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The History Bit

The Tall Ships Races are designed to encourage international friendship and training for young people in the art of sailing. The races are held annually in European waters and consists of two racing legs of several hundred nautical miles and a “cruise in company” between the legs. Over one half  of the crew of each ship participating in the races must consist of young people.

After World War II, tall ships were a dying breed, having lost out to steam-powered ships several decades before. It was a retired solicitor from London, Bernard Morgan, who first dreamed up the idea of bringing young cadets and seamen under training together from around the world to compete in a friendly competition. The Portuguese Ambassador to the UK, Pedro Teotonio Pereira was a huge supporter of this original idea, and believed such a race would bring together the youth of the world’s seafaring peoples.

These two figures started discussions in 1953 and three years later they saw their vision become a reality. The first Tall Ships’ race was held in 1956. It was a race of 20 of the world’s remaining large sailing ships. The race was from Torquay, Devon and Lisbon, and was meant to be a last farewell to the era of the great sailing ships. Public interest was so intense, however, that race organizers founded the Sail Training International association to direct the planning of future events. Since then Tall Ships’ Races have occurred annually in various parts of the world, with millions of spectators. Today, the race attracts more than a hundred ships, among these some of the largest sailing ships in existence, like the Portuguese Sagres.

This year the race Set off from Sunderland with the legs being Esbjerg (Denmark) – Stavanger (Norway) and ending in Harlingen (Netherlands).

Sophie lives in Sunderland, and her chap Mentat was over from Spain, so we all met up to go and see the ships, and I took a few photo’s, of course.

a herd of ships

Most of the ships had information flags on them so we could see where they were from


Dyrafjeld was built in Nordmøre in 1889. The builder was Martinus Olson Ansnes. Initially she was hunted, (not hunted as in catch yourself a boar for dinner, it means she had a mast), but in 1918 she was turned into a galeas (trade vessel) for practical reasons.

Dyrafjeld snout/nose/pointy thing delete as applicable.

Really it’s known as a bowsprit 🙂

and another shot of this lovely old wooden lady from the Minolta film camera



Another herd

Sunderland is a working dock, so had to put up with the crane in the background, but still cool to see all the ships parked up together.

It was also fun to watch the trainees being put through their paces

Bottoms up

Couldn’t resist a zoom

on the ropes


Figurehead and hair, and boobs and everything.

Figureheads were predominant between the 16th and 20th centuries. In the 17th to the 18th centuries, the carved subjects of figureheads varied from representations of saints to patriotic emblems such as the unicorns or lions popular on English ships. When the ship was named after a royal or naval personage the head and bust of the individual might be shown.

Crowned lion figurehead- also note the carved figures up the side of the ship.

The Santa Maria Manuela is a Portuguese four mast lugger. Originally a fishing ship of the Portuguese White Fleet, Santa Maria Manuela is now used as a sea training and cruise ship, belonging to Grupo Jerónimo Martins.


side on view was amazing walking up to her, (another fom the Minolta with kodak portra 400 film)

Ummm is something missing?


Lord Nelson is one of only two tall ships in the world designed so they can be sailed by a crew with widely varied physical abilities.

Every aspect of shipboard life is available to all, from setting the sails, going aloft and helming the ship.

Stay tooned landlubbers, more of the day to come.

45 comments on “Tall Ships at Sunderland ~ July 2018~ part 1

  1. beetleypete says:

    Something still magical about the tall ships. Evoking the era of sail, danger, and excitement at sea.
    I love to look at them, though wouldn’t want to sail on one. 🙂
    Top-notch photos as always, FR.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cheers Pete, if you ever get the chance to see them it’s worth it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. beetleypete says:

        When I was young, The Cutty Sark was free to enter. I used to go there a lot during the school holidays. They had a wonderful collection of figureheads in a lower deck. Since the devastating fire, it has been restored and reopened.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Great link thanks Pete, I’d love to see her.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. raistlin0903 says:

    I have always been fascinated by ships such as these. There is something really magical about them if you ask me. I’ve never really set foot on them at sea, but it would be a really incredible experience if you ask me (though in all likelyhood it would also be one that would make me nauseous lol😂😂). Wonderful post and truly top notch pictures as always😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Michel, it would be fun to be on a pirate ship I think 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. GP Cox says:

    Seeing a tall ship out on the ocean is such a majestic sight – I can’t imagine how grand it is to see them all out there!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I sadly didn’t get to see them all set off on the race which would have been a rare sight.. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. GP Cox says:

        You did a fine job. Love that ‘Bottoms up’!!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pit says:

    I LOVE Tall Ships! Thanks for the post. Reminds me of my experience in Galveston in April this year [ & I’m very much looking forward to your next post(s).
    Btw, how many cameras do you use?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My main camera is a digital Fuji, then I have 4 different film cameras I use now and then and a few instant cameras too which the grandkids love me to take their pics on 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pit says:

        OMG! So many cameras! Do you have a sherpa to carry them for you? 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t take them all out at once 😀 the Minolta riva I use is a pocket camera, as is the Olympus SA, so easy to have about your person.


  5. Jay says:

    Arrrrgh, rightly done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Tall Ships Races is quite a spectacle. I have witnessed it a couple of times in Norway it’s always fun for any photographer. You capture the atmosphere of the event beautifully in these images.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. joshi daniel says:

    That is beautiful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. April Munday says:

    They may be tall, but they’re not very big. I found out the hard way that I’m not much of a sailor, so they don’t appeal to me in that sense. They’re beautiful to look at, though. It must be amazing when they all set off with their sails up.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. OMG. You slayed me with the Bottoms Up!
    Really interesting narrative. The ships are gorgeous. Happy Halloween 🎃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Teagan, you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. enmanscamera says:

    I sure enjoyed your tour of the tall ships. I know they get em on the coast here in British Columbia, but I have never been able to go to view them ….I guess I’ll leave that up to you.
    I especially liked your shots of the mastheads…I dunno about the bum shots though.
    Great shooting my friend.


    1. Thanks N-man, still a few more posts to come on the ships 🙂


  11. Great post and excellent shots as always! I finally got to our collab, I’m so sorry for the delay… In doing so, I’ve had a pretty cool idea, if you are interested. You could pick five photos for me, as wide and varied as you like. Hell, you can even chose the genre. Place as much difficulty on me as you can imagine, and challenge me to write a 1000 word flash fiction piece 😉 What do you think? Feel like torturing me this week?

    You can find the piece from your photo here:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re on- I’ll find 5 for your challenge! Though that’s a challenge in itself! Going to see the post now, very exciting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I imagine it is! You have tons to sift through. Hopefully in the time it takes you to put together this challenge, I’ll rocket ahead in my schedule. Either way, it won’t be a two week wait this time around haha

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Those tall ships are so…. Tall! And I like the boat snout, nose, schnoz, front pointy thing better than the bowsprit. 👃🐽😂😂
    I wonder what all those people thought of you taking pics of their posteriors for our enjoyment! 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Amazing pictures Fraggle! I saw the tall ships in Boston when I was 8 or 9 years old and I’ve never lost my fascination with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are lovely, cheers Kim, hope you’re doing better.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Slowly is much more preferable than not at all, though quicker would be better. Keep going and take it easy lady 😘

          Liked by 1 person

  14. steviegill says:

    Nice history. I love the stories behind how many of these types of events come into existence. Great shots.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Francis.R. says:

    This is quite romantic. Not in the sense of love but of nostalgic ages, as if you would take one of those ships and arrive to a little country with kings, princess, knights and colorful countrymen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are definitely romantic. 😊 hard work though by the look of things, all that rigging!

      Liked by 1 person

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