August 28 - September 1, 2002
Tall Ships Rendezvous

(If you like, you can skip down through the prose and go straight to the pictures below!)

Wednesday, August 28th, about 30 Tall Ships gathered outside the Golden Gate to parade under the Bridge to the City Front at noon, lead by a fireboat spewing celebratory streams of water in the air. The brisk 40 knot wind kept the big ships from displaying full sail, but it was still a glorious site to onlookers which were plentiful on shore or on boats dotting the Bay. Even sailboats tied at their docks clanged halyards against masts in a welcoming clamor.

On Friday, the 30th, seven Islanders cruised into Pier 39 to tour the big beauties. Bill Higdon and friend Stu on Blockbuster, Dennis Bush on Natural High, Nancy and Skipper Wall on Snowflower, Brian Jacobs (and Bailey) on Blue Moon, Steve Murphy and friends Kurt and Susannah on Luna Sea, Margo and Peter Wilhite and Barbara and Don Henderson of Kindred Spirits. Mike Dickson dropped by to tour ships and take pics. Vanishing Animal was in dock, but Rick Van Mell was heavily engaged dawn to dusk in volunteer activities for Sail San Francisco, which sponsored the Tall Ships regatta.

After many of the group toured the big ships on Pier 45 and the Hyde Street Harbor and Hyde Street Pier--a good stretch of the legs from Pier 39--the group assembled in the cockpit of Kindred Spirits about 5:30, ultimately adjourning to the large, cozy cabin of Brian's Freeport (Blue Moon) where tales were told and yarns were swapped until the lamp was lit due to darkness, and a few decided dinner was still possible. The whole festive atmosphere of Pier 39 was not far, but it was calm at the dock, with the sea lions just a barking chorus away and fortunately downwind.

Saturday Fran Jacobs came with David, and Sandy Van Mell joined the group, as well as Frank Burkhart with Island Girl and Jack Ferguson's Wandering Star. On Friday & Saturday we took some Tall Ships' crews for a ride in Islanders. We got pictures of two of the cruises. The twins from Amsterdam sailed on Luna Sea and couldn't stop smiling.

Jack and La Vaughn Ferguson took Europa crew member Kumiko for an afternoon sail and learned she had been aboard for 4 months - and was sailing on the schooner R. Tucker Thompson from New Zealand to Japan before that. She was aboard Europa for the Sail Korea series in June, then sailed across the North Pacific to Puget Sound before sailing down to San Francisco. Kimiko invited Jack and LaVaughn aboard Europa for a tour below decks, and they exchanged emails to keep in touch. Just one more way the Islander fleet extends its hospitality!"

Most of the boats were staying Saturday night. Dennis left on Natural High, to return Sunday with Judy and Matt. The Tall Ships (great and small) were awesome and fun to see, from the little but seaworthy replica of the Nina, to the majestic 185 foot Europa with its unbelievable network of overhead rigging, and, as always, it was fun just to gather with other Islanders.

Lots of people contributed pictures for the weekend. Frank Burkhart braved the big breezes and got a great series of Europa to open our picture gallery. then, you will find several shots of the key Tall Ships taken from different angles and different times of the day. Together they cast a spell of power, beauty and grandure so different from a typical sailing picture. As you walked aboard, you quickly realized the challenges and hardships of sailing these vessel for years at a time around the globe.

Hyde Street Pier, on the San Francisco waterfront, is an great place to spend some time. The 256' ship Balclutha, the W.C. Thayer, the ferry Eureka, and assorted tugs and skifs are a great treat for just $5, even if they are no longer working vessels. You will enjoy a stop aboard them.

With so many good pictures, we have added initials after our pictures to credit the various photo sources:

Barbara Henderson, (Kindred Spirits) = bh
William (Bill) Higdon, (Blockbuster) = wh
Cindy Yepez, (Sail San Francisco Volunteer) = cy
Don Henderson, (Kindred Spirits) = dh
Frank Burkhart, (Island Girl) = fb
Jack Ferguson, (Wandering Star) = jf
La Vaughn Ferguson, (Wandering Star) = lf
Mike Dickson, (Nimbus) = md
Rick Van Mell, (Vanishing Animal) = rvm
Sandy Van Mell, (Vanishing Animal) = svm

Click on images to enlarge, click "Back" to return.

185' Barque Europa charges across San Francisco Bay. fb With a bone in her teeth. fb
Power and grace. fb Marching alongside. fb
Abeam. fb The afterdeck. fb
Europa, from the Netherlands to Pier 45. wh A perfect picture at the end of the day. cy
No doubt about this one. md Mike dickson, Don Henderson & Brian Jacobs. bh
Looking aft on Europa. md The waist. wh
Looking aloft. wh Got those lines memorized? md
Here's where a fraction of them come down. md Run out there and set the jib. md
No end to the maintenance on Europa... bh Which keeps the bell shining. md
A picture of Europa with studding sails set. wh Submarine Pompanito with Europa astern. wh
Islander at Pier 39. bh Viewed from Pier 39. wh
These guys were teenagers - partied all night!. wh One shares dock space with Brian, Peter & Dennis. bh
Happy hours starts on Kindred Spirits. bh Peter Wilhite and Bailey think there's more room on Blue Moon.
This is the place for a party! bh Margo Wilhite, Steve, Susannah & Kurt from Luna Sea. bh
160' Schooner Zodiac. wh Another shot. md
She looks great here too. bh Picture of Zodiac under sail. wh
Plenty of folks aboard. wh The classic schooner bow. wh
Hyde Street Pier, home to some great old vessels. wh It practically comes to life in this view. cy
Majestic 256' Balclutha with Alcatraz in the twilight. cy Even without sails bent on, she's impressive aloft. wh
Imagine these decks awash going around the Horn. wh Everyone wants to steer. wh
85' Gaff Schooner R. Tucker Thompson from New Zealand at end of Hyde St. Pier. wh Hey, it's San Francisco, what else? cy
Mike and Don get the scoop on the 97' Ukrainian Gaff Schooner. bh You pronounce it's name! md
Columbus didn't have much room aboard 92' Nina. bh Lots of muscle needed to hoist her yards. md
103' square topsail ketch Hawaiian Chieftain slutes Nina. cy Some quiet time, at last. cy
Twins from Amsterdam and a volunteer sailed on Luna Sea. svm Flanked by Kurt & Steve, they had a great time. svm
Europa crew Kumiko at the helm on Wandering Star. jf Kumiko, Jack Ferguson & family after the sail. lf
Wandering Star set sail in a breeze. dh Frank Burkhart's Island Girl sails past Alcatraz. bh
Hawaiian Chieftain and Lynx conducted daily gun battles. bh Chieftain docking at Pac Bell Prk dock. cy
Safe alongside. cy Gas Light rafts up outside. rvm
Presidential yacht Potomac completes the picture at Pac Bell. rvm 122' square topsail schooner Lynx from Newport Beach. rvm
Crowds aboard Lynx and Nemiah. rvm 57' ketch Nemia with Lynx at Pier 40. rvm
The big boats play on the Bay. wh Close quarters upwind. wh
"Hey fellas, wait for me!" bh Sweet Symbol of San Francisco! cy

Return Main Menu