Sail of the centuries: Tall Ships bring taste of the high seas to Dublin Bay
THEY are becoming as regular and as elegant a symbol of summer as the swallow.
The Tall Ships have sailed majestically into Dublin Bay once again – and this time they come with the thrilling health warning for youngsters that there may be pirates on board.
Three tall ships and four schooners have coasted down from Belfast to berth at North Wall Quay, joining in the festivities at Dublin Port Riverfest, with a whole crew of Liverpool 'pirates' taking part in fierce sword fights and sea battles, climbing the rigging – with even the odd misfortunate buccaneer forced to walk the plank to plunge into the inhospitable waters of Dublin Bay.
One of the visiting vessels is the 100-year-old Ruth, which had been at anchorage off Sorrento Point, in Killiney, having sailed from Milford Docks in Pembrokeshire.
A huge host of activities – most of them free – are on offer while two Dublin tug boats, Shackleton and Beaufort, lead each other on a merry dance around the docklands.
New to the festival, which is currently celebrating its second year, are the Georgian choir of polyphonic singers and folk dancers. They are performing every day of the festival which continues until the end of Monday.
High-wire aerial acts, sniffer dog demonstrations, a Dublin Dock Workers Preservation Society photo exhibition and open-air markets are amongst other attractions, as well as free visits to the Jeanie Johnston.
There will be walk-up circus workshops where children can try their hand at juggling, unicycling and other activities, with no booking necessary.
The festival attracted 40,000 visitors last year, with spokesman Kieran Flannery believing that they can top those figures this year, with a good weather forecast today.
"It should be fantastic," he said.
As well as the Tall Ships, the picturesque 100-year-old Howth 17-footer sailboats will hold their annual river race tomorrow at 1.30pm.
The festival will culminate in a spectacular 'Parade of Sail' on Monday.
More information can be found at www.dublinriverfest.com.