"Sparks and Bubbles": A Stirring Champagne Salute to Our Maritime Heritage on Board HMS Bounty and Picton Castle

Jerry & Diana Slocum with Harold Sands

"Sparks & Bubbles": A Champagne Salute and benefit for Tall Ships America was held on board two visiting Class A tall ships to celebrate the fourth of July,  heralding the Ocean State Tall Ships® Festival which was a panoramic look at times past  on the waters. The vintage vessels HMS Bounty and Picton Castle  hosted over a hundred guests at a by-invitation fundraiser.


Docked at Fort Adams State Park , the ships were a platform for the maritime event.   Chairman Henry H. “Harry” Anderson, Jr. who arrived a bit late,   said “This is a truly memorable evening, and we raise our glasses to our nation’s independence, our rich maritime heritage, and in commemoration of the bicentennial of our second war of independence, the War of 1812. The event proved that "through the night that our flag [is] still there.”


The Captain's quarters on the HMS Bounty Tall Ship

Walking the gangplank (not the plank!) to the vessels, docked side by side, was a maritime adventure in and of itself for guests.  Known for the storied mutiny that took place in the South Pacific in 1789 on board the British transport vessel, the current HMS Bounty is one of the largest and most famous tall ships in the world with 18 sails and over 180 feet long. Built for the 1962 movie “Mutiny on the Bounty,” starring Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard, the HMS Bounty has since starred in many documentaries and featured films. The storied vessel is now a vehicle for teaching the nearly lost arts of square-rigged sailing and seamanship. And it is spartan.

First built as a fishing trawler in Wales, HMS Picton Castle has worked as a minesweeper during WWII and a freighter in the north and Baltic seas and was later converted into a square-rigged barque. She is 179 feet overall and carries 12,450 square feet of canvas sail. The ship’s main mission is deep-ocean sail training and long-distance education. But this evening, she served as a stage for pianist Dave Manuel, and a speaking platform for  Tall Ships America's  Executive Director Bert Rogers.



Both Captain Robin Walbridge of Bounty and Captain Dan Moreland of Picton Castle made sure guests were happy, along with Bounty First Mate John Svendsen. After being treated to bubbly and hors d'oeuvres, guests watched as the sun fell behind Fort Adams, and the spectacular fireworks began. Enjoying the event were Mr. Anderson, Leith Adams, Pierre Merle, Graeme Smith, Ronald Lee Fleming, and Alex Allardt, who watched the fireworks with rapt attention.

It was a truly glorious Fourth celebration of both maritime history and patriotism.


                                                            -- Linda L. Phillips

Tall Ships America is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching youth education through character building and leadership programs aboard tall ships. It is the hub for tall ship activity, expertise, and information in North America, and is commended by Congress as the Sail Training organization representing the United States. Tall Ships America, in cooperation with host ports in the US and Canada, organizes the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® annual series of tall ships races and port festivals of which the Ocean State Tall Ships® Festival is part. The series alternates between the Great Lakes and the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of North America in a three-year cycle.For information, go to www.TallShipsAmerica.org


A scroll describing the Officers' quarters

Historical information about the ship

Joyce Smith, Graeme Smith & Alex Allardt

One of Newport's glorious susnsets

 Captain Eric Little of the Lark

Looking from the deck to below

Skip Barker & Leith Adams

The fireworks exploding over Narragansett Bay

The tall ship HMS Bounty  at anchor at Fort Adams

HMS Bounty's John Svendsen

A vertiginous gangplank connected the two ships

Musician Dave Manuel playing on The Picton Castle

A patriotic spread of hors d'oeuvres

Captain Robin Walbridge of the HMS Bounty

Welcome aboard

Dexter Donham, Treasurer of Tall Ships America with Joan Seamster

& Mike Jehle

Captain Dan Moreland talking with guests

"What's under this thing?"

Maura & Tom Cahill

Caleb Pifer of Tall Ships America, Maura & Tom Cahill

Reading the history of the ship

The Captain's quarters

All hands on deck!

The crow's nest

Grant & Amelia Howerton, Scott Spring

Harold Sands  with Chairman Harry Anderson, Jr.

The Event Chair was pleased

A glorious Fourth sunset

Renee Jebali & Sheri Scott

Executive Director of Tall Ships America Bert Rogers addressing


John Callaghan and daughter

Chayan Medina & Pierre Merle

The Gazela & the Pell Bridge

Renee Jebali, Chayon Medina, & Sheri Scott












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