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New London Tube: OpSail 2012 Parade Of Sail

Procession of the first eight ships speeds by in a time-lapse video

When I headed downtown to shoot a during OpSail 2012 on Saturday, I thought would be an ideal location. There were plenty of viewing spots along the river to see the ships coming ino the harbor, and some music to boot. There was a pretty large crowd set up in lawn chairs around the park, armed with binoculars and cameras. I still managed to get a good spot on the fishing pier with a nice view down to Ledge Light.

Unfortunately, the parade was delayed for a couple of hours while the lead ship, New London's own Coast Guard barque Eagle, untangled her anchor chain. There was still plenty of excitement along the river, as dozens of small boats sailed or motored around and were routinely chased off by police boats. In one case, a Coast Guard fast response boat roared up to a puttering motorboat to order a young boy - who was devoid of a life preserver - to stop sitting astride the bow.

I'll admit that given the long delay, I was eager to head off once I'd gotten some shots of the Eagle and the USS Carter Hall, along with the Brazilian Navy training ship Cisne Branco in the distance. I've since heard some complaints about how the 23-ship procession was spaced out and going at a pretty leisurely pace, so if you're one of those people who wasn't a fan of that lineup then this video is for you.

Shot by a videographer whose other works focus primarily on storm chasing, the video shows the scene from the Groton shoreline. Although it doesn't capture the entire parade, the 32-second time-lapse video does speed up the visit by the Eagle, Carter Hall, Ticonderoga, New Horizons, Tyrone, two United States Naval Academy Yard Patrol Boats, and the Cisne Branco (which makes a curious little pause before moving on). also gets involved to a certain extent.

Do you have any photos or videos from OpSail 2012? Add them to our Pics and Clips gallery.

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