I want to welcome everybody here today for a true seafaring Tall Ship Experience and a tantalizing trip into maritime history.
This is your opportunity to learn first hand about the structure of a tall ship and what life must have been like to sail the oceans of the world on one of these great vessels.
How many of you here today actually know what a tall ship is or have ever been on an old ship before?
Probably very few of you.
A tall ship was a traditional sailing ship which usually had very tall masts and large sails. It had a long deck with a crow’s nest and a crew of deck-hands commanded by a captain and a first officer.
There have been many famous tall ships throughout history.
Christopher Columbus discovered America on the Santa Maria and Captain Cook discovered Australia on the Endeavour while Captain Bligh was the victim of the mutiny on the Bounty.
Mary Rose was the flagship of the English King Henry VIII, Sir Francis Drake heralded the Golden Age for Britain aboard the Golden Hind and Cutty Sark is still perhaps the most famous of all tea clippers.
Just in case you were wondering, a clipper was a very fast sailing ship which was a bit like a yacht with three masts and a square rig.
They transported tea to Britain from India and China and were especially popular during the middle of the nineteenth century until steamships took over.
Two tall ships stand out as shrouded in mystery. What really happened to the whaling ship The Essex in 1820 in the South Atlantic ocean and to the crew of the Mary Celeste in the Azores in 1872?
Replicas of these ships and many others can be seen in our newly-opened state-of-the-art Exhibit Hall.
All right, let us begin our orientation of the tall ship.
Our visitor attraction is unique because we have created it as a live-size model tall ship.
You are now standing on the deck which is the main floor of the ship.
Behind you is the back of the ship which is called the stern and in front of you, you have the bow. Port is to the left side and Starboard to the right side.
The mast is the tall pole or tower used to hold the sails which enable the ship to sail with the wind.
The crow’s nest (so called because the crow bird makes its nest at the top of a tree) is a look-out and located at the top of the mast.
The ship is steered by a big wheel at the port side. You can have an experience of steering the tall ship later on.
There was, of course, no GPS in days gone by but the invention of the compass and the telescope made for easier navigation.
The ship was, however, equipped with a lifeboat and life rings for emergency if it ran into difficulties.
Man Overboard! Iceberg ahead!
Abandon ship! Land ahoy!
There was also a large anchor to secure the ship when it came into the harbour.
Now, to continue your experience, you can practice your ‘lines’ for working on a ship.
These are all imperative instructions a captain or first officer would give everyday
Read the compass
Scrub the deck
Tie the knot
Hoist the sail
Climb the mast
Turn the wheel
Throw the lifering
Look through the telescope
Drop the anchor
Walk the Plank
The plank is a narrow piece of wood attached to either the port or starboard side of the ship and extending a couple of metres out to sea.
It was the ‘norm’ for a deck-hand to be asked to ‘walk the plank’ for something he did wrong.
It was precarious and the risk of falling into the sea to be eaten by sharks was great.
That brings to an end our Tall Ship Experience which I hope you have enjoyed.
I invite you to buy gifts at our splendid souvenir shop, enjoy the gourmet food in our unusual ‘tall ship canteen’ and to give feedback on the Ship’s Log online about your experience today by using the audio-visual=writing available in the exit area.
After all, the Ship’s Log is a very important record of your visit.
Please come back and visit us again and recommend us to your friends and family.