Pam and I spent an afternoon touring several tall ships that have docked in Curacao for the first time. The ships are training ships from many countries, including Mexico, the United States, Brazil and Venezuela. They are quite large, usually having a capacity of over 200 sailors.
The American ship is called the Eagle, and was originally a German ship. It was acquired by the USA as part of war reparations at the end of the Second World War. The ship can take on 233 sailors and guests. Their home port is in Connecticut. It’s a training vessel for the US Coast Guard service.
The Eagle was a nice vessel to tour. They had lots of signs up, explaining how the ship got to America, how it handles (14 knots under engine, 17 knots under sail), why sail when modern fleets no longer sail, etc etc. The other ships we toured were nice too, but the Eagle made it so simple to understand the complexities of what the trainees are going through.
The Simon Bolivar is a tall ship from Venezuela. She has a similar design to the Eagle. A barque class of ship, she is a training vessel for the Venezuelan Navy. Her home port is La Guairia. It literally gleamed in the sunshine. She was cleaned to a glorious shine!
The sailors were all scrubbed and polished and took great pride in showing off their ships. The figurehead on the Simon Bolivar was kind of cool – almost a super hero type of statue, wrapped in the Venezuelan flag.
The Mexican entry is called the Cuauhtemoc, named for the leader of Tenochtitlan. She has sailed over 400,000 nautical miles, but looks as good as new. The sailors had her just a gleaming too. It’s a barque class ship, like the Simon Bolivar and the Eagle.
There were lots of people touring all the ships and lots of picture taking going on. Sailors were being asked to get into the shots and they seemed to enjoy all the attention. We’ve put a few more shots in the Curacao 2018 gallery, so you might want to have a look at them there.