The Tall Ships

I’ve been co-hosting a monthly Wellness link up on the second Wednesday of each month in 2019 with my blogger friend, Leslie, at Once Upon A Time & Happily Ever After blog. The optional prompt for July is Family health.

Since I’ve provided my Health updates in my June Wrap-Up post here, in this post, I’m sharing a walk that my family and I did together.

On Canada Day weekend, we started our celebrations with a home-made pancake breakfast, served with Canadian maple syrup and Ontario-grown fresh strawberries. It was yummy and gave us plenty of energy.

We went for a 5 km walk along the waterfront to see the tall ships that were participating in the Tall Ships Challenge Race Series 2019 and at the Redpath Waterfront festival. Below is the explanation of the series from the Tall Ships Ontario web site:


The TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes Series
is a race series organized by Tall Ships America that travels through the Great Lakes stopping in US and Canadian cities throughout the summer of 2019. The race involves (on average) 15 international tall ships that race from port to port and are timed. The launch port for the 2019 Great Lakes Series will be in Toronto at the Redpath Waterfront Festival on Canada Day weekend. The Canadian portion of the tour is referred to as TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® ONTARIO


The first tall ship we saw was Empire Sandy. This tall ship was originally built as a deep-sea tug in the UK in 1943. In the late 1970’s, she was transformed from a tug to the magnificent tall ship she is today. She was launched in 1982 right on Toronto’s waterfront, and is now Canada’s largest passenger sailing ship.

Walking along the waterfront, we saw Kajama cruising in the Toronto Harbour. This tall ship was built in Germany in 1930 as a cargo vessel. She sailed in the North Atlantic for three decades through western Europe, Norway, and Russia before being sold to a man in Denmark, who gave her the name “Kajama”. She’s been a permanent attraction on Toronto’s waterfront since 1999.

In the next stretch of our walk, six more magnificent tall ships greeted us. Their names and brief descriptions were provided where they docked. Each tall ship is a beauty with very interesting history. Feel free to read more about them and where they are going next on the Tall Ships Challenge web site. I grouped their images into a photo collage below.

  • Playfair (top row, left): The first Canadian tall ship to be christened by a reigning monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, in 1973.
  • Fair Jeanne (top row, centre) A tall ship designed and built by a Canadian naval war hero and was named after his wife.
  • US Brig Niagara (top row, right) A third reconstruction of an American flagship that fought in the War of 1812’s Battle of Lake Erie.
  • Pride of Baltimore II (bottom row, right): An American tall ship that has logged over 250,000 nautical miles and has docked in more than 40 countries.
  • Blue Nose II (bottom row, centre): A Canadian tall ship whose image was adorned on the Canadian dime and remains on the coin today.
  • St. Lawrence II (bottom row, left): Another Canadian tall ship who is home to one of the oldest sailing-training programs in North America.
Clockwise Left to Right: Playfair, Fair Jeanne, US Brig Niagara, Pride of Baltimore II, Blue Nose II, and St. Lawrence II.

The tall ships were open for deck tours. Most of them required tickets to board and tour, except the HMCS Oriole (HMCS stands for Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship). It was pretty cool to tour the Navy’s longest serving commissioned ship.


All in all, it was a fun family 5K walk on a nice summer day. We saw several beautiful tall ships, watched the crew members’ activities on their vessels, toured the HMCS Oriole, and learned about the tall ships’ interesting history. The combination of family, festivity, fitness, and fun made our Canada Day weekend a fabulous one. I gave this walk a five out of five!


Wellness Wednesday image

Please feel free to join in today or on any of the remaining Wellness Wednesday link-up dates in 2019. Optional prompts are as follows:

  • August 14 – Friends
  • September 11 – Sleep hygiene
  • October 9 – Gratitude
  • November 13 – Healthy holidays
  • December 11 – Goals year-end review

Have you been to a Tall Ships event before? Any interest in tall ships and their history? What family wellness activity are you planning to do next? I’d love to hear your comments.

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23 thoughts on “The Tall Ships

  1. Retirement Reflections July 10, 2019 / 9:34 am

    Hi, Natalie – This post made me nostalgic for Toronto (especially the Harbour Front) and all of the cool activities that it has to offer. I would also rate your walk as 5/5.
    I’ve taken a peek at the upcoming themes that you and Leslie have planned. I look forward to following them!


    • Natalie July 10, 2019 / 10:53 am

      Hi Donna – maybe I can take you back to Toronto with me when I leave Vancouver Island in September:)


  2. Jo July 10, 2019 / 6:29 pm

    I remember when the tall ships all converged on Sydney Harbour for the Bicentenary in 1988 – wow, it seems such a long time ago. There’s such a romance about them but you can only imagine how tough life must have been at sea on them. We did a cruise through Sydney Harbour on one a couple of years ago and the silence and peace without a motor was just glorious.


    • Natalie July 10, 2019 / 6:39 pm

      Space is a premium on those tall ships. I agree with you about the peace and romantic air that they carry with them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Deborah July 10, 2019 / 8:14 pm

    We have some tall ships events here off the coast of Australia too. I only remember them starting in the late 80s when it was the centenary of the arrival of the First Fleet from England.

    I know there are some ships now you can pay to ‘work’ or sail on and there’s a youth development program on one!


    • Natalie July 10, 2019 / 8:36 pm

      Yes, some of the tall ships that participated in the Challenge provide sailing training programs. I saw some of the crew members on their break when we visited the tall ships.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. BoomingOn July 10, 2019 / 10:33 pm

    Those ships look so beautiful! Not sure I’d like to be sailing on them in days of old. And you can’t really go wrong with pancakes, can you?


    • Natalie July 10, 2019 / 11:05 pm

      The two tall ships, Empire Sandy and Kajama, are available for sailing bookings and dinner cruises in the summer. I think they’re comfortable sailing for a couple of hours in Toronto harbour.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BoomingOn July 10, 2019 / 11:31 pm

        Yes, now that’s sounds like the perfect way of sailing!


  5. Min Write of the Middle July 11, 2019 / 12:20 am

    What a great outing! Those tall ships are so majestic and always take me back to historical books I’ve read. They’re works of art really, aren’t they? BTW – those pancakes made my tummy rumble! lol xo


    • Natalie July 11, 2019 / 4:27 pm

      Hi Min – These tall ships come by Toronto Harbour every three years so I try to see them when they are in the harbour.


  6. csuhpat1 July 11, 2019 / 1:22 pm

    So very cool. Thanks for sharing. #lovinlifelinky


    • Natalie July 11, 2019 / 4:28 pm

      Thank you, Patrick, for your comment. I greatly appreciate it.


  7. Sartenada July 12, 2019 / 5:06 am


    How wonderful post. It was very interesting me to see Your photos. With this I mean that every fourth summer tall ships visit Finland. Last time they visited in two sea port towns.

    If You do not mind, I show some photos of them when they visited to Kotka in 2017:

    Tall ships in Kotka, Finland

    Have a wonderful day!


    • Natalie July 12, 2019 / 8:48 am

      Thank you for your visit, comment, and sharing your photos of the tall ships in Kotka. Have a nice day!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dr Sock July 14, 2019 / 2:43 pm

    My husband Rob would love to see the tall ships.



    • Natalie July 14, 2019 / 3:34 pm

      I find the tall ships interesting. I try to go see them when they come here every three years.


  9. mommyhon333 July 21, 2019 / 6:34 pm

    As a child growing up in Boston, we used to visit the Mayflower replica and the U.S.S. Constitution/Old Ironsides regularly. I am thinking they might qualify as tall ships. How pleasant to incorporate walking with seeing these majestic ships. And enjoying a hearty breakfast together to start the day’s activities.


    • Natalie July 21, 2019 / 6:54 pm

      How wonderful that you got to visit the Mayflower replica and the USS Constitution in Boston. I find the ships’ history very interesting and visiting them activate my imagination.


    • Natalie July 29, 2019 / 6:37 pm

      Thank you, John and Susan, for your visit and comment. I just read a couple of your blog posts and signed up to follow you 🙂 Looks like you’re enjoying life in Medellin, Columbia. I’d love to learn more about Columbia through your lens.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Debbie Harris August 12, 2019 / 8:51 pm

    I loved reading this Natalie! The tall ships are so captivating and what a great way to celebrate Canada day together 🙂 #Senisal


    • Natalie August 13, 2019 / 8:26 am

      Thank you, Debbie, for your comment. It was a fun Canada Day long weekend. Good exercise for the mind and body after the pancake breakfast 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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