It’s the first time tall ships have returned in nearly two decades and many people are out enjoying the sights.
People lined the cliff sides of Point Prim last night and this morning to see the ships sail in, and now line the wharf awaiting their turn to board one of the boats.
“This really is something people are taking advantage of,” says Mayor Ben Cleveland.
“It’s a rare opportunity for people to get to see these ships here in Digby.”
The event also has people from Digby showcasing their respective talents and trades.
Many musicians also signed aboard to play and busk during the event, including Paul O’Brien and Scott Henderson, who brought several traditional Celtic instruments to play.
“This is a Greek instrument and was brought back by one man to Ireland in the 1960s, and has since become a big part of Irish music,” said O’Brien.
This event is the two men’s third time playing together, and the tunes flowed well – aligning well with the bygone theme that sailed in with the ships.
Another nostalgic figure showcasing her wares was Margaret Gray of Sea Ewe Round, a mobile yarn and fibre studio.
Dressed in a colonial garb she created herself, several people stopped to look at her display and also her costume.
“You look like you’re fresh off the boat,” said one man as he passed by.
“That’s the idea!” laughed Gray.
Using various spinning wheels from the mid-eighteenth century, Gray spins wool with traditional technique.
She enjoys speaking with and educating people on her practices. Sometimes, those people are as young as seven and eight.
“I had a seven-year-old girl come by earlier today and spin yarn… and then an eight-year-old boy buy some tools so he can knit at home,” says Gray.
“I thought he was joking at first, but his father walked up and said he was serious! I love when young folks get excited about this stuff.”
Capturing the moment
And capturing all of this nostalgia was painter Michel Doucet, a regular along the wharf, where he regularly stops to paint the fishing boats.
Today, he painted the tall ships.
“There’s just so much to paint around here, especially on a beautiful day like this,” said Doucet.
Doucet is a contractor by trade and has been painting for ten years. He says his favourite spots to paint are along Digby and Yarmouth counties.
“I grew up with Smith’s Cove painter Kelsey Raymond’s paintings on the walls,” he says.
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
More coverage to come
Please check back this evening and tomorrow for continued coverage of the Digby Rendez-vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta.