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The flotilla of three 90-plus year old ships are sailing via Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart to Sydney, where they will take part in centenary celebrations for the Royal Australian Navy. Unlike a previous visit by the Russian Navy, there is no reason for Adelaide residents to panic!
The three Dutch ships are the three-masted schooner Oosterschelde, the bark Europa, and the ketch Tecla. The sight of these vessels with sails billowing is truly something to transport you back to another time.
The bark Europa was built in 1911 and has 14 professional crew and can take up to 48 paying crew members - age and nationality are no problem. While a journey on the Europa could be really romantic, anyone having a problem with heights will be staying well clear of climbing its masts.
The third Dutch ship Tecla is somewhat smaller and is sailed by a family of only four professional sailors. As with all three ships, the appearance of the Tecla is kept as traditional as possible, and polished wood and ropes dominate the deckscape.
In Adelaide the Dutch ships were joined by local ships One and All and Falie to form the largest fleet of tall ships stationed at the Port Adelaide for 25 years. Another later arrival was the British full-rigger Lord Nelson, also on its way to Sydney.
A Traditional Wood Cabin Hides Lots of Electronics
The Sydney International Tall Ship Festival from October 3-10 will kick off with a fleet of Tall Ships led by the Australian vessel STS Young Endeavour. It will pass Sydney Heads and sail across Sydney Harbour to berth in Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay, Garden Island and Barangaroo.
If going out on the open sea isn't your thing, why not just take part in the festivities to celebrate their arrival, and perhaps do a tour of the boats while in port for the price of a gold coin? It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, and a feast of fun for the family!