Historia y Arqueología Marítima



Revista The Rudder- Octubre de 1950

Indice Archivo Fotográfico

Fuente: Archivo Histarmar

Although the square rigged sailing ship has now almost vanished from the seas, fore and afters are still earning their keep in many parts of the world. On my voyage from England to Canada by way of North Africa and the Caribbean I met with many different types. Here are some of them.

Although the internal combustion engine has taken its toll, large fleets of sailing craft, sloops, yawls and ketches,-still sail out of the fishing ports of Brittany. Pictured above is a smack typical of those found in the neighborhood of Roscoff.


The Breton tunny fisherman or "thonier", hailing principally from Douarnenez and Concarneau, are fine able ships, as indeed they must be to fish in the Bay of Biscay in all weather. With their gaily painted hulls and different colored sails they are always a memorable sight.


Thirty miles west of the mouth of the River Douro we fell in with our first lateeners. These were open fishing boats, double ended and about thirty-five feet in length. In light weather they walked past Grabe as though she were at anchor.


Around the coast of Spain sail still has a strong hold. The drawing shows a shapely trading ketch entering La Coruna harbor. In the background is the old fort which used to guard the entrance, but which is now used as a jail.


Off the little village of Camarinas we found this rakish looking trading ketch waiting for a breeze. Most of the Spanish sailing craft are shabby and ill kept, their gear poor, their sails a mass of patches.


In the lovely harbor of Vigo may still be found many difierent and sometimes queer sailing craft. Coasters, barges, lighters and an occasional square rigger make the waterfront a fascinating place. At first we thought the little fishing boat above was in distress, but she was merely blowing home before the wind under a pair of oilskins.


The "lanchas" of the Tagus are picturesque and add greatly to the Lisbon waterfront, their canoe-like bows and gaily decorated top-sides lending a splash of color to an otherwise everyday scene. Their job is to lighter cargoes along the river to and from the docks.

One of the many Vigo lighters slipping upstream with a cargo of lumber. The lofty gaff rig is not unlike that of the Lisbon "lancha".

From La Luz, Grand Canary, there hails a sizable fleet of fishing and trading schooners. Some are shapely vessels and range in size up to about 100 feet in length. They fish among the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco and on the Atlantic banks.

The West Indian dugout fishing "canots" are fast and carry a big spread of canvas for their size. Despite the fact that they are most unstable they fish many miles to leeward of the islands in deep water. Sailing in a moderate , breeze, the crew stands on the weather gunwale, holding fast to the stays.

The schooner Esso Aruba, which we passed to leeward of St. Vincent, appeared to be having trouble with her fisherman staysail. Loaded with a cargo of empty oil drums, she was on her way to Port of Spain. She is typical of the Caribbean trading schooner.

The sloops and schooners of the Bahamas, painted white and shapely, are perhaps the most picturesque of them all. Probably eighty per cent of the interisland trade is carried on under sail. The Bahamas and West Indies are possibly the only places where large sailing vessels are still being built.

There are still a few big three and four masted schooners trading in the Caribbean, but they are old and very soon the last of them will pass from the seas. This one we fell in with a few miles north of New Providence, and a grand sight she made.


Este sitio es publicado por la Fundacion Histarmar - Argentina

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