Tall ships dock in Kincardine Harbour on their way to Sarnia
By Liz Dadson


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It would be clear sailing for the tall ships, "Playfair" (R) and "Pathfinder", as they were heading west out into Lake Huron and away from the black sky to the east, in Kincardine Harbour Thursday evening

The tall ship, "Playfair", as seen from above in Kincardine Harbour

Two tall ships, the "Playfair" and the "Pathfinder," out of Toronto, stopped in Kincardine Harbour Wednesday and caused quite a stir as a crowd of people came down to check them out before the ships set sail Thursday night.

Captain Julian Schroer of Toronto said the summer sail training camp allows teenagers an opportunity to board the tall ships for a week to 10 days, and learn how to operate the mighty vessels.

While Schroer captained the "Pathfinder" with 21 onboard, including crew and trainers, Sam Neale captained the "Playfair," with 20 onboard.

Each ship can carry 29 but the numbers have been down this year, said Schroer.

This was the second to last run, he said, taking the high school students to Sarnia from Owen Sound. The final run will pick up a crew in Sarnia and end in Toronto.

The camp runs July and August. The season began June 30 and the tall ships will be back in Toronto Sept. 2. They had seven runs, with a total of 130 students from all over Ontario.

"Most come from southwestern Ontario, but we get a few from Canada's West Coast, and some international students from the United States, Poland, France, Germany, England, China and South America," said Schroer."

They have travelled all the Great Lakes except Lake Superior, he said. Last year, they went to Chicago, and in 2007, the "Playfair" went to Halifax.

Toronto Brigantine Inc., which runs the tall ships program, is 50 years old, said Schroer. The "Pathfinder" first set sail in 1973, while the "Playfair" is about 40 years old.

Two braves souls work the sails on the "Pathfinder" ...

... and then scamper down the rigging

"Pathfinder" as seen from above

"Pathfinder" sails off into the sunset

"Pathfinder" gets turned around in Kincardine Harbour

Captain Julian Schroer (R) makes plans for setting sail from the harbour in Kincardine Thursday night

"Playfair" at Kincardine Harbour

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Thursday, August 25, 2011