Crowds Amazed by Historic Tall Ships

Posted at: 07/25/2013 7:19 PM
By: Travis Dill

Thousands of people flooded the edges of the Duluth harbor to catch the tall ships come in under the Aerial Lift Bridge with the cannons blazing.

The ships are the big draw for anyone hoping to get a taste of the 1800s. The recreations show just how far technology has come for some visitors.

“Kind of like to show history and how things worked back then before motors and all that. They had to rely on the wind and all that you didn't have a gps for navigation you just had a map,” Michael Cahill said.

For others the complexity of operating the ships was something wondrous.

“It's kind of overwhelming. I just can't imagine what they put into it. Just with all the ropes and the sails and just the crew, how big it is, it was just overwhelming,” Tom Terrill said.

However, at least one visitor knew just what it takes to keep the ship sailing smoothly.

“In 1979 I crewed on a tall ship for four weeks in the Caribbean studying humpback whales,” Chris Hamann said.

But he said the event is something anybody can appreciate.

“I think it's fantastic to see history floating through the waters of Duluth,” Hamann said.

Kids lined the harbor Thursday afternoon to enjoy the sights, but Hamann said the ships will tug at the heartstrings no matter how old you are.

“Yeah, running away and being a pirate that's what I want to be. When I turn 70 I want to run away and be a pirate,” Hamann said.

The ships are only part of the attraction this weekend. A historic camp has been recreated in Bayfront that will take visitors 200 years into the past. Actors can explain just how those muskets and cannons work for anyone interested in the history.