Thursday, July 26, 2012

N.R.P "Sagres"

I took some time today to walk down to Cadiz and actually found a free internet spot. After sending off a number of messages I walked down to the Tall Ships festival. I got on a couple of them, in particular the N.R.P. "Sagres", the Portuguese Navy training ship. I discovered that the Sagres was built by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg and named Albert Leo Schlageter. She was one of four ships planned of which three were built. The other two were the Horst Wessel and the Gorch Fock. Coasties may recognize the name Horst Vessel. It is the former name of the U.S. Coast Guard training ship Eagle!  A delightful surprise.
I boarded a couple of other ships. Of course with the crowds all you get to do is walk the main deck. Even so it was fun. The most amazing thing is that although they have modern equipment - engines, navigation equipment, and so forth there is not a winch to be found. All the sails are raised, lowered, and trimmed using man (and woman) power. One cadet showed me the blisters on his hands.
Wandering around a bit further I met the Captain of the Amerigo Vespucci. He was with a Spanish Admiral who is the military attache at the Italian embassy in Spain. Being polite I only chatted with them for a minute or two and then took my leave but not before finding out that the Vespucci was headed for the Olympic Games in London.  I decided to see the Vespucci but when I arrived I found a very long line waiting to board.  In fact the tourists had turned out in force and every ship now had a 1 hour or so wait. I decided that standing in the sun was not worth it so I headed back to the marina.
Fair winds and following seas

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