May 23 marks the return of the OpSail event. This year, the maritime extravaganza also celebrates another occasion, the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
To commemorate this American event, seventeen “tall ships,” or traditional sailing ships, sail into the Hudson along with another 10 U.S. and foreign vessels.
OpSail is only held during special events, like the millennium in 2000 and this year’s historical anniversary.
“It’s a tremendous undertaking to coordinate,” said Bill Armstrong, a spokesman for OpSail to the Brooklyn Eagle.
The flotilla will begin at about 8 a.m. with a 370-foot schooner, a training ship for the Royal Spanish Navy, the Juan Sebastian de Elcano. Then, the Kri Dewaruci from Indonesia, Guayas from Ecuador, Gloria from Colombia, Cisne Branco of Brazil, Cuauhtemoc of Mexico, and Etoille and Belle Poule from France. Also on display will be a parade of U.S. military ships beginning with the Eagle, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter.
OpSail kicks off of New York’s nautical tradition Fleet Week. So, later in the day and through Sunday, May 27, the ships will dock at Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan. They will be open for public visits.
The Brooklyn location is near the southern end of the Brooklyn Bridge Park at Furman Street.
Readers, if you capture any of the tall ships on camera, please send the photos to LVladimirova [at] BensonhurstBean [dot] com.