By Rev. C.J. Barry Kentner (“Rare Bear”)
This weekend past, the town of Kingsville, Ontario was host to the Tall Ships. It was a weekend of romance and adventure, 1700’s style.
The Iconic Bluenose II, Empire Sandy, Picton Castle, SVT Fair Jean, HMCS Oriole, and the Coast Guard.
They completed a tour of the Great Lakes and were homeward bound when they stopped at Kingsville, possibly one of the southernmost towns in Canada.
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The tall ships were so tall that even though the rise from the harbour to the level ground was steep, at least two of the ship’s masts could be seen from street level.
That is tall. The tallest ship in Kingsville was the Empire Sandy. Even those who experienced the thrill of a ride aboard the ships were impressed by the height of the masts. One could only see the masts and sails of the ships long before the hull emerged from the glare of the lake.
Most Canadians are fascinated by the Bluenose Two because amongst other things, she is the Ship on the Canadian Dime!
I suppose everyone knows that the Bluenose II is identical to the Bluenose, a replica of the fishing schooner which was built in 1921. It was launched officially on March 26th. Designed by William Roue, it was intended for Racing and Fishing duties.
Therefore it was Gaff Rigged…and it did both, from the day of launch, until the 28th of January, 1946. She was wrecked on a reef off Haiti while carrying a load of bananas.
The replica, built in 1963, has been used as a Sailing Ambassador for Canada since 1971 when it was purchased by the Canadian Government.
Most of the tall ships are quartered in the Nova Scotia ports of Lunenburg and Halifax, but the tall ships have also been built in the United States and Ireland.
The Tall Ships held races…as well as entertained.
One port of call was Richmond, British Columbia where a lively and realistic battle took place between the Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain. Real black powder was used in the battle to add reality and the odorous aroma of a fight.
By the way, the Lady Washington has starred in several movies.
Not all the ports were treated to battles, however, but there were races in each port of call. The tall ships will be back on the lakes next year. If you want to see them close up, it is roughly fifteen dollars per ticket to view them…and about 30 dollars or more to actually set sail for a half hour or so of memories.
Barry was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1935 and schooled to Grade 10, but continued educational pursuits until age 65 when he graduated from Open Word Bible College. He started working for Spitzer and Mills advertising in 1952, then moved to the Broadcast arena where for 62 years he was News Director and Talk Show Host at several Canadian Radio Stations. He was one of 5 consultants who managed to lobby for Christian Radio in Canada, and in the last five years before retirement, he was News Director of Canadian Altar.Net News, a network of 25 Christian Radio Stations across Canada from Charlottetown PEI to Campbell River BC.
Barry Kentner is a semi-retired pastor.
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To read more from Rev. C.J. Barry Kentner, check out his book, “Trains, Tracks, Trestles and Round House Tales” by contacting him at firstname.lastname@example.org.