The crew of former ‘Shabab Oman’ in training on the Tall Ship ‘Stad Amsterdam’.

In my post New Sail Training Vessel for Royal Navy of Oman I have told you about the the building of a new clipper for the Royal Oman Navy. The new clipper was designed by Dykstra Naval Architects, based in Amsterdam. Damen Shipyard, the same shipping company as the Clipper ‘Stad Amsterdam’ and the ‘Cisne Branco’ is building the clipper. Because there are many similarities between the ships captain Richard Slootweg of the clipper ‘Stad Ámsterdam’ has the honor to learn thirty-four men from the Navy of Oman how to sail on a clipper. In June I was two times on board the former ‘Shabab Oman’ during anchorage on the Marsdiep and during berthing in Den Helder. I was impressed by the warm welcome of the captain and the friendly crew. I wish the crew a lot of succes. See for more information about the training the Clipper ‘Stad Amsterdam’.


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Figurehead of the Frigate ‘Etoile du Roy’.


The  ‘Etoile du Roy’ former ‘The Grand Turk’ is a three-masted frigate. She has a length of 46 m  and a width of 10 m. The ‘Etoile du Roy’, meaning the ‘King’s Star’, is a pirate ship and is used as a charter ship for events. The figurehead is a one eyed pirate wench. The pictorial representation of the ship was a means of identification in the days when many sailors could not read. Female figureheads were popular, usually baring one or both breasts. This represented the superstitions of the seamen. Women on board ship were thought to be unlucky, but a naked woman was supposed to be able to calm a storm at sea.

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Figurehead of the Tall Ship ‘Shabab Oman’.


The origins of the ship’s figurehead lie in the early days of seafaring. They were used as religious symbols to protect the ship, and to express the sailors’ belief that the ship was a living thing. There was also the belief that a ship needed to find its own way, and could only do this if it had eyes. Figureheads are carved wooden sculptures which decorate the prow of a sailing ship, and were thought to represent the vessel’s spirit. It was believed that they offered the crew protection from the harsh seas and safeguarded their homeward journey. The figureheads were also used to identify a ship—one of a range of subjects would be chosen, reflecting the name of the ship.  The figurehead of ‘Shabab Oman’ (meaning  ’Youth of Oman’) pays tribute to the Arab sailors who ruled over the Indian Ocean a long time ago.


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Figurehead of the Mexican Tall Ship ‘Cuauhtemoc’


The tall ship ARM ‘Cuauhtemoc’ was built for the Mexican Navy in the Celaya shipyards (Bilbao, Spain) and launched in July 1982. During Sail Den Helder I sailed with the three-masted barque, 67,2 meters long and a width of 12.1 meters. It is a training ship for the Mexican Navy. The beautiful figurehead became an homage to the last Aztec emperor. His headpiece, a jade colored eagle and his body covered in golden leaf while holding a weapon in his right hand. Fire is coming from his feet. Figureheads were used to symbolise an owner’s power and wealth, but are also believed by sailors to bring good luck.

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Spanish Tall Ship ‘Juan Sebastian de Elcano’.


I have always been fascinated by tall ships. Especially the Russian tall ships like the ‘Sedov’ and the ‘Kruszenstern’ are my favorites.  During Sail Den Helder I sailed with the ‘Juan Sebastian de Elcano’, a training ship for the Royal Spanish Navy. The ‘Juan Sebastian de Elcano’ is a four-masted topsail, steel-hulled schooner. At 113 metres (370 feet) long, she is the third-largest tall ship in the world. The first name given was “Minerva”, which is also the name of their figurehead, but by royal decree of April 17, 1925 was changed to current name is ‘Juan Sebastian Elcano’ as a tribute to the famous Spanish explorer.  I was very impressed by this beautiful tall ship.

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New Sail Training Vessel for Royal Navy of Oman.


The Ministry of Defense of Oman has been officially launched a new Sail Training Vessel named RNOV ‘Shabab Oman’. This 87 m vessel is destined to become the flagship of the Royal Navy of Oman to continue the role of the current STV of the same name in promoting cultural interaction and to help ‘spread peace and harmony amongst nations’ . Shabab Oman is a full square rigger and will have an amazing 2,700 m2 sail area. The vessel was designed by Dykstra Naval Architects, based in Amsterdam. She will be delivered in August 2014. In June 2013 I sailed with the former ‘Shabab Oman’ during the anchorage by Sail Den Helder. It was a great experience. See for more information: the new STV RNOV ‘Shabab Oman’.


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A Happy and Healthy 2014!

Nieuwjaarskaart 2014As all travellers, we have seen more than we remember

and we remember more than we have seen.

A happy and healthy 2014 and keep on travelling.

Mirjam Terpstra & Ton Reijntjes


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A special offshore tug/supply ship in Aberdeen.


In the harbour of Aberdeen I saw this beautiful vessel. It was an offshore tug/supply ship called ‘Maersk Lifter’, length 90 m and width 40 m. I was impressed by the special structure of the colors. She was ready for berthing. The helmsman is waiting for her.

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Impressions of Sail Den Helder 2013.


During Sail Den Helder 2013 I was commissioned by the Foundation of Sail Den Helder 2013 to take pictures of the most divers activities. For me it was a special event. I took pictures of the pilotage of the tall ships ‘Falken’, ‘Sedov’, ‘Sahab Oman’ and ‘Lisa von Lubeck’. During the visit of King Willem Alexander I was on board the tall ship  ‘Juan Sebastian de Elcano’, the Spanish sail training ship. I met special people on board of the tall ships and enjoyed to take pictures of the activities very much. Despite the bad weather, lots of rain and wind I managed to take pictures of a lot of activities of this event. For an impression you can see Maritime/Events/Sail Den Helder 2013/Impressions of Sail Den Helder.

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Pilotage HMS Falken during Sail Den Helder.


During Sail Den Helder 2013 I was invited to sail with the ‘HMS Falken’. I accompanied the pilots Tobias Lofvers and Jellle Douma of Loodswezen, region Amsterdam-IJmond, to the anchorage on the Rede van Texel. There all the tall ships assembled for the Fleet Review on Thursday 20th June.The Falken is a Royal Swedish Navy sail training schooner. The vessel is 39 meters long and 7 meters wide and is part of a Schooner Squadron that helps train cadets of the Royal Swedish Navy. The cadets get a strong foundation of basic seamanship during their weeks aboard.  For many it is their first time at sea. It was also my first time I visited the beautiful vessel and hospitable crew. You cab find more information about the pilotage of ‘HMS Falken’ on my website under Martime/Events/Sail Den Helder 2013/Pilotage HMS Falken


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