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Visit the Magnificent Gloria

Throughout the world, tall ships are divided into four classes, with the largest — longer than 131 feet — given the designation of ‘Class A’. We think it’s a fitting moniker, as it not only acknowledges the size of these vessels, but also hints at their nautical grandeur. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Class A tall ships are the most spectacular traditionally rigged sailing vessels on the water today, and you have a rare opportunity to tour one this week, as the Colombian Navy’s magnificent three-masted barque Gloria will be berthed at Pier 17 until her departure on October 29 (tentatively 1 p.m.).

Most of us missed the crew’s traditional ‘harbor salute’ when Gloria arrived this morning, but as this file shot shows, it is a breathtaking sight. Perhaps they’ll do it again when they depart on the 29th.

© 2013 Bill Carleton

Currently homebound after a world tour, Gloria serves as both a goodwill vessel for Colombia and a seamanship training platform for up to 100 naval cadets. At 250 feet, she is one of the largest tall ships in the world, and she’s been in continual service since her launch in 1966 at Bilbao, Spain.

Don’t miss this opportunity to check her out first hand. South American officers and crew are always gracious hosts who take great pride in their vessels.

Public tour schedule:
Oct. 25: 2-4 p.m.
Oct. 26: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Oct. 27: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Oct. 28: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Oct. 29: 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

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Paper is so passé — at least according to the federal government. NOAA announced earlier this week that the Federal Aviation Administration, the government agency that prints maritime charts, will cease printing them after April 13, 2014.