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Port of Tyne welcomes dutch tall ship on flying visit14 Oct 2011

The Port of Tyne welcomed Holland's largest three-masted schooner, Eendracht, to the river yesterday.


The attractive-looking schooner, which is 60 metres long and has a 44.7 metre high mast, has competed in every Tall Ship Race since she was built in 1989.

And she won admiring glances from onlookers as she sailed up the Tyne to berth along Newcastle quayside.

Eendracht is a training vessel, run by a charitable foundation, with a crew of 13 who teach trainees of all ages how to sail. The "student sailors" currently aboard first visited Newcastle in 1989, just after the ship was built, and Captain Gerrit Roorda thought they would enjoy a trip down memory lane!

Captain Roorda, 67, said: "We have a group of 33 Dutch trainees, who are mostly in their 50s, 60s with the eldest about 70, and they came to Newcastle many years ago just after Eendracht was first built.

"I recently watched a black and white movie video made at the time and they all looked very happy so I thought it would be a nice idea to return to Newcastle so they could see it again."

He added: "The last time Eendracht was in Newcastle was for the Tall Ships Race in 2005. We were here with youngsters that time and they enjoyed themselves very much. I was so busy I didn't get to see much other than the Millenium Bridge and the city centre.

"But I have been in the area before, not just with the vessel but on holiday, and I like it a lot. The people are friendly and we always get a good welcome on the Tyne."

The schooner sailed into the Port of Tyne from the Dutch port city of IJmuiden yesterday (Monday) and arrived at 2pm for a 24 hour stay. The vessel leaves to sail south down the English coast today (Tuesday).

Port of Tyne's deputy Harbour Master, Alan McPherson, said: "Eendracht is one of the smaller Tall Ships, a very smart-looking vessel and it's a pleasure to see her here.

"Our river pilots were looking forward to welcoming her in because she can sail so far up the river, right up to Newcastle. They're used to meeting huge coal carriers and bulk carriers so a Tall Ship is a nice change, it's something a bit different."

In stark contrast to the diminutive Eendracht, the Port of Tyne has recently played host to a huge pair of record breakers - the massive Alam Penting, carrying 75,000 tonnes of coal, the largest volume of cargo ever handled on the river and the MV Key Guardian, at 13.165 metres draft, the deepest vessel ever to enter the Tyne.


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