Tall Ships Festival, Halifax; Kyra Goguen

Uploaded by AccessibleMedia on 20.08.2012


ANNOUNCER: From our region to yours, this is...

For Accessible Media, I'm Kyra Goguen.
Today I am in Halifax, Nova Scotia, along the waterfront
for the 2012 Tall Ships Festival.
It is a five-day event, featuring over 20
majestic vessels from around the globe.
One of them is behind me.
It is the HMS Bounty, a Nova Scotia built replica
of one of the most famous ships of all time.
This ship was actually featured in a film
entitled Mutiny on the Bounty.
KYRA: These historic vessels only dock
in the Halifax Harbour once every three years.
To celebrate, thousands of people come out
each of these five days to take in the sights and sounds.
A circle of drummers and flautists
perform for spectators along the boardwalk.

To help commemorate the 200th anniversary
of the war of 1812, muskets and cannons were fired
as part of the military re-enactment
on and off the ships.
One actor explains the history
behind his Canadian military uniform from the 1700's.
So I'm wearing just a very
typical blue jacket, white cotton pants.
And because I'm a petty officer, not just a regular sailor,
I have this somewhat fancy straw top hat on me.
So what distinguishes a petty officer
from a regular officer?
Like, what are the roles, or what differentiates it?
Well, a commissioned officer would be a gentleman;
a petty officer was a non-commissioned officer
who would start off at the very bottom,
and then through time in work his way up through the ranks.
KYRA: But the main focus of the weekend
for patrons young and old
were these gigantic wooden ships
and the history behind them,
like the USCGC Eagle,
one of only two active commissioned sailing vessels
in the American military service.
Kyle Thomas, a petty first officer aboard the Eagle,
explains some of the history behind the ship.
It was built in 1936 in Bremerhaven, Germany.
It was actually a Nazi fleet training vessel,
and after World War II it became a war prize.
In 1946 it was brought over from Germany
to the United States.
I believe it was kept in New York briefly before it was put
in New London, Connecticut, which is its home port now.
This of course being a tall ship,
this is actually the seventh Eagle both in the Navy
and Coast Guard to bear the name Eagle.
The most famous Eagle was involved in a skirmish
with a British ship.
And what they did is they actually had run into ground
on Long Island Sound.
They took the cannons off and actually used the ship's
logbook as wadding for the cannon balls
to fire back at the British.
So that ties in with 1812 right there.
KYRA: After these ships draw their anchors
and open their sails, they'll make their way
to Lunenburg, Port Hawkesbury,
Shelburne, Pictou and Pugwash
before returning to their home ports around the world.
For Accessible Media in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I'm Kyra Goguen.