As the tides rose August 15, the ships were opened up to visitors.
An estimated 1,000 people per hour visited the ships – a total that left event organizers Saskia Geerts and Ben Cleveland in a happy state of shock.
“That’s really quite the number,” said Geerts.
“I’m happy to see so many people have come out to celebrate this occasion with us.”
Cleveland is also happy with how everything has played out at the event.
“With the exception of a few minor hiccups, this has gone really well. The weather cooperated, which was really the biggest worry we had,” he said.
As with every festival event in Digby, people from the Digby and from away were among the thousands of people visiting the ships.
Many were eager to see the tall ships and walk around them since it’s been 17 years since they last sailed to Digby.
Among those on the Bluenose II were Karley Shields, six, and Aidan Guindon, 8, with grandmothers Karen Hill and Laura Neiley, visiting from Lower Sackville and Kingston.
Both generations were equally excited about the ships.
Pointing at the mast, Karley said, “I feel like I could climb up there and touch the clouds!”
Aidan added that, “it’s really cool to see the big anchors. That’s my favourite part.”
People from far away
Visiting all the way from Norfolk, England was Grace Seaton, 13, and parents Jo and Nick Seaton.
The three visited Cape Breton, where they drove the Cabot Trail, and stayed with longtime friends Sharon and Dale Arnburg in Coldbrook before coming to see the tallships.
“This really is a beautiful ship,” said Jo, as she waited in line to board the Bluenose II.
And later this evening, the tall ships will do a sail past of Annapolis Royal, which will be followed with fireworks.