Thursday 23 May and we left Deganwy, in remarkable weather with flat seas, all the way to the Mersey to Liverpool Marina. Arriving in good time for the start of the Festival (Friday 31 May). Moved the boat the previous Thursday from the Marina to Albert Dock, now renamed the Royal Albert Dock. Phyllis remained on static display along with the other boats from the Nobby Owners Association.
Seven boats attended the event in the Royal Albert Dock, including Spray, Phyllis, Comrades, Sara Ann, Jean, Hearts of Oak, and the Anna Elldi. With no sailing programme, it was a social weekend for the Association. It was good to catch up with everyone.
It was Tuesday 4 June when we all left Liverpool to return to Deganwy. Some five boats, Comrades, Sara Ann, Phyllis, Spray and Anna Elldi departed the River Mersey back to Conwy, with Anna Elldi returning to the Menai Straits.
The NOA & OGA together enjoyed five days of celebration during the arrival of the Tall Ships to Liverpool for their Three Festivals Regatta, linking a trio of vibrant port cities – Liverpool, Dublin and Bordeaux – in anticipation of some nail-biting racing across the Irish Sea and Bay of Biscay.
Liverpool put on a spectacular show by starting the first stage with numerous civic and maritime attractions and firework display. Each evening a 'Ghost Ship' appeared in Albert Dock, a very special and unique water and laser light display.
On the Friday 25 May 18, the Nobby Owners Association hosted a buffet for all its members and guests from the Gaff Rig Association, including the current national president Alistair Randall and the DBOGA (Dublin Bay OGA) ex-national president, Sean Walsh. An opportunity too for the skippers briefing for the following day activities.
Saturday 26 May 18 and the role of the gaffers was to provide a public spectacle while the Tall Ships were on their berths, showing off our classic traditional boats along the River Mersey waterfronts on both sides of the river. This was a long day covering a full tide from an early morning lock-out to an evening return. The day proved very interesting. Late afternoon sudden and totally unexpected gusts, reportedly up to 50 knots (yes, that's correct 50 kts..!) ensured a Mayday call when a boats steering broke mid-river. Other incidents included an almost full broach and capsize, an engine failure, and a crew mutiny, to promptly reef, made the day's events very memorable. A late evening leisurely dock cruise with supper completed the day's events and a welcomed wind-down!
Sunday 27 May 18 and the fleet were accommodated in Albert Dock for viewing and onboard visits by the general public. The evening concluded with an invite for boats and crews to a BBQ on the Tall Ship 'Morgenster'.
Bank Holiday Monday 28 May 18 and the Tall Ships prepared for a 'Prade of Sail' before commencing their race around the Irish Sea to Dublin for the next stage in their festival. The gaff rigged boats departed Albert Dock and led them out of Canning Half Tide Dock into the River Mersey. Several of our gaff rigged boats were to go directly to Dublin and stayed to participate in the parade of sail. 'Phyllis' had other plans to get to Dublin via the Menai Straits, Caernarvon, Morfa Nefyn and Greystones. Remarkably several days later we arrived in Dublin (Poolbeg) just as the Tall Ships quiet literally entered the River Liffey, appearing out of the early morning mist as they had been becalmed in the Irish Sea around the Isle of Man during our voyage time.