1. MEETING THE ROSE

hmsrose

Meeting The Rose

That was a beautiful October day on the Atlantic when I met the Rose in the Azores, on the island of Sao Miguel at Ponta Delgada. She was in the midst of her first European tour.

From San Francisco, I traveled by plane. I was physically beat from the long trip, which included a layover at New York’s JFK International, where there was no time for sight‑seeing, followed by a ten hour layover in Lisbon, Portugal, where I experienced an amazing amount of cultural curiosities, touring as much as I could. On the bus back to the Lisbon airport, I was so tired I fell asleep, my head bobbing.

Yet my senses were alert on the last leg of my flight. Over the blue waters, among the lush volcanic peaks and amidst the pure blue skies of the Azores, I knew we were going to pass over the port where I was expected to meet the Rose.

With my heart racing with anticipation, my searching eyes ached to see Rose for the first time. Then there she was, alone, like an antique diamond in a modern setting, a seagoing ambassadress for a majestic era.

History had come alive as I peered down out of my airplane porthole. Rose stood peacefully, her square‑rigged sails tightly furled on her yards along her three stately masts. I could see her starboard side, the Royal Navy black and yellow, punctuated with black gunports, as were the British warships of Nelson’s time. Her long bowsprit was pointed eastward to the open sea.

This American Tallship “HMS” Rose was a reincarnation of the original 18th Century HMS Rose, a British Royal Navy frigate which was scuttled during the Revolution in American waters. Indeed,Rose, in her new life, was a most beautiful sight.

Having come half ways around the world, I was going to begin my sailing adventure.

 

copyright © 2002 Challen K. Yee

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