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Opsail 2000

by Jason Wiggins

OpSail 2000 and the International Naval Review offer you a chance to climb on and around tall ships and meet people from all over the world. The sight of the ships' masts and rigging gathered at the New York waterfront is beautiful and the event is free. While OpSail is taking place up and down the New York waterfront, the major spots to visit the ships are the Intrepid Museum and South Street Seaport. There are also ships docked on the Hudson and East Rivers, at Staten Island, the Brooklyn Port Authority Pier, the World's Fair Marina in Flushing, Queens and at Liberty State Park in New Jersey.

Many of the ships that are in for OpSail 2000 are modern training ships including:

When you actually get on board the ships, there a few important things to be aware of; first and foremost, these ships come from different nations and not everyone speaks English, so if you have any knowledge of foreign languages, here's the chance to use it. Second, remember that ships, even big ones, don't have a lot of elbow room and sometimes there are ladders instead of stairways. These are narrow and steep and can be hard to climb; people who are claustrophobic could have a hard time with the small cabins. There are vendors around selling guides that provide a brief description of each ship. If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of boats, a guide can help you decide which ones to visit.