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Gorch Foch amongst the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf
A little bit like steam trains, a tall ship with sails and a network of rigging conjures up images of nostagia.
If you are British and of a certain age it is very difficult to see a sailing ship without the soundtrack of the Onedin Line playing around somewhere in your mind.
The Gorch Fock next to the old dock cranes with the O2 in the background.
Entering the Dock.
Two German ships Gorch Fock and MS Stubnitz
Today we have an impressive visitor in West India Dock in the shape of The Gorch Fock which is a tall ship belonging to the German Navy . She is the second ship of that title named after a German writer who died at the battle of Jutland.
She was built as a training ship in 1958 after the original was taken by the Russians after the Second World War.
The Gorch Fock is known as a three-masted barque which measures 266 ft long and 40ft wide.
For the technical minded she is a Type 441 class with a number A60.
To see what she looks like with sails unfurled, here is an amazing picture from one of her voyages.
Her other claim to fame was that the ship appeared on a 10 Deutsche Mark banknote from 1960 to 1990.
Up to 14,000 cadets have been trained on the ship over the 50 years since her launch, however in recent years the ship has been at the centre of a scandal regarding the treatment of the cadets after an alleged mutiny when one of the cadets died after falling from the rigging in 2010.
According the German Embassy website:
The ship will be open for the public for a visit on Saturday, 27 April 2013 from 2pm to 5pm at her berthing place at South Quay in the West India Docks. Due to Health and Safety regulations visitors should be at least 12 years old and wear proper footwear.
It also may be open Monday 2pm – 5pm.