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Tall Ships

Written by on May 10, 2013 in Boating, One in The Thousand

Toronto’s The Empire Sandy sailing in to Brockville, the City of the 1000 Islands. Photo by Kim Lunman.

 It may not look like the set of the Pirates of the Caribbean, but the 1000 Islands has attracted tall ships from around the world to the majestic St. Lawrence River. Some even claim the 1000 Islands as a home port. 

Tall ships and their crews have set sail in this region  from Nova Scotia, Georgia, Baltimore, Florida, and elsewhere at tall ships festivals held in the Brock Isles and Clayton. Brockville, City of the 1000 Islands, has hosted two tall ships festivals here since 2013. Brockville was the first and last port of call respectively, in the Tall Ships 1812 festival in 2013 and the Tall Ships Great Lakes Tour in 2016. The Unicorn of New Jersey, the world’s only all-female crewed tall ship, operated by Sisters Under Sail Corp. visited in the 2013 festival. Tall ships that visited the area include The Norwegian tall ship Sørlandet, the former British-built naval ship Empire Sandy, an attraction at Toronto Harbourfront, and The Mist of Avalon of Ivy Lea, once a fishing schooner off  Atlantic Canada’s coast, have also participated in the tall ships festivals here. 

The Unicorn of New Jersey is the world’s only all-female Tall Ship. Photo by Lisa Hornak

Some continue to sail in familiar waters here in the Brock Isles. The tall ship Fair Jeanne is owned by Tall Ships Landing Condominium Resort developer Simon Fuller. His father, the late naval war hero Captain Thomas George Fuller also known as “the Pirate of the Adriatic,” built the Fair Jeanne in the family’s Ottawa backyard. The 18th century replica brigantine is operated by the Fuller family under Ottawa’s Bytown Brigantine along with the Black Jack tall ship, offering bursaries for sailing camps for youths aged 12 to 19. Both tall ships were featured in the Brockville tall ships festivals. 

Brockville was also once the home port to a lavish steam yacht.  The 1901 yacht once owned and named Magedoma by Senator George Fulford I of Brockville has had many lives not to mention near deaths – including a sinking in the Boston harbor – before undergoing a $12-million restoration by her current owner, California venture capitalist Dr. Robert McNeil. 

Twilight aboard the Empire Sandy in the Brock Isles. Photo by Kim Lunman.

He steered the vintage vessel back Brockville two years ago. Classic wooden boats will also be on display from Clayton’s Antique Boat Museum and will also include the charter yacht Cygnus II from Alexandria Bay N.Y.