The visit of the Tall Ships to Hobart has brought joy to many hearts. Wonder and romance in every mast, spar and sail. The glory and awe of the open sea. A visual reminder of the days not so far gone, when Tall Ships were our only contact with the world.
Tall Ships Set Sail for the Open Sea
by Len Langan
For some reason a poem came into my mind as I stood, yes, with a lump in my throat, gazing on this glorious sight. I cannot give the poet’s name but the lines are powerful when he speaks of ships and the sea:-
Along the shore I spy a ship
And she sets out to sea:
She spreads her sails and sniffs the breeze
And slips away from me.
Many of our forebears sailed this ocean; some in uniform, some free, and some in chains. They all arrived under sail across the vast forbidding sea. First the young Lieutenant John Bowen in 1803 – not as often said our first Lieutenant Governor for he only carried the title of “Commandant” and then our famous and rather naughty, official first Lieutenant Governor, Colonel David Collins.
Two men as different as chalk and cheese. Collins was not fond of the sea. He was a soldier. To Bowen it was his working place as a naval man. Dying in office Collins was spared the return journey and rests here in the Hobart he founded, his sins forgiven, his naughty-ness smilingly admired, and his memory respected.
Other lines from the above poem capture the spirit of life and the sea with a gentle reminder that we are all like sailing ships:-
We’re built to cruise for but a while
Upon the trackless sea
Until one day we sail away
Sadly the fleet’s departure on Wednesday 25th September, was in dreadful weather spoiling the event for hundreds of people gathered at all the vantage points. Yet, there is something magical about Tasmania that always turns momentary disappointments into joy.
We left the Bellerive Bluff lookout and found a delightful restaurant in Bellerive for a wonderful breakfast. Owned by Ruth and Mark de Bont, Three Little Ducks earned six stars from us and we highly recommend it to all our readers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Phone 6245 0566 or just call in to “arrive as Strangers but to leave as Friends.”
Thanks to everyone involved in this glorious event. We’d particularly like to acknowledge the valuable and efficient help given by Daryl Peebles, Media Manager of the Australian Wooden Boat Festival Inc.
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