On Thursday evening, we went down to the waterfront to check out the boats that had docked in the inner harbor. The atmosphere was buzzing and the amount of food and drink stalls nearly rivaled last weeks' Good Food festival itself. A large Russian navy boat, dating back to 1795, was available for boarding so we walked around the deck and got to poke around. I was amused that a small exhibition of photos proudly displayed Putin handing a framed photo of the ship to Hugo Chavez. Anyway, we capped off the stroll by meeting up with the Shell Young Professionals group for a drink with a view.
Today was the day when all the ships sailed away from Stavanger. One of Connor's colleagues very kindly invited us along on his friend's boat to watch the departure from the sea. So we set sail (well, set motor, I should say; we got to hoist the sail later once the winds picked up) from the port at a nearby island and headed out with hundreds of other boaters with the same idea to see the tall ships off. Our goal was to get near the 'saluting boat,' the boat that made noise each time one of the Tall Ships passed by. The saluting boat this year was a steam boat that tooted three times and whose passengers cheered 'hip hip hooray' for each racer that left Stavanger's waters.
|some of the cute kids in the background|
|the day started out cloudy--big surprise|
|here's the Russian ship we boarded in the harbor|
|crowds gathered on the bank near the 'saluting' zone|