PORT Fairy rolled out the welcome mat for some unexpected seafaring visitors yesterday.
In scenes reminiscent of earlier centuries, two tall ships sailed into Port Fairy Bay yesterday afternoon for an unexpected overnight stopover.
The Dutch ships, the Bark Europa and Oosterschelde, are on their way to Sydney for the International fleet review in October, as part of celebrations to mark 100 years of the Royal Australian Navy. A third ship was expected to join them overnight and today the ship is in the Lady Bay harbour.
The ships have been on their journey from The Netherlands since September last year and arrived in south-west waters after visiting Fremantle, Kangaroo Island and Adelaide picking up and dropping off passengers along the way.
People lined vantage points around the bay yesterday to get a glimpse of the spectacle, some having come to see if there were whales only to be greeted by the stately ships.
Bob Jackson has been on board the Bark Europa since it left Fremantle and said the previous two days sailing from Kangaroo Island had been fantastic.
“We’ve had clear skies and good winds,” he said.
“It’s been fantastic. We are due in Melbourne on Friday, before sailing to Hobart and then on to Sydney.
“We didn’t know we would be making this stopover, but it’s nice to get off the ship and have a bit of a look around.”
The ships were expected to get under way early this morning.