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With the warm weather, summer seems to have finally arrived and we welcome a regular visitor to West India Dock with the arrival of the British Tall Ship Stavros S Niarchos into dock .
The Stavros S Niarchos was last in the dock in September 2016 and is a regular visitor to the Thames and Tall Ship events.
The Stavros S Niarchos is a British brig-rigged tall ship owned and operated by the Tall Ships Youth Trust. Built in 2000, she has been used to give young people the opportunity to develop skills and talents whilst undertaking voyages to various locations. She is also available for voyages and holidays which provide revenue to maintain the operation of the ship.
In the last couple of years, the Stavros S Niarchos has been put up for sale to enable the Trust to get a smaller ship, so if you have dreamed of owning your own tall ship here is your opportunity.
The ship has a length of 197ft , masts of 148ft and beam of 32ft, she usually operates a crew of 69 which include regular crew and volunteers. The Stavros S Niarchos is quite a bit larger than the TS Royalist which is still in the dock.
In the midst of all the building work around the dock, it is nice to see a couple of tall ships to remind us of the past.
After the departure of one training ship, the Lord Nelson, we see the arrival of another with the TS Royalist.
This is the new TS Royalist, the old TS Royalist was decommissioned in 2014 after 40 years service. In her years of service it is estimated she had taken over 30,000 cadets to sea. The cadets generally join the ship for a week and learn the rudiments of sailing a large ship.
To build a replacement for the ship, the Sea Cadet organisation had to raise nearly 4 million pounds in two years, when the target was reached the organisation awarded the contract to a Spanish shipbuilder but sourced a considerable amount of the equipment from the UK.
The new ship which is the Sea Cadets flagship looks on the surface very similar to its predecessor but is fitted to better suit the modern sailor and is more economical to operate. The training brig takes twenty-four cadets to sea for six day voyages.
The new TS Royalist is beginning to build its own reputation appearing at the recent Tall Ships Festival 2017. It is one of a number of training tall ships that play an important role in providing training for young people to learn seamanship, sailing skills, leadership and teamwork.
It is that time of the year when people begin to review the past 12 months, carrying on the tradition from previous years, we are listing the ships that have visited West India Docks in the last year.
With all the development surrounding West India Dock, there was some concern that the number visiting the dock would be severely curtailed but although numbers were down a little, we still had an interesting mix of ships and boats.
Some old Tall Ships favourites returned, the Stad Amsterdam, Stavros S Niarchos, STS Lord Nelson and STS Tenacious but after seeing see the final appearance of the old TS Royalist in 2014, it was a pleasure to see the new TS Royalist bought into dock.
Other interesting Tall Ships included Polish Tall Ship Zawisza Czarny, Dutch Tall Ship Eendracht, the entertaining Colombian Tall Ship A.R.C Gloria and the controversial Chilean Training Ship Esmeralda .
Super Yachts seem to be getting bigger and more lavish and the visitors covered a wide range, however the final Super Yacht visitor of the year Ilona probably takes the award for the largest and most expensive.
The visits from NATO ships continued this year with various navies represented but there was probably more from the German Navy. HMS St Albans ( F83) and HMS Grimsby (M108) represented the visits from the Royal Navy.
There were some other interesting visitors, the hi -tech Tara Expedition Ship, the unusual visit from a cruise ship ( Star Legend ), the ship with royal connections ( MV Hebridean Princess ) and the historic Havengore.
The Massey Shaw, The Portwey and the Lord Amory provide year round interest in the dock and the various ships being used for dredging have shown the dock still attracts working boats.
Super Yacht Ilona
Super Yacht Latitude
Super Yacht Mischief
Super Yacht Forever One
Super Yacht Positive Carry
Cinderella IV sailing yacht
Stavros S Niarchos Tall Ship
Tall Ship Tenacious
Dutch Tall Ship Eendracht
Polish Tall Ship Zawisza Czarny
Colombian Tall Ship A.R.C Gloria
STS Lord Nelson
Chilean Tall Ship Esmeralda
Dutch Tall Ship, Stad Amsterdam
TS Royalist, TS John Jerwood and TS Jack Petchey
Six NATO Ships
Belgian Navy BNS Godetia ( A960 )
Latvian Navy ship Talivaldis (M-60)
HMS Grimsby (M108)
the Dutch Navy Ship Schiedam (M860)
The Estonian Navy ship EML Admiral Cowan (M313)
The Norwegian Navy ship Hinnøy (M343
German Navy Ships
Méndez Núñez in West India Dock
HMS St Albans ( F83) in West India Dock
Tara Expedition Ship in West India Dock
MV Hebridean Princess in West India Dock
Cruise Ship Star Legend in West India Dock
Havengore in West India Dock
May we wish all our readers a Happy New Year and we look forward to the new visitors to the dock in the new year.
Last week saw the arrival of the new Training Ship Royalist into West India Dock, over the weekend she was joined by two other Sea Cadet boats, the T.S. John Jerwood and the T.S. Jack Petchey.
Last Friday, HRH The Princess Royal did the honour of naming the vessel TS Royalist, as she did the former vessel 44 years ago in 1971. HRH The Princess Royal was joined by the Chaplain of the Fleet, The Venerable Ian Wheatley QHC RN who formally commissioned the ship into service and the ship was being blessed by the Bishop of London, Rt Revd and Rt Hon Richard Chartres KCVO.
As stated in the last post the Sea Cadets charity managed to raise an amazing £4.8 million to build the new ship. To celebrate the event, over One hundred cadets from all over the country travelled to take part.
Established in 1856 the Sea Cadets was created to give young people instruction on a naval theme. Today, there are 14,000 young people based in 400 units in towns, cities and ports across the UK .
Like its predecessor, it is hoped the new TS Royalist will be a regular visitor to West India Dock,
Last September after the Tall Ships regatta, one ship stayed in West India Dock to be given a final send off. That ship was the TS Royalist when a celebration took place to honour its service for the Sea Cadet organisation. Although it was a celebration , there was a tinge of sadness as the old ship was due to be decommissioned after over 40 years service. In her years of service it is estimated she had taken over 30,000 cadets to sea. The cadets generally join the ship for a week and learn the rudiments of sailing a large ship.
To build a replacement for the ship, the Sea Cadet organisation had to raise nearly 4 million pounds in two years , when the target was reached the organisation awarded the contract to a Spanish shipbuilder but sourced a considerable amount of the equipment from the UK.
Remarkably the new TS Royalist is now in West India Dock to await its commissioning on Friday, looking on the surface very similar to its predecessor, the ship has been fitted to better suit the modern sailor.
Another familiar sight on the Thames but a rare visitor to the West India Dock is the famous Havengore. For a small vessel she has carried a large number of distinguished visitors,
Havengore’s most famous moment came in 1965 when, watched live by a worldwide audience of 350 million, she took centre stage as she carried Sir Winston Churchill on his final journey by water along the Thames.
More recently Havengore was selected to carry members of the royal family as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in a flotilla of over a thousand vessels during the River Thames pageant on 3rd June 2012.
It is not known how long the Havengore or TS Royalist are in dock but they are both well worth a visit.
When the Tall ships departed in the Parade of Sail along the Thames, one Tall ship was left behind in West India Dock.
The ship is the TS Royalist and last night a celebration took place to honour its service for the Sea Cadet organisation. Although it was a celebration , there was a tinge of sadness as the old ship is due to be decommissioned after over 40 years service.
TS Royalist was built by Groves and Guttridge, Cowes, Isle of Wight. and launched in 1971 by Princess Anne, in her years of service it is estimated she has taken over 30,000 cadets to sea. The cadets generally join the ship for a week and learn the rudiments of sailing a large ship.
The Sea Cadets organisation is a national nautical youth charity offering young people between 10 and 18 a taste of the nautical life and is based on the customs and traditions of the Royal Navy. The organisation also help the young people to develop a range of life skills and boost confidence and self esteem.
The TS Royalist is built of steel, with an overall length of 29 metres (97 feet), and is designed as a traditional square-rigged brig . However in recent years she has became increasingly expensive to maintain, therefore the decision was made to commission the building of a new ship with advanced sailing ability and performance.
Raising nearly 4 million pounds in two years , the organisation awarded the contract to a Spanish shipbuilder but is sourcing a considerable amount of the equipment from the UK.
The TS Royalist is a familiar participant in the Tall Ship festivals and races and regularly visits many UK ports and ports in France and other part of Europe.