Tall Ships: Sailors’ questions lost in translation

A family disembarks after exploring one of the Tall Ships
A family disembarks after exploring one of the Tall Ships

A cosmopolitan atmosphere swept through Belfast docks on Thursday as crewmen from 30 different countries arrived for the four-day Tall Ships maritime festival.

As families and individuals queued to get a peak of life on board Class A vessels in Pollock Dock, some crewmen were overheard making their best attempt at understanding and answering questions posed in the Ulster accent.

But, you can imagine, many were lost in translation.

Less than an hour after the official launch of Tall Ships, there was little doubt as to its weekend potential.

With many fearing traffic congestion and preferring to take advantage of leaving their cars at home and travelling on public transport, the holiday appeal of shaking off traffic gridlock along with their cares and worries was evident.

And families dressed for the sun took advantage of the occasion by buying and eating their lunches as they surveyed the Class A vessels.

One crewman from Equador, travelling on the Guayas, said they were delighted “so many people are here already”.

“We are looking forward to meeting the people,” he said. “But we also have to get ready for the race.”

The public are able to view the vessels at two main sites in Belfast – on the River Lagan beside the Titanic Quarter and at Pollock Dock near Duncrue Street.

After departing from Belfast, the ships will go on to visit six ports in five countries over the course of the competition.

Belfast last hosted Tall Ships in 2009.