Tall Ships, Chicago

Photographer Elsie McConnell provided the details and images for the Tall Ships in Chicago.

An armada of Tall Ships consisting of 14 sailing vessels ranging in length from the Pathfinder, Toronto, Canada with 72’ to the most impressive and oldest ship; SS Sorlandet, Norway at 210’ convened at Chicago’s Navy Pier August 7 – 11.   The fleet tours the Great Lakes once every three years to commemorate our maritime history.  All ships are ambassadors of environmental stewardship and continue cultural bonds for international good will. Most provide training in sailing skills, confidence building, and leadership development for its trainees.  All duties on the ships are carefully choreographed, as is evidence to their self-discipline in order to facilitate an easy docking and sail away.

This spectacular event makes seven stops around the Great Lakes including Duluth, MN, Green Bay, WI, Chicago, Bay City, MI, Put-in-Bay, Cleveland, O, and Erie, PA.  I feel privileged to have captured the images that I share with you.

These are not subjects of nature, but the Chicago skyline provided a great backdrop for some of the images.  They are just too spectacular not to share.  On Wednesday a parade of ships is the feature of the day.  Arriving late only a few were photographed coming into dock taking their sails down, but they seemed to be the most dramatic.  Because Tall Ships only comes to Chicago every three years, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to use my new Canon 5D Mark III.

There was a private party on the top of Navy Pier and I wanted to get some images from above, so I walked up there with all my cameras swinging around my neck and no one said anything to me about invading their space.  This allowed me greater angles of view.  The weather was wonderfully comfortable, but the clouds spent more time there than the sun did.

If I was to attempt this again, I would go on the first day again when the Parade of Ships traverses the harbor for the best and most dramatic shots.

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