Imagine a time before the advent of steam engines, when ships plied trade routes around the world using nothing but the power of the wind. Envision Boston Harbor, a major commercial center of America since the founding of the thirteen colonies, filled with schooners, brigantines, barques, and brigs. Sails suspended tautly from their masts, flags fluttering in the wind, and the sounds of sailors yelling to one another as they work the ropes and riggings that control the sails. On Saturday the age of tall ships returned to Boston, as Sail Boston 2017 began, vessels from fourteen countries entering Boston Harbor.
Sail Boston is one of the destinations for the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ship Regatta, a sailing competition that began on April 13th in Royal Greenwich, England and will end on September 3rd in Le Havre, France. Along the way, the vessels will make port calls in Portugal, the Canary Islands, Bermuda, Charleston, South Carolina, Boston, Halifax, Quebec City, and Hamilton. The event marks the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. The ships entered Boston Harbor on Saturday morning an hour late due to fog, and the weather would remain overcast for much of the day. I met up with friends to head to Boston Harbor in the afternoon and witness the festivities. Held during June 17 – 22, Sail Boston is a free event that is open to the public, allowing visitors to interact with these beautiful sailing ships. In addition to the vessels themselves, there are plenty of outdoor restaurants, live music, street performers, and some great people-watching as well! The organizers of Sail Boston expect over a million visitors to come to Boston Harbor during this event.
Since we arrived too late to witness the Parade of Ships as the vessels entered Boston Harbor, I am including this short vide from Channel 5 News in Boston, which shows many of the ships sailing toward the docks:
Finally, an interesting bit of news for anyone who has ever fought for parking in a crowded city. In Hong Kong, where space is at a premium, a parking space sold for $664,000, a new record. I told this story to my friends yesterday, and they assured me that Boston was not far behind. A quick internet search showed that they were correct. In 2015, a parking spot in the space-constrained Beacon Hill neighborhood sold for $650,000. That’s just the parking space, excluding the home itself! Maybe if I emptied my savings account and liquidated my retirement… I could park there for a few days.
Sail Boston is a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime event that is a must-visit for anyone that loves ships and the sea. It runs through June 22nd, and is open to the public. The vessels stretch the length of the harbor, so make sure you wear comfortable walking attire! I had a great time, and would highly recommend this celebration of life on the sea. Thanks for coming along on another journey along the open road ahead!