Tall Ships at Navy Pier

Tall Ships at Navy Pier

So yesterday I went with some friends to Navy Pier in Chicago to check out the Tall Ships festival. I’ve never seen real-life working sailing ships in person, so I thought it would be cool to check out.

I learned lots of facts about these types of ships and it was fun to get on them and check them out. I also learned that keeping a ship moving requires a great deal of effort and attention. Understanding the weather, working well with the crew, understanding the current in the water, and making sure the boat is in good working order (now that’s another huge topic; for starters check out this Guide to the Different Kinds of Metals used in Marine Fasteners) are all tasks that must be completed simultaneously. Do you want to brag about problem-solving or leading a group? Every time you sail, you are doing all of that.

From what I’ve seen in movies, the ships are actually much smaller than I imagined below deck. I was really hunched over down there trying to walk around. People back then (most of these ships date back at least 100 years) must have been midgets. On one ship we toured (it was used during the battle of 1812), they told us the original crew would have been around 150 sailers. 50 working each shift, 3 shifts. I couldn’t figure out how in the heck they fit 100 people below deck to sleep while the workers were above deck. It was extremely tight quarters down there.

Overall it was a fun experience. I wish I could have foreseen the amount of people that were going to be there. As you can see from the shots I posted, it was very crowded. I wish we would have had more time there to get a chance to board more ships. Oh well, maybe next time.

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