Over 100,000 visitors are predicted to be in Le Havre today (Saturday 2 September), for the last chance to see the Tall Ships and meet the international crews in the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, before they leave for the Parade of Sail tomorrow morning and then leave French waters in search of new adventures.
Parade of Sail
The Parade of Sail (Sunday 3 September) will be in front of Le Havre’s beach. From 7am the ships will leave Paul Vatine’s and Eure bassins adnd join at the entrance of the port near Musée Malraux. The Parade will end at approximately 11.30am.
Around the port
As well as visiting the ships the port of Le Havre is offering a full programme of activities for visitors and crews. You could watch a cabaret about the sea in the Magic Mirrors club, take part in a sextant navigation workshop on Tall Ship Santa Maria Manuela, listen to Caribbean drums, Indian and New Orleans brass bands, sing sailors songs or take part in a Sailors Mass and blessing of the sea. There are also some delicious street food stalls, including local sea food and Normandy cider.
Last night the trainees enjoyed the last crew party of the event and today many of those that crossed Atlantic from Halifax to Le Havre are leaving their ships and travelling home. We caught up with some of them and asked them to tell us about their experiences.
THIS IS WHAT THE TRAINEES TOLD US …
Karoline Teichwann, 24, Peter Von Danzig
“I wanted to have the experience of a big ocean crossing. My favourite part of the adventure was night watches when the ocean glowed and I enjoyed being part of a crew that works close together. The worst part was when we had grey water in the bilge because a pipe had broken. It’s a great idea to take part in a Tall Ships event.”
Max Patton, 18, Alexander von Humbolt II
“My favourite parts of the journey were meeting new people, dolphins, sunsets and the time I spent in England and France. I learnt that respect earns respect and my top tips for anyone thinking of doing this for the first time is to pack snacks, bring warm clothes and an open mind.”
Mackenzie Bishop, 24, Gulden Leeuw
“I have always wanted to learn to sail and so this summer I thought I would have some lessons. Then I heard about this experience and thought it was the best opportunity for me. I expected it to be emotionally and physically draining, but I was looking forward to the sailing and meeting new people – though I was worried about living in cramped conditions and missing loved ones. The whole experience was intense and heightened the extremes of everything. I am very happy I did it and now I feel accomplished and have discovered that I enjoy sailing. My favourite part was getting to meet so many different people and sharing the same experience. My least favourite part was the tiredness and the mood swings that brings out in people which caused tension sometimes. But because of that I learnt to be gentle with people, especially when you could see they were having a hard time.”
Hinrich Ostwald, 18, Alexander von Humboldt II
“I really wanted to cross the Atlantic – sailing is such a good way to travel. The journey was good, though I was happy to see land at the end and am looking forward to seeing my friends and family. And I did get seasick, but not too badly. The most valuable lesson I learnt was that you have to learn to accept your crew. And if someone asked me about doing this I would say “Do it – just do it.”
Alassua Hanson, 16, Gulden Leeuw
“The journey was amazing – I loved every moment and I will miss everyone. My favourite part of the adventure was when we had a storm – that was really exciting. And there wasn’t one thing I didn’t like – honestly – every moment was great. The most valuable lessons I learnt were – don’t stop working, always do something, stay happy and believe in yourself because you CAN do this. It was totally worth it . Just apply and enjoy.”
Euno Luge, 32, Peter Von Danzig
“I had done a little sailing before this trip but thought that sailing across the Atlantic would be a good adventure. Before we left I was excited but a little tense about feeling seasick and how I would get on with the other crew members. The best part of the adventure was celebrating my birthday in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with cake and marine phosphorescence, a view of the sky with gazillions of stars and then seeing a bunch of shooting stars.”
Lukas Heintz, 23, Peter Von Danzig
“I thought the biggest challenge for me was going to be sailing on a boat for such a long time and seasickness. Though I was really looking forward to handing the boat and adjusting the sails. The journey was awesome and definitely the best thing I have done so far. Nice weather, fantastic sailing, dolphins and glowing water – perfect. My favourite part of the adventure was the great feeling of handling the boat and working with a trained crew that works like a well-oiled machine. The most valuable lesson I learnt was that sailing on such a small vessel makes you confront every aspect of who you and the other crew members are. And the longer you are at sea, the more you discover. I would definitely recommend it; it’s a life opportunity you shouldn’t let pass.”
Photos: Valery Vasilevskiy