe it was just show, but it looked cool) the first leg of the annual Tall Ships Races in Europe features 13 countries, 4 days, 10,000 young, bright-eyed, fresh-faced tall ship sailors. I wish I was here!
Toronto Star staffer Andrew Livingstone gets a pirate’s eye view aboard the SS Sorlandet. Testimony from real-life pirate princess and Class Afloat alum Celina Diaz: “Before you cross you’re a pollywog and when you cross you become a shellback,” she said. “It’s like once you become a shellback you’re part of this society, you’re under King Neptune’s protection.”
If you, (unlike me, at least in the pirate ship world) are still a youngster, find out more about the Class Afloat program!
I was stunned by the talent shown in Baggywrinkles, a webcomic from real-life pirate princess Lucy Bellwood, who uses her comics to spin yarns about her time sailing on Portland’s Lady Washington.
The largest tall ship in the world, the Sedov, arrives in Gdynia, Poland as part of the Culture 2011 Tall Ships Regatta, which will include a race from Turku to Gdynia and officially opens today. The 122-meter Russian ship has whopping FOUR masts. I don’t even know the height. I’m not sure I want to.
Tall Ship Manitou offers multi-day sailing experiences. The Manitou, operated by the Traverse Tall Ship Company, is a traditional topsail schooner, just like the one I sailed on. The price is around $700 for a four day trip, but if you have the doubloons, I recommend going to gaze at the stars or sip wine. Few real ships have overnight voyages open to people of all ages, and until you’ve gazed at the stars from under the mainmast.