I am smitten by the sea and I especially love the way the ever-changing seascape reflects the annual onward inexorably march of the seasons. I also like looking at boats bobbing in the bay and if I am passing Dublin port enjoy spotting the cargo ships and cruise liners docked there. It was therefore a racing certainty that I would go to look at the tall ships which arrived in Dublin recently for the Tall Ships Festival (August 23 to August 26th).
Thus I found myself in Dublin’s docklands yesterday gazing in wonder at the vista before me. It was as if a wizard specializing in scene-transformation (a sort of real-life wizardly Photoshop) had clicked his heels, chanted an incantation and waved a magic wand to turn back time and line Dublin’s north and south quays with majestic ships that properly belong to an earlier era. Said wizard must have missed a class or two as the scene transformation wasn’t total; the 21st century backdrop of shiny glass monolithic offices blocks remained in place.
The Tall Ships Festival marks the end of the Tall Ships Races 2012; Dublin is the final port of call in this year’s race series. The ships have zigzagged their way across sometimes stormy seas; starting in St Malo on 5th July they visited Lisbon, Cadiz, A Coruna en route to the Dublin finishing line. Sail Training International organize the races. According to their website one of their aims is ‘the development and education of young people through the sail training experience’.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors will visit the free family orientated Tall Ships Festival. There’s a packed programme of events including: live music, street performances, workshops, a craft market, water sports, talks, walking tours … for full details click here.
When I was in Dublin’s docklands at lunch time yesterday the place was busy and buzz-y with a lively throng make their way up and down the quaysides. The vast array of beautiful ships was awe-inspiring but there was much else I enjoyed such as: listening to an open air opera performance; looking at the flower market; admiring the children’s play area which was filled with old-fashioned wooden toys; and just generally wandering about …