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Tallship
Søren Larsen
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A Soren Larsen Memory Module -
Voyage Crew's favourite moments from voyages past:

Paul Huisking - Joined Soren Larsen in March 2000 for the epic Ocean Passage to Panama via Easter Island;

NEW See Gallery of Paul's pictures of the voyage HERE

I spent five weeks in New Zealand, which proved to be not nearly enough time to complete my list of things to do and places to visit there. But what I did accomplish was truly wonderful. NZ’s wealth of natural beauty is often overwhelming, and traveling at the pace I did enabled me to experience a great sampling of it. And at the end, before sailing away from Auckland, I shared many beers on the waterfront with the crews and fans of the America’s Cup Races. Kiwis are still about the most friendly and down-to-earth people in the world, and always go out of their way to be helpful. You can’t help loving New Zealand, and I hope to return one day to see what I missed- particularly now that its full of friends.

Soren PK.jpg (24480 bytes)As great as all this sounds, my journey across the Pacific on the brigantine Soren Larsen completely eclipsed my NZ travels, and proved to be one of the most profound experiences of my life. But considering that it was a nine week, 8000 mile passage, I fully expected it to be. My only mistake was that, having signed up for the voyage, I then turned all my attention to planning my NZ travels and completely ignored the main event of my trip. Had I so much as studied a global weather map, I would have realized beforehand that, in order to catch the westerly winds, we would be spending weeks in the "Roaring Forties"-an expression whose significance I wholly failed to appreciate. I was thinking in terms of "balmy south seas" and instead we had cold, gray, wet weather in storm tossed seas for a month. We were as far south of the equator as Nova Scotia is north, during their autumn. It was a brutal experience I wouldn’t want to repeat – at least without adequate warm clothing. But once we turned northwards towards Easter Island it was a different story. The voyage was both the worst of times and the best of times, but the best of times were often magical. Standing at the wheel on the open deck in the middle of the night with a light wind and all sails set beneath a full moon. Or literally surfing a 145 ft, 300 ton ship under sail, down the faces of large but widely spaced, mid-oceanic swells. Or standing at the bow as dolphins played in bioluminescent seas at night, looking like space ships weaving glowing green contrails. Or climbing high up a mast in the afternoon sun and playing the harmonica while watching for whales and sea turtles. Or diving off the bowsprit when the ship was becalmed, and swimming down as far as possible, into water two miles deep.

There were twenty-two of us on board, men and women ranging in age from seventeen to seventy-five. We were gypsies and adventurers all, and I was the only American, which was good, as it made me the final authority on all things American. It was interesting too, that when we gathered to make music, we had aboard, two clarinetists, a concertina player, two horn pipers, a fiddler, a guitarist, a harmonica player, two collectors of old sea shanties, and some good voices. We may never have sounded even remotely professional, but we were enthusiastic. After months of sharing both misery and magic we had bonded like family. We played together at Easter Island, partied in The Galapagos, and watched each others backs in Panama. And when the time came to go our separate ways it was really tough. Fortunately I saw the ship again, and those who stayed with her, at the tall ship gathering in Charleston, where I was able to play host as well as guide in a city I know well.

It was truly a powerful experience I still haven’t stopped thinking about. I’ve sailed feluccas on the Nile, Swahili dhows on the Indian Ocean, a sandlighter along the coast of Belize, and a schooner in the South China Sea, but a square rigged tall ship in deep blue water sails in a class all her own.

Paul.

 

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NEW: VOYAGE CREW MEMORY ARCHIVE
Across the Southern Ocean

Across the Atlantic

Pacific Wedding '96

NEW See Curacao to
Panama pics.

Pics of
Grenada to Curacao




 

If you have a favourite memory you treasure and/or pictures of your voyage aboard Soren Larsen then you can share them in this archive.

Email to Ian at :

  escape%40sorenlarsen%2eco%2enz


 


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Copyright © 2001, Squaresail Pacific Ltd
Last Updated 17 April  2002