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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

More on Tall Ships

OK, I have a bit more time now so can explain about the Tall Ships being in Orkney. The actual Tall Ships Race of 2011 is in three legs, the first was from Waterford in Ireland to Greenock in Scotland. The second race will be from Lerwick in Shetland to Norway. But between Greenock and Lerwick the ships come into other ports on a "Cruise along with the Tall Ships" event. So people could buy tickets for trips down Scapa Flow, or for parties on the "poop deck". Over the weekend folk could wander over all of the ships and ask questions of the crew.

It was also an opportunity for a "gala" with lots of shore events going on. The Stromness Museum was open with special exhibitions, the Pier Arts Centre had a special Tall Ships exhibition, all along the pier head were marquees where local charities and organizations could have a "pitch" to raise funds, so lots of fun stalls and things to buy. There were carriage rides in a horse and carriage, pipe bands, and even a parade of the local riding club. There was a band stand at the Stromness Pier Head and various bands and performers were playing throughout the weekend.  The town had a real carnival atmosphere, even though the weather was "changeable"! Below are some photos of Stromness celebrating the Tall Ships.

Some of the Stromness Pipe Band

Local shops dressed their windows for the occasion

This is an old photo but "photoshopped" to include the faces of local women!

This is one of my favourites

The local Riding Club paraded through the town

The lifeboat went out and escorted each ship in. In the UK the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute) is a charity and the lifeboats are run completely by volunteers with an army of folk behind them to raise funds etc.

And of course not forgetting the tall ships - this is the Eendracht

The boats were immaculate, as you would expect. On one vessel, the Svanhild, even the rope was arranged artistically (I'm sure there's a perfectly practical reason for this, but I liked the design!).

Most of the ships are on their way up to Shetland now, but I've been snapping them as they sailed past and will share those photos over the next few days.


  1. What a great event to experience!

  2. I love the festival atmosphere in your photos, Sian, Such fun, despite the weather (which is just as grey and damp down here in Normandy)

  3. What great photos! I love your blog- Thanks for sharing.

  4. Great blog and photos, as usual,
    you are having a great year up

  5. I could not pass up the opportunity to let you know that I noticed that your favorite window was the one with a lighthouse in it. Just sayin'

  6. Mary Z - yes it was!

    Perpetua - hope your weather (and ours) cheers up soon!

    Dee in BC - welcome to Graemsay! Glad you enjoyed the photos.

    Pat - yes lots going on in ORkney!

    Bev - tee hee!

  7. There is sort-of a practical point: figure-of-eight coiling means that ropes will run out again without getting tangled, although it's usually not necessary for anything that small. Doing it so neatly is for show, though :-)

    -Simon, who arrived home in Stromness after a week away just as most of the ships had left :-(

  8. Simon - thanks for the info! I guessed this was a rather artistic way of doing something. I liked it though.... Sorry you missed all the fun......