Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Big boats at the Wooden Boat Festival

This is the last of 3 posts on the Festival, you may be glad to hear! 

There were some larger and much-larger vessels on the water, with a couple of square-rigged sailing ships that welcomed visitors aboard.

The first was actually a iron-hulled ship (it must have got special dispensation to be part of the Wooden Boat Festival!) called the James Craig. She was built in Sunderland, in the north-east of England, in 1874 and sailed around the Horn 23 times in her heyday. In the early 1900's she was trading between NZ and Australia before a slow decline to become a storage hulk in Tasmania in 1911 then a coal lighter between 1925 and 1932. She was then sunk on a beach in Recherche Bay for 40 years before a long, slow battle to save her began in 1972; she was finally relaunched in 1997 and is based in Sydney at the Australian Maritime Museum and sailed by volunteers.

The James Craig is a three-masted barque, 70m in length 

Halyards and sheets coiled on belaying pins 

Huge wooden blocks (pulleys)

The second tall ship we visited was the 64m Tenacious and she is built of wood. Launched in 2000, she is operated as a training vessel by the Jubilee Sailing Trust for a crew of disabled and able-bodied people. We met a couple of the crew who'd sailed her down from Melbourne, one was blind and the other in a wheelchair and they were both pretty inspirational characters.

More modern sail-handling technology included roller-reefing foresails

Tenacious' belaying pins are stainless steel - a more modern version of the James Craig set-up but doing exactly the same job 

Kerry, Sue and Dianne chat to one of the crew (who came from Cleveleys, just a few miles from where Dianne grew up)

The mess deck, with the laminated wooden ribs and planks 

We are about to start sailing again, after a brilliant week in Hobart. We'll be heading down the Dentrecasteaux Channel towards the south-east tip of Tasmania for a week or so be fore we return, briefly, to Hobart and then start planning the return crossing of the Bass Strait inn early March.

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