Tall Ship docks for a layover in Port Elgin Harbour

Port Elgin Harbour had a special visitor when the tall ship, the Playfair, docked for a layover and crew change before heading north to Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula.

                            For larger view, Click on Image

The ship out of Hamilton is part of the ‘Youth at Sea’ summer camp program, ‘The Tall Ships Expeditions Canada’, for teens 13 – 18, and is part of the three-ship expeditions that include the sister ships the St. Lawrence II and the Pathfinder.

For larger view, Click on Image

Francis MacLachlan is considered the father of traditional youth sail training in Canada who  designed and built all three ships that are used by Toronto Brigantine to teach young sailors.

For larger view, Click on Image

For some of the crew, it is often their first time sailing on a tall ship but, for others, such as 1st Mate, Micah Bakan, an Engineering graduate of Guelph University who is also studying for a teaching degree, it has become a regular way to spend summer.

“I’ve been doing this since 2015,” he said. “Although we have 28 people aboard, there are only 24 bunks below, as the crew has to take turns being on deck.  It teaches everyone to get along.”

According to Bakan, it took approximately five days to sail from Hamilton to Port Elgin. “We had a headwind but, even so, we made good time.  We don’t mind rain, or even a storm, but the wind is another matter.”

While the crew was out and about exploring Port Elgin, Bakan welcomed visitors aboard. “People like to see what it’s like to be on the deck of a tall ship and we enjoy explaining the many aspects.  We also welcome donations to help us along,” he smiled.

The program is designed for youth who are looking for adventure, fun, friendship, and to explore the world while empowering and inspiring them through the challenges of sailing a traditionally rigged ship.  The youth development summer camp experience helps to build confidence, strength, and leadership while the unique shipboard environment encourages  teamwork and a sense of responsibility and, at the same time, inspires youth to be a positive force in the world.

Often in the past, the ‘Tall Ships’ have also moored in Southampton Harbour before heading out to sail north to Tobermory and the North Channel on Lake Huron.

The Playfair was due to head out today, June 30th, dependant as always, on the weather.