Three Dutch Tall Ships have arrived independently in Cape Town on their way around the world following the route marked out by Dutch explorers in the seventeenth century. The ships all left the Netherlands last year and made their own way to Cape Town via the North and South Atlantic Oceans.
The three ships are the Tecla, the smallest of the three, the Europa, the oldest and the Oosterscheide, which is the fastest. The Tecla was built in 1915 and served as a fishing boat for many years in the North Sea, before switching trades and countries after it was sold to a Danish owner and was used as a coastal trading boat. It was sold back to a Dutch owner again and now, refitted several times, it takes paying crew as passengers on long, extended voyages. Passengers can choose how many different legs they wish to stay on board for. The present owners have owned the Tecla since 2006 and keep the gaff ketch rigged design as traditional as possible.
Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
Ariadne Van Zandbergen
The Europa is a 56 meter long bark and has been through quite a metamorphosis since being built in Hamburg in Germany in 1911. It served for much of its life as a light ship on the River Elbe, its flat bottomed bark hull, being well designed for that purpose. It ended up in Holland in 1986 and was completely rebuilt and set up as a sailing boat for the first time. It has three masts and is rigged a a top sail schooner. It changed its name to Europa, after the Greek Godess, after being rebuilt.
The Oosterscheide is a shade smaller than the Europa, at 50 meters. It was built in the Netherlands in 1918 and was used as a trading boat in home waters until the 1930s. It then changed hands and was turned into a coaster. It was. like the Europa, completely rebuilt and re rigged as a fore and aft topsail schooner in the 1980s and now spends most of its time on extended voyages to many different destinations which have included Antarctica and South America as well as one circumnavigation already under its belt. It spends the winter months sailing to and from the Cape Verde islands off the West Coast of Africa.
The thee ships are following in the footsteps of Dutch explorers and seafarers who by the mid seventeenth century were regularly plying the route between the ports of the Netherlands and the colonies of the Dutch East Indies, now modern day Indonesia. In the early days of sail, the boats used the trade winds to sail to the coast of Brazil. Here the dreaded doldrums – the area of calms and storms which could prevent steady progress by vessels that depended solely on the wind – were at their narrowest. From Brazil, boats sailed to Cape Town, Mauritius and then on to Indonesia. The route around the world had already been sketchily mapped with earlier voyages by Spanish and Portuguese circumnavigators. The southern lands of Australia and New Zealand were first mapped in part by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in the first part of the seventeenth century from his base in Batavia (now Jakarta).
The three ships now in Cape Town will be soon heading off for Mauritius following the Sardine Route along the East Coast of South Africa. They will then be taking part in a major tall ships regatta and race between Sydney, Hobart in Tasmania and Auckland in New Zealand in September this year before sailing on to Cape Horn, the Falklands Islands Antarctica and back to Europe via the Azores.
A replica of the boat that Christopher Columbus first sailed across the Atlantic in, “La Niña”, ran aground on sandbanks in a fierce storm, recently, as it attempted to enter Tampa Bay on the West side of the Florida panhandle in the United States. Luckily, the grounding was only temporary and together with a companion boat, the Pinta, it was able to proceed on and tie up for an official visit to Tampa.
Columbus left Spain for the Canary Islands, then crossed the Atlantic with three vessels. His own boat was the Niña. He sailed with the Pinta and the Santa Maria. Only the Niña and the Pinta made it back to Europe.
Discovery of America (1492)
The Niña was built originally in Moguer in Spain’s Andalucia province, and designed as a coastal trading boat with a shallow draft and wide beam. Strangely, there were no drawings or models of any of the boats which could be used as a reference when the decision was made to build replicas back in 1986 by the Columbus Foundation. The idea at the time was to have two of the three boats built in time for the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ Atlantic crossing. In fact, there was only time and money for one to be built before that date – this was the Niña.
The Niña and Pinta were caravel redondas – four masted timber boats with square sails for down wind sailing on the two fore masts and lateen sails on the two aft mizzen masts. They had large holds for carrying cargo and were much in use during the so called “Age of Discovery”. They were apparently good sailing boats and were used in times of war as well as for piracy. The cargo hold came in useful on Columbus’ voyages as the sailors had to share the ships with horses, cattle, chickens and pigs! The animals were kept in slings to stop them from being damaged when sailing.
The Santa Maria- Columbus’ third boat of the expedition was a different type of boat called a Nao, or freighter. It was apparently disliked by Columbus and never survived the trip and was wrecked on a reef, in what is now the Dominican Republic. Columbus said after it ran aground that it was too clumsy and slow and not suited for the purposes of discovery when there was a need for maneuverability in waters that were unknown.
The replica Niña was buillt in Brazil between 1987 and 1991. The location for the project was specially chosen by the Columbus Foundation because of the skills that the boat builders had in the Brazilian coastal village of Valenca on Brazil’s Bahia coast and the tools they used for boat building- hand tools such as axes, adzes, and saws. The timber for the craft came from nearby forest trees and it was built not from an actual paper plan, but from a mental image the boat builders had in their heads. The boat building method used in the sleepy little village was called Mediterranean Cold Moulding and dated back to the time of the real Niña. .
The replica was completed in 1991 and sailed for 4,000 miles on its first voyage through the Panama Canal and up to the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, proving that a replica caravel could still complete lengthy voyages 500 years after it was the master of the seas. The Niña arrived in time for the filming of “1492”, featuring Columbus and his four voyages.
The Niña’s sister ship, the Pinta, was built a little later, also in Valenca in Brazil. The two replica boats are still used and are actively sailed around the U.S. coast as floating museums representing the type of boat that was prevalent in the fifteenth century.
The brigantine “Tres Hombres” may yet reverse the fortunes of cargo carrying sailing ships. The 32 metre boat has just left Bermuda on route to the Azores, carrying cargo to Europe from the Caribbean Islands where it has been sailing for the last few months. It is thought to be the only sailing ship of its kind in that it has been designed to carry cargo rather than just used purely for pleasure or for carrying human passengers.
Harbour and Town of Horta, Faial Isla…
The 16 tonne boat was purpose built in 2009 for speed under sail as well as seaworthiness rather than its cargo carrying capacity, but has room for over 30 tonnes of cargo in its hold. It is a Middendorf (Dutch) design and was built out of composites. The hull design was tested and modified using a performance design tank.
“Tres Hombres” was named, according to its owners, because the idea of launching an engineless sailing boat destined to carry cargo was the original dream of three friends. The boat is not only low emissions; you could practically say that it is zero emissions, as it has no engine at all! The owners believe that the success of the “Tres Hombres” might stimulate other people to use sail again as a way to trade goods.
The brigantine has been carrying specialty cargo which is of high value, such as rum, chocolate, honey and wine. It is probably just as well that the era of piracy in that part of the Atlantic is over, as the hold contains valuable goods.
The skipper of the boat is Dutchman Andres Lackner. It was his and his two friends’ idea of the engineless cargo ship that eventuated in the dream becoming true. The three have been to Bermuda before on the tall ship “Europa” in 2000 as well as voyaging on the much smaller 10 metre sailboat “Pierius Magnus”.
Together with Mr Lackner are a complement of 10 other crew members from Austria, Croatia, France, Holland, Italy and the UK. The boat has room for three or four extra people who wish to come aboard as trainee crew members on a volunteer basis. The “Tres Hombres” sails for about eight months every year and completes a full circle around the Atlantic as it sails between Europe, the Caribbean and the United States.
While the ship’s purpose might be to demonstrate that cargo can be carried in an environmentally as well as profitable way, the very rarity of its mission invites interest wherever it goes. At each island port that it docks at, the public is invited to go aboard and inspect the last, but not the least of cargo carrying sailing vessels.
The Lynx Educational Foundation which manages the tall ship “Privateer Lynx” has selected Fort Myers Beach in Florida as its winter destination.
The “Privateer Lynx” is presently on a 5 year voyage, which commenced in 2010. Its principal route has been covering the East Coast of the USA and Canada while commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 along with the raising of the Star-Spangled Banner.
This relatively short war was fought between the newly independent Eastern States as they were then with the old colonial master Britain. It was thanks to the defense of American ports off the Eastern seaboard by gallant privateers like the Lynx that the war was won in favour of the young nation, which otherwise might have found it subject to Her Majesty Queen Victoria once again!
Lynx U.S. Privateer
The primary aim of the modern day ship is that it serves as a reenactment of the life of an actual privateer, also called “Lynx”. It was originally constructed in 1812 by a Thomas Kemp in Maryland. She was actually one of the first ships to act in defense of American liberty by keeping out of the way of the British navy fleet, then defending U.S. ports and serving in the crucial privateering tussles.
The privateers were owned by wealthy businessmen and intended for trade, but were often as not used for adventurous and illegal raids on other ships. These acts of piracy were alternately condemned and praised depending on whose fleet was getting the worst of the treatment!
She was captured early on during the war, but still the initial Lynx design was held in high regard. Her rakish profile and great sailing capabilities always inspired designers of ships that followed in her wake. Naval architects for years afterwards continued to study her power and grace. The modern day counterpart is currently fitted with weaponry of her era and her flags and pennants represent the period around 1812.
The importance of her appearance helps immensely with her educational role and offers a chance for students of history to really get a feel of what that era was really like especially has she has been decked out with regalia of those early days. Many U.S. students and adults view the 1812 war as a significant link to American heritage and was just the start in the evolution of a true national identity.
As well as her role in education, “Privateer Lynx” has also been involved as a training base for the crew and cast of the Pirates of the Caribbean.
Currently, the ship is on a visit to Florida’s Fort Myers Beach and will soon be sailing to St Petersburg in Russia. She is expected to return in February, when she will spend the months of February and March, the harshest of the winter months in port. These great sailing ships truly evoke feelings in people when they reflect back to early American days when the sovereignty of the country was in its infancy. The people of Fort Myers Beach will no doubt make use of their newly acquired resident as she sits gracefully in the harbour tended by her dedicated crew.
The Chinese coast is not new to sailing. The classic junk is recognisably Chinese and these sailing boats have been plying the waters of the South China Sea for centuries, both as trading and fishing boats. Fragments of Chinese pottery and other relics have turned up in mysterious places like the Australian coast, hinting that the junks were more far reaching in their quest, perhaps on exploratory visits far from the shores of the Chinese motherland.
However, China is certainly new to sailing as a leisure pursuit. While the junk rig has been adopted as a seaworthy and safe design for western yachts, China has only started to view sailing as a possible form of entertainment very recently. Perhaps the growing affluence of the Chinese economy, together with exposure to sailing enthusiasts during the Olympics, as well as the recently completed Volvo Ocean Race, may have contributed.
Morning, from a Set of Si…
China now has a sailing hero in Guo Chuan. He is out to make sailing history by aiming to be the first from China to complete a solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world. Chuan, now 47, and once a scientist, commenced the ambitious trip last Sunday from Qingdao, his hometown, situated in China’s North East Shandong province. His target is to sail in approximately 130 days the 21,600 nautical mile salty journey by tracking south eastwards to the Southern ocean, then transit Cape Horn and eventually back to China.
Guo is not new to sailing. He has had 12 years of practice after spending much of his working life working on a commercial satellite programme in China. He is also trying to be the 1st man to sail around the world in an Akilaria 40, which is 40 feet in length and is a monohull.
Guo hopes to be successful, but there is always some uncertainty when dealing with a feat that involves the great oceans. But he has certainly done all the possible preparation to ensure he completes this journey without having to seek any assistance along the way.
Circumnavigating the world in the 21st century has not normally been seen as anything too extraordinary, as both male and female sailors have already made their names. More recently, younger sailors in their teens have taken on the challenge. Australian Jessica Watson happily took on and completed the challenge in 2010. 16 year old Dutch teenager Laura Dekker, who flew the New Zealand flag, where she was born to parents on a much earlier and slower circumnavigation, similarly succeeded in completing the route last year.
A Chinese syndicate has been involved in lead up challenges to the 2013 America’s Cup and Guo was the first Chinese sailor to crew in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. He has sailed single-handed across the Atlantic Ocean in a 6.5-metre yacht, and he has also crossed the English Channel solo. Guo certainly seems to have built up an enviable reputation on the water and is set to break a record for his country.
The annual transatlantic rally is set to get underway in less than two weeks from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It is now the most popular method of crossing the Atlantic.
It is the largest trans ocean sailing event to take place globally. Every year the (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) ARC unites more than 200 yachts from across the world. The first destination is Rodney Bay in the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, a stunning location in the Lesser Antilles. The date set to depart Las Palmas coincides with the end of the northern hemisphere hurricane season when the 2700 nautical mile passage, even though tough, can depend on the uninterrupted reliability of the NE trade winds. The route takes between 14 and 21 days, depending on the size and speed of the yacht, which is often determined by the number of crew on board to keep the boat sailing at a constant speed night and day.
This years rally is made up of more than 1300 participants and over 40 are children under the age of 16 years. It is not just the domain of the rich and famous or diehard yachties but it invites those that are adventurous and want to give the Atlantic a go.
It does not mean racing to Las Palmas for the starting gun on the 25th November but it is a friendly race for cruising yachts, which makes the Atlantic crossing far safer and much more enjoyable. The ARC has that special mix which successfully unites racers with cruisers, older people with the young, and provides a wide spectrum of entertainment for everyone. The ARC is favourably supported by the Tourist Authority of Gran Canaria and the Saint Lucia Board of Tourism along with involvement from the local yachting fraternity.
The participating yachts don’t just take off into the deep blue ocean but are inspected to make sure they are equipped with a range of safety equipment which includes a life raft, a VHF radio and a Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon (EPIRB). Many of the participants carry satellite phones to make daily contact with family and friends throughout the voyage.
Constant radio communication between the organisers and the yachts contribute to the overall safety of the participants. The great ranges of ages and offshore yachting experience means knowledge can be spread around the fleet and in the event of a breakdown or equipment failure, there is always someone at hand to offer advice and give support. With well over 200 yachts departing Las Palmas at the same time help will never be that far away.
Up to today, November 12, 130 yachts of the 200+ fleet have already tied their mooring lines up in Las Palmas marina. This gives them plenty of time to get to know who they will be sharing the vast Atlantic with.
The 7th Vendée Globe Race, with 20 boats waiting at the starting line at Sables d’Onnes on the Atlantic coast of France, is due to start on November 10th.
The race village has been inundated over the last week with thousands of curious onlookers and fans of the world’s toughest solo sailing race.
From France, the twenty competing solo sailors sail South round the world’s southernmost capes without stopping anywhere, which puts it in a different league from other ocean races like the Volvo Ocean Race.
The 60 foot boats can travel downwind at speeds exceeding 20 knots, which makes for exhilarating sailing as long as nothing solid is in the way, like a whale , floating container or iceberg!
Joshua Slocum Encounters a Huge Wave …
From France, the boats must at first negotiate the arduous conditions across the Bay of Biscay in early winter weather, which can deliver severe south westerly headwinds, storms or fast downwind northerlies.
The route then leads past the Canaries into the tropics through the Cape Verde islands. This becomes a fast, but predictable downwind sail using the north east trades. From the Verdes, the boats then battle the vagaries of the doldrums, a complex region of calms and sudden squalls, which can challenge the race contestants to a choice of strategies.
With the doldrums passed, the south east trades lead to the first of the southern capes – the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Agulhas, off the tip of Africa, and into the wild Southern Ocean. This ocean straddles the forties, fifties and sixties in latitude and is characterised by strong westerly winds with embedded fronts and the occasional storm – fast, but tough sailing.
The route through the world’s largest stretch of unbroken sea sees the yachts pass the southern edge of Australia, New Zealand and South America, before again emerging into the Atlantic after passing Cape Horn.
Each stretch of sea presents its own dangers, and while weather, at least, can be predicted from the regular 6 hour forecasts which each boat is able to receive, it is the unpredictable solid bits which most sailors fear the most – from rogue waves due to storms, to stray icebergs in the Pacific and the occasional unfortunate sleeping whale which could be easily hit on the surface.
Large ships use a special sonar device which searches the water in front of the ship, scanning for possible obstructions.
The electronic surveillance allows the ship to detect anything which could be a possible danger. This is particularly useful when it comes to the possible risks of collision with forty foot steel containers, which might be floating on the surface of the sea after falling off a container ship and icebergs.
The sonar is impractical on a Vendée yacht, because the weight of the device would seriously impair its stability.
With not long to go before the commencement of the race, competitors are looking west to the massive storm at present threatening New York. Ex Hurricane Sandy, born in the warm waters of the West Indies could present a threat to the fleet just as it heads off from Sables d’Onnes. These tropical origin storms have a knack of tracking east in the higher latitudes of the North Atlantic and there is no reason why it might not pass straight through the fleet’s intended path in the days to come.
The first ever round the world voyage on a tall ship carrying disabled sailors as crew has set off from Southampton in England.
The ship is the “Lord Nelson”, named after the half blind British admiral who led the British fleet at Trafalgar, so the ship is suitably named to carry the collection of people with a variety of disabilities on its mission.
The disabilities range from blindness and multiple sclerosis to paraplegia and the ship has been fitted out to help cater for the full range of abilities that the crew will be able to demonstrate.
The Battle of Trafalgar and the Victo…
Not only are the abilities and disabilities very varied, so are the ages. One of the oldest crew members who signed up for the 23 month voyage, which is expected to travel 50,000 miles around the world, is Beryl Jones at 69 years old. When asked for her reasons for joining the trip, she said that her great grandfather had been an ocean going captain and thought that she was following the tradition he had kept.
She said that the thought of doing all the normal chores as well as changing sails and spying on the horizon from the crow’s nest was an exciting thought.
The “Lord Nelson” is skippered by a female captain, Barbara Campbell, and is part of the Jubilee Trust, which has set out to administer a purpose built ship that can carry able bodied as well as disabled sailors alike.
The “Lord Nelson” is 55 metres long and will visit more than 30 countries on its historic voyage on all 7 continents. Some of the key ports on its itinerary will include Rio De Janeiro, Cape Town, Kochi in India, Singapore, Sydney, Auckland and Ushuaia. The last named stop, at the Southern end of Argentina, will also be the port of embarcation for a side trip to Antarctica. The Antarctic explorer, Skip Novak, who has made dozens of trips to the Antarctic Peninsula in his own sailing yacht will be piloting the “Lord Nelson” on the trip to the frozen South.
The Jubilee Trust has also been sponsored and supported by a number of celebrities, including Peter Snow, the BBC commentator and global explorer, Sarah Outen.
Not all of the crew have had sailing experience, but they are all determined to enjoy the experience of sailing on a tall ship and discover how their disabilities can be challenged to the full. One crew member is a paratrooper, retired from active service in Afghanistan after losing a leg in an explosion. He said that the voyage allowed him to complete an important part of his rehabilitation process as the voyage would provide him with the opportunity to recover his self confidence.
Another is a parish constable from the Channel Island of Jersey. He is an active sailor back at home, and also suffers from multiple sclerosis. He is looking forward both to the sailing in the great ship, but also to the sense of camaraderie, which such a mixed crew is likely to engender.
On the 17th September, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race recruitment campaign was launched throughout Britain. This is a new international crew recruitment method aimed at encouraging people who want to achieve something different by giving up their normal daily routine through embarking on a race across the great oceans of the world and they do not need to have any experience at all.
The Clipper Race was inaugurated sixteen years ago by renowned lone yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who was the first person to sail alone and non-stop around the globe in 1968-9. Of all the sailing races, the Clipper Race is the longest in the world, covering some 40,000 miles. An interesting qualification to take part is that any person over eighteen has eligibility to apply, without requiring any sailing experience at all. Those selected for the adventure are trained for three weeks at an intensive pre-race training event.
British Clipper for the China Tea Tra…
Almost half those who take part do not have any prior sailing experience but they are not left to learn the skills unaided as they are supervised by a range of professionally trained skippers.
The Clipper Race grows in importance every year, with the final race attracting a worldwide audience of more than a billion viewers. Because of the increase in interests from sponsors for the available crew berths, there are going to be twelve new 70-foot yachts to be included in the coming races.
Crew members can complete the 40,000 miles of circumnavigation in total or just one or more of the eight sectors. The race fleet takes nearly a year to complete with 15 ports on their timetable, visiting six continents. Sea conditions are never consistent, from the calm conditions experienced in the doldrums to the tempestuous seas of the Southern Ocean.
A crew member in the last race said his highlight was experiencing a big storm in the Southern Ocean, when he recalled clambering up the mast to bring the sails in where he managed to secure a view of the amazing force of nature – the grey in the sky, the massive waves, mountainous seas and the strong gusts of wind. A sight that most people in this world will never have an opportunity to see.
For many, the best part of the race is meeting up with people who you would never usually come across in ordinary every day life but on board you are working together with a common goal in mind.
The current recruitment campaign is taking place on posters in London’s main line railway stations and throughout the country, trying to entice rail travellers to swap the monotony of their daily commute for the adrenalin rush of sailing in earnest across some of the great oceans of the world.
Sir Robin Knox Johnston recalls that racing across a great ocean is a truly unique endeavour and really makes you feel alive.
This October the magnificent tall ship ‘Oosterschelde,’ a Dutch three-masted topsail schooner, will sail from Rotterdam with the intention of sailing the ancient trading route, which will take them to the remote Cape Verde Islands, 600 kilometres off the coast of Gambia, Africa and then on to Brazil in South America and to the famous South African city of Cape Town.
At the same time, the ‘Europa’ a three masted barque, will be sailing East after completion of an earlier expedition to Antarctica (Terra Australis). These two ships will meet up in Cape town and they will then continue their voyage across to Australia together. Their journey will allow them to sail, with favourable westerly winds, transiting the Indian Ocean to Australia and this will be following the wake of well renowned Dutch explorers Abel Tasman, Cornelis de Houtman and Van Diemen. These familiar Dutch tall ships will be reliving ancient days once more.
The route will take them to Madagascar on to Mauritius, then Reunion and on to Perth. They will negotiate the notoriously rough seas of the Great Australian Bight to Adelaide, sailing to Melbourne and Hobart in Tasmania. After their arrival in Hobart a race is set to be organized, finishing in Sydney.
Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge…
Less then a year after setting sail from Holland, on the 4th October 2013, the ships will be representing the Netherlands at the International Fleet appraisal of the Australian Navy which will be commemorating a hundred years since the entry of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) into the sheltered waters of Sydney harbour. A Tall Ships’ Race is scheduled from Sydney to Auckland after this event.
After this race has been completed the ‘Europa’ and ‘Oosterschelde’ will begin preparations for their long arduous voyage around Cape Horn at the end of November 2013. This section will take them to the bleak desolate Falkland Islands and then to the dramatic ice mass of Antarctica, which still abounds in unique wild life. Once this expedition has been completed the ‘Oosterschelde’ will sail back North and then on to the Netherlands, their home, and ‘Europa’ will be taking part in more expeditions in Antarctic.
With inspiration given by this sailing programme of the Dutch tall ships, the ‘Lord Nelson’ has now announced plans to embark on a global circumnavigation which will include participating in the tall ships’ races that will take place in Australia. The ‘Lord Nelson’ is funded and run by the well known Jubilee Sailing Trust in Britain and has been specially designed and constructed to allow people with a varied assortment of physical abilities to sail alongside each other as equals. It is hard to imagine that any early tall ships ever had the same compassion as the Lord Nelson. However, they will be experience the strict routine that was apparent in early days and is still a necessity when transiting our crowded oceans.
A crowd of one million are anticipated to come and visit Dublin’s docklands later on this week for the 2012 Tall Ships Festival.
The ships were not due to dock today but many came in early as they encountered a severe storm at sea and substantial damage was done to some of these historic icons.
Eight junior trainees from Dublin were crewing on the Guayas, the training tall ship belonging to the Ecuadorean navy, which was one of the ships that was damaged during the voyage.
The Guayas Captain, Amillar Villavicencio, recalled that winds exceeding 50 knots accompanied with 10m waves and swell had ripped eight sails and succeeded in damaging the masts as well. He said they are used to Pacific sailing waters, which are Pacific compared to the Atlantic.
A further vessel suffered a mast breakage while making the crossing and another had to request a tow into Dublin Port after quite substantial damage. Despite the damage encountered by some of the ships, the crossing was faster than expected.
The tall ships had been cruising together since 5th July where they rendezvoused in St. Malo, France and sailed along the Spanish and Portuguese coasts. Their final departure to Dublin was from A Coruña in North West Spain an ill-fated voyage for some despite being the summer sailing season.
The forty ships hail from as far away as Mexico and Ecuador with entries from many European countries.
Mary Weir reported that The Tall Ships Festival has budgeted spending €3.6 million and they are expecting this investment to inject €25-€30 million into the local economy.
She also recalled that up to not so long ago, paintings of tall ships could be seen adorning areas around the Port of Dublin but they are now rarely seen, which makes this event even more attractive, particularly for young families who resort to the TV and the Internet to gain any images of past life.
However, there is going to be a photographic exhibition to accompany the fleet of tall ships, which will be a further reminder of their role in the past.
Dublin’s port head of operations said that the whole event is not just about sailing. It is also focused on making use of a tall ship to teach us about comradeship. Sailing aboard one of these vessels has often been described as a life-changing experience. He said that when youth join as crew on a ship, they are often complete strangers and by the finish of the experience they have become a team of people who have learnt how to co-ordinate and work together with a common goal.
After the recent bad spate of weather there has be no firm weather predictions for the event that will take place over the coming weekend.
While out along the Mediterranean coast, whether driving or on foot, what might catch the eye of the casual observer is the sight of super yachts, with sails set, gliding gracefully through the water. The thought races through the mind as to who could possibly have the time or money to enjoy or own luxuries of this type.
Most certainly, there are people who do have the money to enjoy a leisurely sail on the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. But few of the tens of thousands of yachts that set out on their annual cruise every year fit into the super yacht bracket.
Countries Bordering The Mediterranean…
Most super yachts have a professional crew who look after the yacht most of the year. When the owners go off to look after their business affairs, or get bored, they leave their boat in the hands of this experienced crew, who will dock the yacht when asked any where along the coast.
A Russian billionaire at only 40 years old has now made the media headlines because the 128 metre motor yacht he is having built has become world famous because of its radical design and huge size. When finally built it will be the world’s largest privately owned sailing yacht.
Andrey Melnichenko’s boat fits into the 130 metre range. The largest sailing yacht in the world at the moment is the 100 metre “Eos”, which once belonged to Barry Diller.
Melnichenko has refused to engage in conversation about his new yacht. A spokesman for Melnichenko has declined to comment on any more details. So far, no blueprints or photographs for the boat have been made public and very few in the boating community have ever viewed the plans. Not even the name of the new boat is yet known.
According to those contractors and associated companies that have been involved with the project, the boat will be propelled by both sails and motors.
The sails of this novel looking ship are to be raked, which means they will be angled backwards. This gives it a sleek appearance when compared to other boats with straighter looking masts.
Melnichenko is depending on just his own team to initiate the building of his new yacht. The German shipyard, Nobiskrug, is responsible for constructing the yacht which is operated by Abu Dhabi MAR.
The final costing of the boat has not been revealed, as it’s still in the initial planning and construction stages. However, estimates are that it is most likely to be more than $100 million. Those in the know say work has commenced on the hull already but the progress of the construction will be dependent on making funds available.
The ship is not likely to be launched until at least 2015 which is a long way on from now but it is something to look out for after the champagne bottle has been broken on its bows.
Entering the harbour of Maó, Menorca, after yet another long distance motoring session from the Italian island of Sardinia we wondered again how the ships of the past managed to cope without an engine. Our modern sailing yacht seemed to be cursed wherever we went in the Mediterranean with either winds which were too strong or too weak. To navigate from one end of this inland ocean to the other without the helping hand of our sturdy diesel engine seemed unthinkable. And yet, before the invention of powered craft, all vessels were either moved by sail or muscle power alone.
Maó’s magnificent harbour has often been seen as a prize by many nations in the previous centuries and yet its narrow entrance and long inlet with their capricious breezes were defended, attacked and negotiated totally with the help of the wind.
By coincidence, as if to confirm our question about the abilities of the sailing vessels of the past, the replica of the “Nao Victoria” was berthed alongside the Maó town dock to allow an opportunity for curious onlookers to inspect the ship. The replica was built in Seville, in Andalucia, the same city as the birthplace of the original vessel. The first Nao Victoria was the very first sailing ship to successfully circumnavigate the globe, returning in 1522 with its captain Juan Senbastián Elcano after a three year voyage which must have been both perilous as well as incredibly adventurous.
The original vessel was part of the five vessel fleet that set off from Cadiz in 1519, with Magellan as its commander, in search of a route to the spice islands of Indonesia and the Phillipines. The fleet negotiated the Cape of Good Hope, then made its way through the East Indies and then returned across the Pacific to Cape Horn, up the coast of South America and back across the Atlantic to Spain. By the end of the voyage the Nao Victoria was the only surviving vessel. The other four ships, together with many of the original crew members had perished en route. Only 18 sailors returned to their native country out of the 243 that had set out.
Map Charting Sir Francis Drake’s Circ…
To emphasise the enormity of the accomplishments of this ungainly looking vessel one has to remember the circumstances. These craft had no engines, no charts, no GPS, no liferafts, no credit cards, satellite telephones and no way of communicating with Mother Spain.
When they left for their voyage there would be no contact at all until the Nao Victoria sailed back into the very same place that it has set out from.
The 25 metre long replica, despite its frail looks, is no toy or model. It has already accomplished a lot in its own right. Between 2004 and 2006 it made its own global circumnavigation, to celebrate the achievements of its ancient namesake. Its route was totally different, however, being within the gentler waters of the tropics and the trade winds. From Seville, it crossed the Atlantic, passing through the Panama Canal – itself non existent, of course, when Magellan was alive – across the Pacific to Japan, the East Indies, the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, returning to the Atlantic coast of Spain through the Mediterranean.
It is impossible these days to recreate the ordeals and achievements of those first sixteenth century explorers and sailors. The replica no doubt had its own engine, and all the modern paraphernalia and technology which makes maritime travel so much safer and easier.
Only the winds and the sea are the same as they were back then.
Probably the only tall ship that has an all female professional crew and used for sail training and leadership building in a programme called “Sisters in Sail”, the STV Unicorn has had a remarkable history, starting life as an unassuming Dutch fishing trawler and finishing life as a glorious sailing vessel on the Atlantic coast of the USA and the Great Lakes of Canada.
Great Lakes in North America
The Unicorn has not only been transformed in shape and size several times, it has changed its name to match. Starting off life as the “Deo Volente 1”, meaning “God Willing”, it was built in Holland in 1947 out of scrap German U-boat steel from World War 2 and for just over 30 years trawled the North Atlantic fishing grounds. The strongly built vessel with its 1500 hp engine changed ownership and name several times.
By 1979 it had gone through a remarkable metamorphosis, being bought by another Dutch owner and renamed the “Eenhoorn”, the Dutch name for “Unicorn” and converted into an elegant sailing ship. Under its new suit of sails it became a regular visitor to warmer and less turbulent waters in the Mediterranean.
The Haunted U-Boat
As a topsail schooner, with square rig and huge bowsprit, the “Eenhoorn” became the “Unicorn” at last, registered in the Channel Islands and sailed to the Caribbean with a British owner, serving as a charter boat and occasional floating base for treasure seeking in the West Indies. Again, the boat changed hands but continued to be used for charter out of Grenada under new American ownership. It then had a near disaster being involved in a collision on the way to the American East Coast with a chemical tanker on its way back from a charter season. It was towed into Norfolk Harbour on the American coast for repair. The cost of the repair was more than could be regained form the insured value so this meant another sale and a new Canadian owner, Captain Prothero, who refitted not only the hull, but the rig and the motor as well and used it as a sail training vessel on the Great Lakes and the Caribbean.
The “Unicorn”, or rather the “True North or Toronto” as it was then called, became well known at tall ship festivals and ceremonies around the North American east coast and became a member of ASTA or the American Sail Training Association.
The final chapter began in 1999, when the current owners, Dawn and Johnathan Santamaria bought the “True North”, which went through another major refit and was again renamed the “Unicorn”. The ship is now still sailed with Dawn and her four daughters with its crew of professional female sailors right through the Great lakes and East Coast as a not for profit sail foundation dedicated to enhancing the lives of girls and women through a leadership and empowerment programme.
The Unicorn throughout its 63 year history has retained its original strength and beauty and has given hundreds of people a livelihood and passion for sailing like few other vessels.
A hundred or more years ago when engines took over from sailing ships, there was no great interest in returning to sail as a means of transport. It was slow, too weather dependent and needed a large able bodied crew to hoist and trim the sails. Good for explorers and pirates of the past but, quite surprisingly, they are not just elderly relics of times that have passed.
Tall Ship the Kalmar Nyckel, Chesapea…
Scott T. Smith
Their filled sails, massive masts and lengthy wooden hulls still draw flag waving crowds at the increasing number of sailing events designed for them and hosted in ports far and wide. As a result, a new tall ship industry has developed and grown to meet the needs of adventure-thirsty sailing enthusiasts who love things from the past.
The 2012 nautical calendar shows how appealing these vessels are.
Only a month ago, a whole fleet of tall ships sailed into Manhattan Harbour in the USA in an awe inspiring celebration that remembered 200 years since the 1812 war, which was the basis of the 3-year conflict that raged between America and the ailing British Empire.
Firework Display at Belfast Tall Ship…
Only a week passed by and,. in Britain, Queen Elizabeth II was out celebrating her Diamond Jubilee watching a huge flotilla of 1,000 vessels, which included many tall ships.
Maritime fanatics who plan to visit London throughout the Olympics will have the opportunity of sailing down the river Thames and passing key Olympic venues on the way on one of the 16 tall ships that have been commissioned for the extravaganza.
The largest will be the 3 masted “Oosterschelde”, a 1918 Dutch cargo carrier that was subsequently adapted in the 1930’s to a modernised sailing boat.
These types of events aren’t the only times the onlooker can encounter a tall ship as there has been a mushrooming in enterprises offering holidays on such boats. The fastest selling sailing excursion this year takes its passengers from Newfoundland to Britain, calling at Greenland and Iceland. The tall ship is the 55 meter-long replica of an old barque named “Lord Nelson.” Once advertised, the trip was sold out in just 3 days. Another popular trip is a two-month sailing journey from Latin America to South Africa with a visit to Antarctica.
This year, in July, heralds the 20th year of “Les Tonneres de Brest,” a famous maritime festival taking place in Brittany. Here, tall ships line the horizon in a manner rarely seen today in the maritime world. It proves to those lovers of the sea and its maritime heritage that has staged wars, carried explorers and ferried passengers to far-flung places that their history has not been forgotten and will live on like the great oceans that have been sailed with winds as their gift.
The remaining four-strong Volvo Ocean sailing fleet is edging its way to Miami with no serious weather issues except unpredictable light wind areas that could change the positioning of the fleet in just a manner of a few hours.
Once in Miami there is still the North Atlantic to cross before they reach their final destination in Galway, Ireland, in July.
With no more than 300 miles to the completion in Miami of Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean race, “Camper” was today praying that the battle for the lead position was now only to be fought out between “Puma” and themselves due to a sixty-mile gap now evident between “Telefónica” and “Groupama”.
Diamond Head Yacht in Swiftsure Race
Yann Riou, on Groupama, said that they were expecting to take third place in this leg due to the fact that the leaders are now too far ahead to catch.
Camper was around eleven miles behind Puma at seven o’clock this morning Universal Coordinated Time as the yacht just passed on the eastern side of the islands of the Bahamas, and as the winds have increased a little their boat speeds are now reaching ten knots, the leaders were offered a sigh of relief from when they realised Groupama was not advancing rapidly enough..
But after they watched Telefónica lose speed after unfortunately sailing slowly through a windless hole, Team New Zealand crew member on Camper, Hamish Hooper, stated that the team was fully conscious of any possible eventuality in the last few days of the leg.
They are now just hopeful that this sector of the journey has now reverted into a yacht race for two, but when Telefónica dropped a lot of miles the previous night, there is no certainty until the crossing of the finish line, which is expected to be still 48 hours away.
The final route into Miami is full of obstacles. There are areas where light wind predominates and there are islands to work around as well as the increasing amount of algae adhering to the hulls.
Just the eleven-mile lead is not quite enough to quell the nerves on Puma Ocean Racing which is powered along by Berg.
He said that with around 350 miles to the finishing line it would be easy to sit back and forget the distance ahead but no one appears to be making that fatal mistake.
The mind has to be set and that is that every mile is as crucial as the mile ahead. Do not think you have conquered the horizon, as the race is still a long way off finishing.
Telefónica was positioned sixty six nautical miles behind Puma at 7 ‘o’ clock, having lost 8 miles between reported positions and these were the two quickest boats in the sailing fleet, together with Groupama, averaging a speed of around 11 knots.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing was fast approaching, at less than 40 miles behind, and averaging just a little over 7 knots.
The unfortunate arrival of lighter winds in this leg has meant that some crews have suffered from food shortages. It is often critical in races like the Volvo Ocean that the gross weight of the vessel is kept to the bare minimum, which means strategically accounting for every kilogramme on board for the duration of the race.
Philip Plisson is a French marine photographer specialized in the sea, boats, landscapes and people.
Born in January 1947 on the banks of the Loire (France), his life and work have always been related to the sea. Not surprisingly his father was the founder and president of the Yacht Club ‘Cercle de la Voile’ in Orleans, and he started sailing at the age of 7. When he was 9 his grandmother gave him an Ultra-Flex camera that helped him discover his passion for photography. He spent the summer of 1956 photographing yachts from his own boat.
Nevertheless, Philip became a photographer on land. It would be in 1974 when he decided to make a living from photography, with the help of his wife Marie-Brigitte (whom he married four years earlier). In the 80′s his dream of making a living from his two passions, the sea and photography, came true.
Sauvetage en Mer
Between 1982 and 1990 the stories about Philip multiplied in the world of sailing and the press, taking part in events like the America’s Cup, while participating in advertising campaigns for major owners of the marine industry. He opened his first gallery (11 m2) in 1988. Today, the group “Plisson La Trinidad” employs forty people, and it produces nearly 500 000 images per year. Philip was named Artist of the Navy in 1991 by the French Defense Ministry, presenting his work to over 51,000 visitors.
1991 “Peintre de la Marine” – Painter of the Navy (France).
1994 Silver Medal for Tourism (France).
1997 Knight of the Order of Marine Merit.
1999 Silver Medal from the National Sea Rescue Society, for services rendered to the rescue at sea.
2001 Gold Medal for Tourism, for his work in Britain.
2003 Named Person of the Sea, by the Principality of Monaco.
2004 Named Knight of the Legion of Honor.
2006 Promoted to the rank of Officer of the Order of Marine Merit.
2008 Promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader Reserve Citizen of the Gendarmerie within the Republican Guard.
Mariquita and Mariette
1992 Foundation Award “Pays de France” for his book “Britain between sky and sea”.
1993 Sea Circle Award, for his “Images of Fisherman”.
1994 Naval Academy Award for the book “Brittany, land of the Sea”.
2005 1st Prize awarded at the third annual Night of Books and Printing “fog lights”.
2008 Winner of the Literary Award of the Gendarmerie for “The Republican Guard.”
Avis de Coup de Vent sur les Poulains
All his work speaks of a fundamental subjet: The Sea. His photography is mainly related to water and nature, in which, as discussed before, he has been involved from an early age. As for the genders in which he works, they are very diverse:
Reports of nature. It’s the genre in which most of his work has been done, having to his credit stunning images that show the greatness and strength of the sea.
Events. He has worked on major sporting events related to the sea or water: sailing, surfing, rafting …
Photojournalism. Always related to the same subject, he has also captured stunning scenes to show reality through his camera.
Advertising photography. He has worked mainly for various shipping companies, although perhaps we should classify it as industrial photography. We could also categorize some of his works as documentary photography, having done extensive reporting on a specific subject for specialized publications.
Aesthetic and style: Plisson shows the sea in all its possible forms: big waves, calm waters, landscapes story … and from different perspectives: aerial photography, ground, aboard ship … he is passionate about all that the sea holds and this fact is reflected in his work, allowing us to get involved in it from very different point of views, sometimes making us feel the loneliness of a sailor, and others the grandeur of nature through the shimmering sea.
Always showing the blue sea in the background he reveals the great buildings that cover the coast, lighthouses that illuminate in the dark, the impossible shapes of coral reefs, the soft sand of the beach, sunsets that we wish would last forever, solid oil platforms in the middle of the ocean, the consequences of the unstoppable force of the water …
Bearing in mind that his is mostly nature photography, he plays with light and contrast in his work to show the beauty of the sea. Having traveled around the world with his camera, he shows us the different customs of sailors, and explains through his images their different ways of working. In his industrial photos he shows us the imposing shipbuilding constructions, and the meticulous detail with which small pleasure craft are cared for. He plays with the image based on what he wants to communicate through it, something that he achieves thanks to the great knowledge he has of the sea, seafaring customs and different boats.
Considered by many as the greatest painter of the sea in the 20th century, and one of the most skilled craftsmen in the line of the British marine artists, Montague Dawson is known for his beautiful clipper ships, emerging from the waves and gliding majestically under the sky. In his paintings, the ships and the elements become one, together in a harmony of movement and color that reflect an astonishing reality.
Dawson was born in Chiswick, England, son of a Thames sailing enthusiast, and grandson of the famous English landscape painter Henry Dawson. Early in life he moved to Southampton where he spent his free time fishing, sailing and admiring the world’s largest ships during their port call. He served as a naval officer during World War I, where he met English artist C. Napier Hemy who’s influence on him was such that he spend the rest of his life devoted to painting and professional illustration.
Wind and Sun
Much of the work of Montague Dawson is divided into various private collections as well as important museums around the world. His reputation as “the king of Clipper Ship School ” has reached all corners of the planet. Close to the end of his days, only Picasso was paid higher for his work. He was one of a kind, whose style and genius we might never see again.
Montague Dawson. The Flying Cloud
With the original paintings reaching ever higher prices, today we can enjoy Montague Dawson’s fascinating work as an affordable goutteletteÂ® print on paper. An exclusive digital printing process combining new technology with the traditional expertise of craftsmen which creates a unique fidelity to the original.
Yachts have for nearly a hundred years existed as havens for pleasure seekers who often resided in the richest countries. This, despite the ups and downs of economies, is changing.
The yacht-owning class is expanding in India at a surprisingly rapid rate, where 150 of the vessels can be now viewed moored in Mumbai. It is not too long ago that sailing dhows frequented these waters, plying the coast from Kochi to Mumbai, but the aim was to move cargo not to be sailed by people at leisure. The sails of these iconic craft have now been replaced by diesel engines.
Most of those who are interested in purchasing a yacht want to share it with family and friends in places that are removed from city pollution where they can wile away a weekend break from busy city life.
One recent proud owner, Balachandar, who bought his yacht in Croatia said he owned a sailing dinghy for three years but it was too small to share it with family and friends.
A Goa resident bought an 11-metre vessel, which he uses for coastal fishing trips with his friends and relaxes in the backwaters of Goa. However, the most resplendent yacht in Goa is businessman Chetan Timblo’s, which at 37 metres is used to make passages to the Maldives every year.
In Kochi, Jose Thomas, a well-known businessman, bought a yacht, because he loves the water.
Dhow Sailboats Glide and Race across …
If you don’t have the money for a yacht, there is another choice and that is to charter one. Increasingly, in the coastal cities of India at $100 for an afternoon weekend charter, this is becoming a popular pastime for those who have a modest income.
In spite of its extensive coastline, this rapidly expanding yachting culture is restricted by the few facilities that are available to accommodate yachts securely. Mumbai might be India’s yachting capital, but it has no marina or port facility for the use of pleasure boats.
Off-Loading Cargo from Dhows from Zan…
There is now a marina outside the hotel on Bolgatty island in Kochi but it is not well used, as the abundance of safe, sheltered havens in Kochi’s backwaters offer plenty of possibilities to moor a boat in safety. This is not the case in Chennai, which has no placid inland waterways, and the yacht craving has been put on hold until the government agrees to put in a marina. A similar situation is present in Goa, where pressure is being put on the Government as well.
Aerial Shot of a Dhow Sailing in Turq…
Established in 2010, the Kochi Marina is the only marina facility in the country but the berths remain empty as the usual run of transient international yachts sailing from SE Asia to the Mediterranean has been put on hold due to the dangers of piracy in the region and yacht owners are favouring shipping their boats on a freighter rather than risking life and limb by sailing into the arms of pirates.
Optimism is still running high for the enthusiasts who say it will not be long before going out on the sea becomes as popular as driving, particularly as yachting is no longer the domain of millionaires.
April 22, 2012 | Alison Williams
Dutch teen Laura Dekker has just become the youngest sailor ever to undertake and complete a single handed circumnavigation of the globe.
The sixteen year old finished her single handed round-the-globe voyage when she finally sailed into the harbour of St Maarten in the Caribbean, which is jointly administered by the French and Dutch governments.
It looked at first that she would not be allowed to start the intrepid voyage at such an early age when the Dutch social affairs department considered that she was far too young to take on the challenge. The court case that involved her and her family, who were behind the project, reached world attention two years ago.
Dekker sailed from the island less than a year ago, beating the last record by 8 months.
As she reaches the age of 17 on the 20th September, she had to finish her voyage before the 16th September in order to claim the record for the youngest sailor to complete a world trip without any assistance.
Miss Dekker’s ketch, named Guppy, arrived in St Maarten almost a year after her voyage started.
“I can’t really absorb what I have just done,” she said to journalists once she had her feet firmly planted on dry land.
“The sailing was at all times really good and I often viewed dolphins along the way” she said when interviewed at the dockside after arrival.
She said that she would be spending the coming days on the island cleaning up the 12 metre boat before she returns to school.
Her parents, of course, were there amidst a crowd of 450 onlookers who were there to welcome the teenager. Scores of people cheered as Dekker waved her arms to them, cried and then went across the dock along with her mum, dad, sister and grandparents, who had met her out at sea earlier in the day.
Dekker finally made her arrival in St. Maarten after fighting high seas and strong winds on the last, 40-day section from Cape Town in South Africa.
The starting point of her trip became St Maarten instead of the original plan of Gibraltar.
The previous holder of the record was Australian teenager Jessica Watson, who gained this achievement in May 2010, just 3 days before she reached her 17th birthday.
But the Dutch girl’s achievement and challenge was not quite the same as Jessica’s, who went around the world non-stop while Laura sailed from one port to another and was not at sea for longer than 3 weeks.
Dekker was born in the port of Whangarei in New Zealand to sea going parents while they were completing a six year circumnavigation of their own, and said she did her first solo sail at the age of 6. By the age of 10 years old she said, she started to dream about sailing around the world. She celebrated her sixteenth birthday while at sea, consuming doughnuts for breakfast after having spent a bit of time in port with her father and some friends the previous night in Darwin on the north coast of Australia.
The teen sailed more than 26,000 miles on a journey that included places that sound like a scan through an online travel brochure: the Canary Islands, the Galapagos, Panama, Fiji, Tonga, Bora Bora, Australia, South Africa and St. Maarten.
There are many ordinary people who go to sea and do brave and amazing things, which the world never gets to hear about. This is a story of two such quiet heroes that ended safely and happily only two weeks ago.
The couple, on an adventure of a lifetime, had set off on what is often only a routine 2000 mile crossing of the Atlantic from the Cape Verde islands to the Caribbean but soon they became confronted with a situation that all sailors hope would never happen to them. Their rudder snapped clean off the stern of their 12 metre yacht, slap bang in the middle of the ocean.
If you have ever seriously imagined how hard it would be to steer a car without a steering wheel then perhaps you could try to imagine steering a rudderless yacht on an ocean, with thirty knot winds and four metre waves, a thousand miles from the nearest “garage”. Amanda and Patrick on the “Egret” certainly did not have any instructions hidden away in their emergency grab bag, but they were quietly determined not to abandon their yacht.
The morning after the disaster, as their yacht rolled and yawed helplessly in the Atlantic swells, kindly voices on the morning’s regular yacht to yacht high frequency radio sked soon had them sorted out. An old sea dog-cum-author called Fatty Goedlander, who had been sailing the seas for almost 60 years, was quick to relay down the radio detailed instructions on how to make and deploy an emergency rudder that would, at least, get them underway and moving, albeit slowly, in the right direction.
Amanda and Patrick quickly got to work using a long rope, their second anchor and some additional long mooring lines. The anchor was thrown off the stern attached to some chain and a thick long rope which they attached to a stern mooring cleat. Two more lines had been attached to the anchor as well which were led down each side of the deck and through some blocks and back to the steering wheel area and these would then be used as steering lines.
Of course, now the sails had to be set in such a way that they would be filled by the wind that was coming from behind. This, with some trial and error, they managed successfully.
This amazing feat was accomplished, it seems, with a minimum of fuss. After all, no one wants to finish their voyage of a lifetime, let alone their adopted, floating home at the mercy of the great Atlantic.
Just to brighten things up, they certainly weren’t alone on the high seas as there were some nearby yachts – meaning 50 odd miles away – that immediately diverted to give moral support and sail along with them. One tailed them in rough conditions for almost a week before bravely launching their yacht’s tender and rowing alongside the stricken “Egret” to deliver 50 litres of diesel in conditions that a surfer might only appreciate. Not only that but some freshly baked bread and other culinary goodies were tossed in to their cockpit, but the Good Samaritan apparently decided against hopping aboard for a friendly swig of whisky.
With more than a thousand miles to go to St Lucia and an electronic auto pilot somehow managing to steer the jury steering rig, they happily arrived on the shores of St Lucia to welcome in the New Year.
There is no moral to this report or even lessons to be learned, it was just one of those unavoidable incidents that ended happily aided by initiative, skill and determination.