Once every ten years - the Opsail tall ships spectacle

Tall ships - The joy of climbing the rigging
.. .
If you love the sight of tall ships you'll not want to miss it - but it's almost over. Only once every 10 years, spectacular tall ships with billowing sails and multiple masts glide smoothly into harbours along the U.S. eastern seaboard, and there are only two opportunities left to see such an awe-inspiring sight as Opsail 2012.

Pride of Baltimore II(left) and three-masted schooner Alliance
.. .

Since April more than 4,000 international officers, cadets, crew and dignitaries from more than 15 nations have been mooring their massive ships, letting down their sails and lowering their gangways and letting the public stream onboard for a look.

OpSail 2012, the tall ships festival taking place in ports including Baltimore, Boston, Norfolk, New York and New London, features free ship tours, fireworks, parades of sail, air shows, festivals and loads of street food.

Tall ships - fleet in Savannah
.. .

The schedule for OpSail 2012 was: New Orleans: April 17-24, New York: May 23-30, Norfolk: June 7-12, Baltimore: June 13-19,

There are only two big opportunities left: Boston: June 30-July 5, and New London: July 6-8

Tall ships - sister ships
.. .

Begun in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, Operation Sail (OpSail) was created to promote goodwill and cooperation among countries and celebrate maritime history. The 2012 edition of OpSail officially marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and commemorates the writing of the Star Spangled Banner.

Tall ships - HMS Bounty
.. .

Besides tall ships from Spain, Portugal, Norway and Ecuador, OpSail 2012 features naval ships and submarines from both the U.S. and Canada, including HMCS Moncton and HMCS Goose Bay.

For full gallery of the ships taking part, http://www.opsail.org/tall-ships-gallery.php!click_here.