Nine historical ships docked in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, on Thursday as the first U.S. stop for the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes. Over the summer, these and other ships will they’ll travel to cities in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
On the Grand River Banks 30 miles east of Cleveland, the town had the air of a 19th Century port. The ships lined up among mounds of gravel and stone on a nearby dock. They come from as far away as Spain and Norway, but also as close as Pennsylvania and Maryland.
"We have the Pride of Baltimore coming in,” said Pam Morse, the event coordinator for the Fairport Harbor leg of the festival.
Morse says the event will also offer day sails on a few of the ships.
“You get the tall ships experience, you’ll sail out with the crew, and you’ll get to spend 90 minutes under full sail in one of the historic tall ships.”
Also on view: a ship built for Gen. George S. Patton and a replica of a 16th Century Spanish cargo vessel, El Galeon. Jose Manuel is a sailor on the ship. Although he wasn't part of the crew when the ship traveled across the Atlantic, he says it took a while.
"When the boat came crossing the ocean, it took them around 26 days," said Manuel.
Fairport Harbor is a new home for the festival, as Cleveland couldn’t host because of the Republican National Convention in a couple of weeks. The festival’s next stop is Bay City, Mich.
For more information on the Tall Ships Challenge: http://www.sailtraining.org/tallships/2016greatlakes/TSC2016index.php