The Elissa and the Barque Picton Castle sail through the pass leaving Pensacola Bay
Five magnificent ships pulled into Pensacola Harbor for the Festival of the Tall Ships April 12 - 15, 2018. The Festival of the Tall Ships Pensacola was a tremendous success even with the cloudy weather threatening rain all day Saturday. Downtown was buzzing with people visiting the ships, dining outside in local restaurants and families playing with their kids in the parks.
This is the first time the Tall Ships Challenge has visited Pensacola. The Tall Ships Challenge is an annual event sponsored by Tall Ships America to provide cultural experience and sail training to those who want to learn the art of crewing a tall masted ship. In between ports, crews from each vessel jockey to lead the regatta in lighthearted races on the open sea. The itinerary for this year begins in Galveston, TX continuing on to Pensacola, FL and New Orleans, LA. From New Orleans the ships head out into the Atlantic for Sail Philadelphia 2018. At the dock are the Oosterschelde, Elissa, Oliver Hazard Perry, When And If, Lynx, and Barque Picton Castle.
The Barque Picton Castle has an alternate itinerary. After loading provisions in New Orleans, this ship will set sail on its World Voyage 7 setting her compass for the Pitcairn Islands. Going into the hull are lawnmowers, dirt bikes, propane, bottles of vinegar, root beer, mattresses, multiple varieties of can goods, sacks of flour and sugar, and vegetables of all kinds for the islanders.
Below, please enjoy images of two ships, the Elissa and the Barque Picton Castle as they hoist their sails while departing Pensacola through the pass out into the open water. Bon Voyage!
The Barque Picton Castle
The Barque Picton Castle was built in 1928 in Wales and used as a fishing trawler but has had additional careers of service. Obtained by the Royal Navy during World War 2 she was used as a minesweeper and became known as the "Liberator of Norway". After the war, she was renamed Dolmar and used as a freighter in the Baltic and North Seas. In the 1990s she found her forever home with Captain Daniel Moreland in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia. She was refitted as a barque, readying her for global circumnavigational voyages. Daniel Moreland remains her captain today, sailing her all over the world with two primary missions: deep ocean sail training and long distance education voyages. She is registered as a certified tall ship in the Cook Islands and will prepare for her next sail, World Voyage 7, April 2018 - May 2019. You may find the latest Captain's Log here as they make final preparations in New Orleans, LA: http://www.picton-castle.com/captains_log/2018/04/29/final-preparations-for-a-voyage/
Impressionistic Images of the Barque Picton Castle
The Elissa was built and commissioned as a merchant vessel in Aberdeen, Scotland in October of 1877. She sailed under the flags of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Greece undergoing multiple revisions and restorations. Her sailing history includes bringing bananas to the port of Pensacola in 1886. A rusted relic in Piraeus, Greece, she was rescued by the San Fransisco Maritime Society in 1970 to be purchased by the Historical Foundation of Galveston for $40,000. Towed to Gibraltar for restoration, she was at last seaworthy in 1985, making her way to Corpus Christi, TX. When not out on sailing adventures, she is berthed at the Texas Seaport Museum in Galveston.