One of the delights of living near West India Dock is that you can often go on board some of the visiting ships.
Today was the first open day for the impressive Peruvian BAP Unión tall ship which is a training ship of the Peruvian Navy. Climbing on board, you immediately notice the newness of the ship, it was built between 2012–2015 by Shipyard Marine Industrial Services of Peru.
The BAP Unión is the second largest sailing vessel in the world. It is a four-masted class “A” barque with a total length (including bowsprit) of 115.50 m (378 ft 11 in); a beam of 13.50 m (44 ft 3 in) and a draft of 6.50 m (21 ft 4 in).
As you wander around the ship, the scale becomes more apparent, the enormous sail rig is composed of 34 sails with a total sail area of approximately 3,402 m2 (36,620 sq ft).
The ship has a crew of 250 officers and trainees and plenty were at hand to show visitors around the ship. Like a number of similar tall ships, Bap Unión is not only for training purposes, but also to be a sailing ambassador for its home country. The ship’s figurehead is made by Peruvian sculptor Pilar Martinez Woodman and features several symbols of the Inca culture.
These type of ships are considered important symbols for their country and there is plenty of Peruvian goods on display to give some idea of Peruvian culture.
It is not everyday that you can go on board the second largest sailing vessel in the world and the good news is that the ship will be open for four days..
The ship will be open to the public at the following times
10.00-16.00 on 25th July
10.00-15.00. on 26th 27th July
10.00-16.00 on 29th July