OpSail 2012 in Norfolk ~ The Tall Ships Were Quite a Sight!

After just finishing my large ship painting and having a renewed interest in maritime art, last minute I thought it would be fun to see the tall ships in Norfolk.  I knew that there would be heavy traffic with over one million spectators expected at the Parade of Sail and other festivities celebrating the 2012 gathering of the tall ships in Norfolk, Virginia.  It was well worth sitting through the backup in the Hampton Roads tunnel and the challenge of finding a parking spot. 

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I arrived just in time to witness the ships sailing down the Elizabeth River to the waterfront in downtown Norfolk. The tugboats had their hoses shooting water well into the air, helicopters and fighter jets were buzzing overhead and the tall ships were all adorned with flags and sailors in uniform. 

Everyone was jockeying for position in the crowds to try and get a good shot of the ships.  Many of my shots were taken by holding my camera well up into the air, over the crowd and hoping that I might get lucky.  This little girl had a bird’s eye view as she witnessed her first gathering of tall ships!

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 The Godspeed, a replica of the ship that sailed along with the Susan Constant and the Discovery to the New World in 1607, resulting in the founding of Jamestown, is local to Williamsburg where we live.  The ship’s design is somewhat similar to the ship that I just painted.  Our good friend and accomplished sailor, Pete, was sailing on the ship along with a local crew for the OpSail weekend.  

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Another ship that I’ve become interested in is the Kalmar Nyckel.  It is the Goodwill Ambassador and state ship of Delaware.  In 1638, the original Kalmar Nyckel sailed from Sweden to the New World, arriving in and establishing the first settlement of Delaware. Picture below.

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 The HMS Bounty ship was built in 1962 for the movie Mutiny on the Bounty starring Marlon Brando!  It is a replica of one of the most famous ships in the world, “known for the storied mutiny that took place in Tahiti in 1789”. Picture below.

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I’ve included below several other shots that you all might enjoy seeing.  Having so many tall ships in one location was quite a sight.  I’m so glad that I made the effort to go see the Parade of Sail in Norfolk at OpSail 2012.  I would love to eventually paint some of the ships under full sail on the open water.  The several hundred photos that I took will provide great resource material if I decide to do so.

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