Tall Ship Festival 2013

This is the Sydney to Russell race winning Europa in the foreground at Queen's Wharf. It's Labour Day morning and the masts are crawling with crew making last minute adjustments to rigging and sails before their departure at midday.

Standing here sketching with the intermittent cold southerly blowing my pages around I wonder why the hell you'd want to sail the world on one of these things. Then the sun comes out again and it all seems like quite an exciting concept again.

There are 2 others docked on Queen's Wharf, to the left is the Picton Castle (Canada) with the Lord Nelson (UK) behind. Over on Prince's Wharf to the right are two more Dutch vessels (Europa is from the Netherlands as well) Oosterschelde and Tecla. I like the contrast the old ships make against the sleek modern curves of The Cloud building on the left.

It's a bit difficult to tell where one boat starts and the other stops - I got a bit lost in the detail and all those ropes! I wonder if the sailors get lost in all those ropes too or if it's one of those things you pick up after a few days - I doubt it somehow! Maybe I'll crew on one sometime and find out, it would be a fun way to get up close with the sketchbook anyway.

Here is a scrollable closeup of the sketch with thanks to Lapin, French illustrator and Urban Sketcher extraordinaire for the code!

Tall Ships at Queen's Wharf