With its shoreline touching both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and climate change lengthening the Arctic shipping season it is fitting that the tall ships will help Canada celebrate its 150th birthday this year.
More than 40 tall ships will visit Canadian ports this summer. Quebec will play host to 15 ships, Nova Scotia will have 11 and Ontario three. The tall ships’ visits will run from June 30 to August 20.
The trademark of a tall ship is its traditional rigging. Top-sail schooners, brigantines, brigs and barques qualify as tall ships. They are also defined by organizations that include a festival or a race. Sail Training International is an example. For races under Sail Training International any sailboat with a water line of more than 9.14 metres (30 feet) qualifies.
Tall ships are not immune from sailing mishaps. The Canadian ship Concordia was lost in 2010 when it tipped over and sank off Brazil’s coast. It was the victim of rough water and high winds. All 64 persons survived the accident, which involved students and instructors from a Lunenburg, Nova Scotia class-afloat program.