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    Four-masted barques.
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2005 Aug 27, 11:40 +0100

    I sent the following message a few days ago-
    >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.
    Since then, Lars Bergmann has kindly phoned me from Stockholm, to confirm
    that the black vessel was indeed "Sedov". Until recently, she had always
    been painted white, but has been chartered by a film company to play the
    part of "Pamir", a similar vessel used as a training ship, which went down
    with all on board some 40 years ago. She has been painted black to match Pamir.
    I would still like to learn where those vessels were bound from and to, if
    any reader has that information to offer.
    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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