Smooth Sailing: The Rouen Armada Experiment

Smooth Sailing: Experiencing the Rouen Armada  
June 24, 2023

It is one factor to observe the Rouen Armada from the banks of the Seine, and having fun with the motion aboard the tall ships themselves is an unforgettable, virtually royal expertise.

I now know (a bit bit) what it seems like for the royals to wave sweetly to the crowds which have come to see them! I used to be On board the Finnish schooner Johanna Saturna because it sails up the Seine from Le Havre to Rouen for Rouen Armada 2023 earlier this month. At totally different strategic areas on either side of the street Individuals on the banks of the river waved flags and honked air horns and waved generously at us as we sailed on (properly, motorized) previous. And so, we waved once more!

Staying on Observe © Christina McKenzie

The 120-year-old Joanna Saturna, owned and captained by Mikko Karvonen, is a rigged sailboat As a result of she has two masts of the identical measurement and her sails are quadrangular fore and aft rigged: that’s, it’s parallel to the size of the ship and never perpendicular to it, as in a Sq. ship.

You may’t sail a reasonably large ship (9.18m lengthy) down the river, so as an alternative, we have been transferring, He handed quite a lot of different longships in our convoy to Rouen for the Armada, waving at them additionally and sound the ship’s horn as we have now executed so.

Karvonen purchased the ship in 2000 and spent 5 years refurbishing it. He began renting it out with the assistance of three full-time crew members in 2005. “We principally do day journeys and occasions in Helsinki.

We joined her on Duclair, a 20-kilometer and half-hour street journey west of Rouen. But it surely took us greater than three Hours to make a 35 km reverse trek alongside the middle of the three nice meanders of the Seine It makes its gradual journey from Rouen to the ocean in Le Havre.

every thing is prepared! © Christina McKenzie

The American passengers had been busy not solely waving to the spectators and admiring the distinctive sight Cities and villages seen from mid-river, but in addition consuming a great deal of petit 4.

We had a river pilot with us, not as a result of this was Joanna Saturna’s first flight throughout the Seine However as a result of it’s compulsory when there are passengers on board. I may hear him grappling properly Discussions on the radio about whether or not we’re going quick sufficient to cross below Pont Bridge Gustave Flaubert, the drawbridge that was raised to permit ships to cross, earlier than It was lowered at 10.15pm so visitors may get previous it once more. We did, and I puzzled if it was our masts We’ll contact it as we slipped below it. they didn’t!

Christina was fortunate sufficient to spend the evening aboard the Thalassa © Christina Mackenzie

Get off the aircraft

After mooring on the left financial institution of the Seine, subsequent to the beautiful Metropol Rouen Normandy regional authorities constructing, we went down. I’ve to confess to feeling a bit smug I bought off on the plank of “my” ship!

Regardless of a weekday and round ten within the night, households, youth teams and {couples} had been scattered Alongside the docks to observe the tall ships moor.

I used to be concentrating on discovering one other ship at the hours of darkness, the one on which I might spend the evening: the Thalassa, a Dutch three-masted ship that had arrived earlier that day. It is Parkquentine, which Means she had three masts with solely the primary mast being sq., the opposite two being the principle mast and the mizen (rear mast), rigged fore and aft. It was constructed within the 1980’s Holland, however sank 5 years later. It was acquired by Arnold Helkema and Jacob Dunn and utterly rebuilt and retooled it, earlier than relaunching it in 1985. Right this moment it’s owned by Martin van Eeden who She purchased it 18 months in the past.

Snug cabin for the evening! © Christina McKenzie

The 39-meter vessel has a everlasting crew of 5 (two officers, two deck fingers and one prepare dinner) and might She sleeps 30 friends in 15 cabins. Earlier than crusing to Rouen, she wandered Scotland takes its passengers from distillery to distillery on a whiskey tour. However she spends solely six months on some of these charters. The remainder of the yr is a faculty in a sea ship, with some 35 younger males sail to the Caribbean and again. They’re maintaining with their homework, however they’re additionally studying To work as a workforce, to assist plan, navigate and arrange. It is Van Eden has been concerned for years which is why he was eager to purchase the ship when he was The earlier homeowners, who at the moment are of their mid 70’s, determined to throw within the towel. We take the youngsters on board And inform me proudly.

I can assure the consolation of my household Thalassa as a result of I sleep soundly even when you cannot open The air con vent prevents the cabin from being stuffy. And that closet door? Inside Bathe, which is properly fitted to a fast wash.

Scrumptious breakfast with the crew © Christina McKenzie

I awakened within the morning to the odor of bacon and mushy sounds within the kitchen a couple of doorways down. in At 7.30am the breakfast bell rang and we had been greeted with bacon and eggs, Vienna Contemporary bread, cheese, charcuterie, fruit salad and varied fruit juices. It was espresso and tea Self-service from the machine on the principle deck.

I used to be free to discover, admiring the deck’s intricate internet of ropes and ladders, and questioning how The sailors didn’t confuse them till nearer examination revealed that they had been all considerably totally different. I glanced The wheelhouse, which I admired for the gleaming wooden, seemed into the galley and customarily made myself identified with the ship.

The occasional ripple made by passing river police and lifeboats would give Thalassa a quick increase For a couple of seconds I assumed we had been at sea. However no, a rising clatter from the people The voices indicated that the guests had already began strolling alongside the sidewalks! We needed to be ashore by 10 a.m. to offer the crew time to arrange the ship for these guests keen to attend Lengthy minutes within the blazing solar for a fast go to to the ships I have been fortunate sufficient to spend loads of After hours.

Onboard element © Christina McKenzie

Major picture proprietor: Ships moored alongside the banks of the Seine within the coronary heart of Rouen © Christina Mackenzie

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