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    Four-masted barques.
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2005 Aug 25, 17:39 +0100

    On Tuesday, 23 August, at about 10h GMT, on a gorgeous clear morning, my
    wife and I were on a car ferry from Dunkerque nearing  Dover, when we saw a
    fine sight.
    Two four-masted barques were in close company, sailing South in a
    quartering wind, having passed South Foreland. They hadn't headed round to
    haul their wind, so presumably were not passing down the English Channel,
    but looked as though they were headed across it toward Calais or Boulogne.
    Presumably they had passed through the Downs, inside the Goodwin Sands,
    after crossing the Thames estuary. I think that the Tall Ships had made
    their annual gathering in Newcastle this year, and presumably were
    dispersing from that.
    One was clearly the Russian Kruschenstern, very distinctive with her
    painted ports. The other may have been the Russian Sedov, though pictures I
    have seen of Sedov, from years ago, show her with a white hull, and this
    vessel was black. Both were flying upper and lower topsails and
    topgallants, and "Sedov", which appeared to be overhauling the other, had
    her immense foresail set. Both had a spanker set, and many staysails.
    I think those two vessels are the only four-masted barques still at sea
    now, with the exception of a couple of modern Japanese training vessels. I
    don't think either barque was one of the Japanese trainers, though, because
    those appear to have the high-built hull of a purpose-built training
    vessel, whereas the barques in the Channel had the low-slung appearance of
    a merchant vessel. That, I think, is what Kruschenstern and Sedov both
    originally were, steel-built in Germany for the nitrate trade.
    The ferry passed ahead of the two barques, at a distance of less than a
    mile. They were within a cable or two of each other. They made a fine
    sight, one I don't ever expect to see again.
    Where was our camera? Locked away inside the car, on the car deck, to which
    access is forbidden when under way.
    If anyone has any further information about the planned passages of these
    Tall Ships, I would be interested to discover more.
    Contact George at george@huxtable.u-net.com ,or by phone +44 1865 820222,
    or from within UK 01865 820222.
    Or by post- George Huxtable, 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13
    5HX, UK.

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