A Skyline Filled With Sails
By Danielle Quisenberry
Published August 18, 2006
Greeted by people clutching cameras and lining the St.
Clair River, the high-masted ships moved slowly into Port
One at time they slowly moved south from Lake Huron,
passing beneath the Blue Water Bridge to assigned slots
along the St. Clair and Black rivers for this weekend's
Sail Port Huron festival, sponsored by Acheson Ventures.
Some had their sails open and flapping, while others sounded
cannons to announce their long-awaited arrival.
Five ships - the Royalisteof San Francisco; Unicornof
Perth Amboy, N.J.; Pride of Baltimore IIof Baltimore;
Niagaraof Erie, Pa.; and Picton Castleof Lunenburg, Nova
Scotia - sailed into the city.
There they joined Port Huron's Highlander Sea, already
docked at the Seaway Terminal for the Friday, Saturday
and Sunday festival.
It is the first time tall ships have been in Port Huron
since 2001. Tall ships were last in the immediate area
when they docked in Sarnia in 2003.
For Thursday arrivals, people armed with binoculars and
curiosity gathered all day at spots along the river to
catch their first glimpses of the vessels.
"I like the water no matter what is on it, but this
is a treat," said Marilyn Abernathy of Port Huron,
as she watched the Picton Castlemaneuver into a spot at
the Seaway Terminal.
Abernathy, who lives on the city's north end, said she
saw one of the ships moving south on Lake Huron and chased
it in her vehicle to the Seaway Terminal.
Once there, she watched the ships from the terminal's
upper parking lot and chatted with her former neighbor,
Dorothy Schutt of Lexington.
The ships are "spectacular," Schutt said.
At the same spot earlier in the day, Sue Reinbold of
Lapeer waved enthusiastically as the Pride of Baltimore
IIarrived at the terminal.
Her friend, Syd Maysilles, 65, of Lapeer, boarded the
ship in Chicago and sailed with it to Port Huron.
"It was wonderful," Maysilles said. "I'd
do it again in a flash."
Maysilles said sailing aboard a tall ship was one of
the activities on a "life list" of things she
wanted to accomplish.
"It's just something I've wanted to do," she
said, taking a break from the lunch awaiting her below
the ship's deck.
The toughest part of the trip was understanding the sea
"lingo," she said.
Crewmembers would tell her to do something, and she'd
have no idea what they were talking about, she said.
The trip, especially sailing past Mackinac Island, was
a "hoot," she said.
It takes people back to a different era, said Bob Paddock
of Arlington Heights, a Chicago suburb. He also rode aboard
the Pride of Baltimore II.
Arthur Crawford Jr., 83, of Port Huron Township has never
sailed for a long period aboard a ship.
But, cruising up and down the walkway at Vantage Point,
he seemed excited about the ships' arrivals.
He said he waited at the Blue Water Bridge for a long
time before driving to Vantage Point.
"I am just interested in tall ships," he said,
chasing with his camera the Unicornas it moved up the
Contact Danielle Quisenberry at (810) 989-6274 or firstname.lastname@example.org.