Brockville’s Tall Ships 1812 Tour makes a successful noise
6/17 – Brockville, Ont. – The Friday afternoon parade of tall ships could be considered a huge success. A capacity crowd of spectators lined the Brockville shore from Blockhouse Island over to Centeen Park as the fleet of tall ships sailed past up river under a clear sunny sky. As each vessel passed the park, it received a traditional welcome salute fired from a muzzle-loading six-pounder field gun manned by Prescott’s Fort Wellington-based Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles. Each vessel answered in reply by firing shipboard muzzle-loaders of various calibers. The best and biggest blast was delivered by the Pride of Baltimore II’s formidable bronze six-pound long gun, and the blast also created a huge ball of white smoke that rolled over the water away from the vessel. The best multi-shot carronade was delivered by the smallest vessel in the fleet, the traditional wooden “Pinky” schooner La Revenante. The entire event, led by the brigantine Fair Jeanne, lasted well over two hours.
Public interest in the tall ships was strong, and by mid Saturday afternoon event organizers had sold 12,000 boarding passports. The schooners Empire Sandy and Liana’s Ransom were loaded to capacity for the afternoon sail outs and the dinner cruises were sold out. However Saturday’s sunny skies displayed some wispy cloud formations of herring bones and mares’ tails. At about seven Sunday morning, the skies clouded over and a couple of hours later the rains came.