When we booked our reservations in Duluth Joe was surprised that find so many hotels at full capacity. We later discovered that we would be there during the Tall Ships Festival. Jackpot!
This festival is really part of a race around the Great Lakes. They stopped in six ports, Duluth being one. Eight of the twenty tall ships docked at Canal Park and made themselves available for viewing.
With wristbands on we entered the festival grounds and discovered that each vessel required a one to two hour wait in line. A wait in line in the sun right by a row of fifty port-a-potties and speakers every thirty feet blaring sea shanties. It took a while to get acclimated but we managed to board two ships and have a look around.
Most ships had experienced captains as well as trainees. Can you imagine taking on the challenge of "learning the ropes"?
Even just learning the names of the sails might take a week, at least for me.
Getting a glimpse of life on board was fascinating, but seeing the replica ships out on the lake with their sails open was absolutely majestic.
Bonuses to the festival included a free outdoor performance of The Pirates of Penzance and observing the historical reenactors in their War of 1812 camp.
This is my friend Deb. Her whole family participates in this - they dress up, cook over an open fire and camp out in the tents. It's their family vacation!