You could think you were just booking a cruise. It might be possible to look at Star Clippers’ brochure and think it a cruise ship with a few picturesque sails.
But sailing on Star Clipper or her twin sister Star Flyer, or their bigger sibling Royal Clipper, is more than that. It is to spend time on true square-rigged sailing ships, but in great comfort.
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And that makes it of particular interest to West Australians, as our contemporary roots date back to the square riggers that brought us here, and our sailing history has grown from there.
The brig Amity sailed from Sydney in 1826 carrying a party which formed the first settlement, at King George Sound, Albany.
Stories of ships like the Batavia, shipwreck on the Houtman Abrolhos islands, Gilt Dragon off Guilderton, Moore River, and Zuytdorp north of Kalbarri live not only in our museums, but as part of WA’s history.
La nostra è una lunga e difficile litorale – un grande leeshore con grandi venti e pochi porti naturali.
Migliaia di australiani Occidente sono stati sulla nave scuola Leeuwin II quando è stato lanciato nel 1986.
Altre migliaia hanno assistito alla corteccia HMS Endeavour replica in fase di lancio a Fremantle in 1993 altrettanto, successivamente, potrebbero avere visto il lancio del Duyfken, la replica del primo veliero europeo a sbarcare sul continente australiano.
Anche noi viviamo con uno dei tre grandi capi del mondo sulla nostra punta meridionale – Cape Leeuwin storicamente è stato riverito e temuto al fianco Capo Horn in Sud America e il Capo di Buona Speranza in Africa.
E 'stato il nostro continuo amore per la vela che ci ha messo sulla mappa del mondo in 1983 when Australia II took the America’s Cup off the New York Yacht Club, which had held it for 132 anni.
Like many in WA, I fall into these categories – sailing on Leeuwin, watching the launch and sailing on Endeavour, sailing on Duyfken, also built in Fremantle, and launched in 1999. I have visited places like the Batavia site, and generally mucked around in boats.
But when I signed up for a seven-night cruise of the Greek islands, across the Aegean Sea from Athens to the Turkish coast and back through the Greek islands of Patmos, Amorgos, Mykonos and the Peloponnese coast, I didn’t realise what a real sailing experience it would be.
And all of this is what prompts me to write this. You can lie around the pool, enjoy the bar, go ashore to swim and windsurf – or you can delve deeper in the tall ship experience.
The barquentine Star Clipper and the Star Flyer were built in 1991 e 1992, while Sergey Utitsyn, who has been a captain with Star Clippers for 13 anni, was a cadet and training in square riggers on the Russian tall ship Kruzenshtern. He was also with Kruzenshtern for 13 anni.
Come tale, he’s a hardcore tall ship man, right down to commenting that compared with the modern sail cloth used on Star Clipper, he recalls old cotton sails on Kruzenshtern lasting from 1936 a 1978.
But sailing is sailing and, dice, “all of us are here for the sailing”, aggiungendo “I have one Golden Rule on the ship. No politics. Only sails”.
During last year’s Mediterranean season, Star Clipper was moving under sails alone 80 per cent of the time.
And as he speaks, Capt. Utitsyn has nine big sails aloft in a light breeze and the ship is making seven knots, passing islands and ploughing through the deep-blue water.
With a 68.5m main mast, a pretty hull line and 16 sails, including five squares on the foremast, Star Clipper is no slouch. She was built on plans similar to the sail training ship Mercator, a barquentine designed by Antarctic explorer Adrien de Gerlache and used as a training ship for the Belgian merchant fleet.
A lot of passengers quickly catch the square rigger mood.
Handling the sails. Star Clipper as she sails the Northern Cyclades, between Athens and Turkey. Immagine: Stephen Scourfield, The West Australian
During Star Clipper’s voyage of the Northern Cyclades, cruise director Peter Kissner gives regular “story time” sessions, one of which was about the great clippers and windjammers.
Mr Kissner, who has been with Star Clippers for 16 years and lives up to his nickname of “Professor”, points out that Star Clipper is faster under sail than under her engine – and says their obsession with sailing her as much as possible is nothing to do with saving fuel, as some passengers guess.
Air-conditioning, desalination, cooking and other needs for power mean she uses around 4000 litres of fuel a day when sailing and 4500 litres when under her propeller.
With 3365sqm of sail, she is faster before the wind than under engine power. She regularly cruises at 13 a 14 nodi, can sail steadily at 17 knots in prefect conditions and has even touched 20 knots for short sprints.
Her engine can propel her at just nine knots.
She also sails faster on an even keel, quando la barca è piatta. È la posizione in cui carene sono più efficienti e, come l'onorevole Kissner sottolinea, è anche più confortevole per i passeggeri.
“Ciò che dobbiamo stabilizzare la nave sono le vele. La stabilità della nave è davvero eccellente.”
Star Clipper ha anche una lunga, se poco profondo, chiglia con 200 tonnellate di zavorra in piombo e un pescaggio di soli 6 metri.
Stabilità? Per chi è interessato a tecnicismi nautici, la nave ha in realtà un angolo di raddrizzamento di 110 si. Anche con i suoi alberi 20 si. sotto la superficie dell'acqua, lei dovrebbe tornare su.
La mia cabina era al livello inferiore e, talvolta, l'acqua sarebbe schizzare contro l'oblò e, a volte a vela più difficile, ha speso tempo sott'acqua tanto quanto con vista all'orizzonte.
Fogli e perni Manovre su Star Clipper. Immagine: Stephen Scourfield, The West Australian
The barquentine is a late 18th century design with stay sails – those fore-aft flat ones off the mast – and square sails off the yards. The combination was refined to make fast yet manoeuvrable ships, and barquentines were much favoured by pirates for these reasons. They can also sail in nearly all wind conditions.
STS Leeuwin is also a barquentine, but without the electric winches that mean Star Flyer can be sailed by a few professional seamen. The five square sails on the foremast furl automatically into the yardarms, and are let down from within those yardarms. No one has to go aloft, though there are times when guests are allowed to climb the rigging. The staysails self-stow and are lifted by electronic winches, with a guiding hand from two or three sailors
Above them, the fishermen sails – those high, big triangular sails near the tops of the masts – are lifted by electric winches, troppo. The three jibs and fore staysail are also lifted electrically and self-stow, though there are times when guests are encouraged to man the lines and help with sailing manoeuvres.
Despite this help with the heavy lifting, Capt. Utitsyn is keen to make the point that the ship is “100 per cent hand sailed”. He is also disparaging of cruise ships that have a few decorative sails, but aren’t really sailing ships. (“One man, two fingers and a computer.”)
At Patmos island, there is a true sense of excitement as Capt. Utitsyn has the crew, and guests keen to join in, hoisting canvas to sail off the anchor, che la nave fa in grande stile e un sole al tramonto.
Ormai, l'emozione veliero è stato alimentato da discorsi del signor Kissner sul tema, indicando la più veloce tagliatore mai, che ha riguardato 466 miglia nautiche a 24 ore, una media di oltre 20 nodi.
Anzi, Star Clipper e Star Flyer hanno un fratello più grande di cinque alberi Royal Clipper, che è stato ispirato dal leggendario Preussen. Preussen è stato uno dei “P Linea” velieri, costruito per navigare velocemente con grandi carichi, e 134m Royal Clipper ha 42 sails. Guinness World Records in 2001 la sua riconosciuta come il più grande rigger piazza del mondo in servizio.
Il suo carico è diverso da quello del suo predecessore, naturalmente, in che può trasportare fino a 227 ospiti in grande comodità.
Durante il viaggio greco, il film Ultimo viaggio del Peking viene visualizzata sul randa di mezzana Star Clipper, a classic documentary on this windjammer’s voyage of 1929. In precedenza, in one of his talks, Mr Kissner deferito alla Peking (i nomi di tutti i rivestimenti P iniziato con “P”), che ora è messo a nudo e che serve come un museo a New York.
“Nave appartenere al mare,” ha detto. “Avendo lei c'è come avere un bellissimo uccello in una brutta gabbia.”
Sotto tutti 16 sails, al largo della costa del Peloponneso della Grecia, il nostro bellissimo uccello vola.
Agli ospiti viene offerta la possibilità di salire in gara e di unità intorno alla nave, di vederla a vela. E 'uno spettacolo magnifico e il sole esce per impostare la sua contro il blu del cielo e del mare.
Altre notizie e commenti Grecia:
VISITA I CLASSICI
La nave scivola passato, quasi in silenzio, ma per la strana fessurazione inferitura di una vela e il suono del suo scafo passa attraverso l'acqua.
Siamo così abituati al rumore nel nostro mondo – è quasi inquietante.
Come dice il signor Kissner: “To be on a sailing ship was always very special. It was always the sailing ship that brought people to new destinations and made our horizon wider and wider.
“It was always the sailing ship that made the connection between people – between the old world and the new world.
“On a map it always looks like the oceans are separate but we should see them as connecting.”
Just as Star Clipper is still connecting an old world to this new world we face each day; just as it is connecting people.
• Star Clipper’s seven-night cruise through the Greek islands is from Athens to the Turkish coast, then the Northern Cyclades islands of Patmos, Amorgos, Mykonos, back to the Greek coast at Monemvasia, and then returning to Athens. It starts at $2339 per person twin share, with a mid-range cabin at $3367 per person twin share. There are many other itineraries in the Mediterranean between May and October each year. The three ships in Star Clippers’ flotta – Star Clipper, Star Flyer and Royal Clipper – will sail in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and the Panama Canal between November and March/April. From May to August 2012, Star Flyer will operate for the first time in Scandinavian waters and the Baltic. For reservations phone a travel agent or Star Clippers on 1300 362 599, email [email protected] or visit starclippers.com.
• Fly to Athens with Emirates – it is only four hours direct from Dubai. Visit emirates.com/au or travel agents.
”Stephen Scourfield travelled courtesy of Star Clippers and Emirates.