I was one of the thousands who traveled to Portland to see the parade of tall ships come into Portland Harbor on July 18. I had really enjoyed seeing them in 2000 and looked forward to this year’s event.

Saturday was overcast but OK and, from our viewing area at Fort Allen Park, we could see the sails up as the ships rounded the point at Long Island. However, as they entered the channel into the harbor, those that had sail aloft furled all or nearly all and motored in. It was so disappointing. We saw much more sail in 2000.

I understand this was directed as a safety measure by the Coast Guard because of the large number of small watercraft in the area. With seeming disregard of others, many small watercraft were deliberately crossing front and back and going very close around the tall ships.

If the tall ships return to Portland, I think something should be set up in advance along the channel with buoy markers and patrols to keep a clear path into the harbor. Perhaps the sails could remain hoisted at least until Cape Elizabeth (wind cooperating, of course). The majesty of these ships is presented best when they aree in full sail.

Pat Clark

Palermo


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