Larsen in Square Sail shipyard, Charlestown:
Contact Ian on 077 9601 7234 or Pat & Olga on 01463 772031 for latest info.
||Charlestown 29th October 2000
The ship's refit continues at a frantic pace. Although there is a huge amount of
work to do, progress has been good and everyone is working hard towards our deadline.
The main mast is ready to crane back into the ship on Saturday 21st, the riggers
are going well on the new standing shrouds and backstays. In the Engine room the B & W
Alpha has been completely stripped down, new rings installed and one of the bottom end
bearing re-white metalled as a precautionary measure and re-assembled.
|On the foredeck the
windlass was taken off the deck, the anchor chain hawse pipes and plates removed and
replaced with new, heavier steel. This has meant working from rafts in the dock and the
focs'le has also been evacuated. The windlass has been serviced and painted and
replaced on a new steel and timber pad, new clutch plates are being flown in from
In the galley a new deep freeze and new cookers are
being installed and the below the heads refurbished. The liferafts are due back from
inspection and service next week, as are the survival suits. Should anyone wonder
where their berth fees go - this may give them some idea! The Cooks have prepared
their dry goods order from the cash n carry and are ready for the Big Stow next week. The
Purser is calculating how much toilet paper, brasso, rum and beer are required for a 12
month tallship voyage...
The yard have just
advised us that that the ship must leave Charlestown on the 31 October.... the big tides
expected in early November will not allow us to get out of the locked dock any later than
that! This puts us under a little more pressure (but what, after all, are refits all
about?). We will anchor at Fowey to complete our preparations and Voyage Crew for
the first trip to Tenerife will join there.
Contact us on 077 9601 7234 for further info.
25th Sept to 1 Oct - Cornwall.
Heavy rain and stiff south easterlies kept us in Fowey Harbour for a coupe of days
but on Tues 25th we motored the couple of hours around to the entrance of Charlestown
harbour. This ancient little china clay port is home to Squaresail UK Shipyard, owned by
Tony's brother Robin and is to be our base for the ship's month long refit. The Cornish pilot boarded us just off the
entrance. "Bet you've had this ship into some small ports, Cap'n? Well they'll have
been bigger than this one!" he said cheerfully.
Word of our arrival must have got around as a
sizeable crowd of locals had gathered on the sea wall to see us negociate the entrance.
Whether they were instinctively drawn to the scene by an inherited Cornish interest in the
combination of rocks, surf and a square rigger, I couldn't say. The entrance
channel zig zags sharply to the right, then left, with the turn the exact length of the
Tony stood on the steering box, one foot on the helm and Martin
drilled us on the foredeck as where to stand by fenders and wharps. Had he here before?
"No, said Big M, but I've seen an aerial postcard and there was more information on
that than on the chart". Fine then. Seeing Martin and the Old Man shoe horn
Soren out of the lock at St Katherine's in London was impressive enough but this was
something else. The crew scuttled across the deck with tyres from starboard to port and
back again but we barely needed a fender. "Nice pilot," shrugged Tony modestly..
The weather closed in again and the
first day of refit was spent de-rigging the main mast in constant rain. The next couple of
days were kinder as Dan supervised sending down the topmast in the traditional manner and
a large shore crane lifted clear the main mast and shrouds.
Peter has started pulling apart the main engine - drawing pistons
and checking bottom end bearings. The aft table is out of the saloon and has been replaced
by cylinder heads, crank case doors and No.3 piston.
The heavy awnings were dragged up from the bottom of the sail locker and Ben
and Rob have constructed a timber frame to box in the whole aft half of the ship.
Tony has also decided to remove the entire windlass from the foredeck in order to replace
the anchor chain hawse pipes and make a new bedding plate for it.
crew have got a lot done this first week, but taking
the ship apart is a lot quicker than putting it back
together again. The clock is now ticking.........
FOR PICTURE PAGE OF
MAIN MAST DE RIG CLICK HERE
Anderson's Diary Log takes us from
Southampton to Cornwall:
|Monday 18th Sept.
||Start of the Southampton to
Darmouth voyage. Our new Voyage Crew joined at 1000 and once again we had a nice
mixture of new and old faces. Some just can't stay away: Pat and Olga, our
'Friends of Soren in the UK', definitely fall into this category and they were back for
their second trip this year.
We got away just after lunch and back down the Solent we went,
setting sail and bracing square once we rounded the corner. Doris steered us clear
of a waterspout and then into anchor at Yarmouth for a quiet night and a great start to
|Tues 19th Sept
||Rise and shine early. Sailing
westwards through the Needles channel with the odd cheer for those going aloft and making
it to the foretop. More fantastic sailing - in fact this trip was full of
wind. Good wind and early starts - can't have everything I guess. Still it makes you
appreciate those days where everything is perfect .... which of course is everyday
on the Soren Larsen (click on book-a-berth at the bottom of this screen now......)
Anyway as we neared our first destination of Weymouth we were
chased off course by a boat informing us that we were entering some kind of artillery
firing range. Handy to know that and most were pleased to clear the area while
others prepared the cannons ready for battle - ahaargh... As it turned out we
arrived in one piece and enjoyed a night out on the town. Weymouth is full of
amazing old building, a fair few of which turned out to be pubs. Some routed via the
Yetties gig (a local folk band) and soon had the shanties going, but all returned safe for
a sound nights sleep.
|Wed 20th Sept
||Off at sparrows and greeted by
dolphins just outside the harbour - photos galore - and then around Portland Bill
and close hauled on the port tack. We also passed where the filming of the
movie 'The French Lieutenants Woman' took place, in which Soren featured. Knot tying
and and sail handling lessons of the fordeck. That night we anchored in Torbay
under rocky cliffs covered in trees which reminded me very much of home (in West
Australia). It was a beautiful sunset and also Olga's birthday which as always we
celebrated in style. I often wonder if all the merriment can be heard ashore and what
people think of it. 'What the bloody hell is going on out there' I could imagine
them say. Becky and Charlie held a great quiz night puzzling us all with some sticky
questions. The Dings finished just ahead of the Dongs, or was it the other way round?
|Thurs 21st Sept
||Well our short hop, skip and
jump round into Dartmouth turned out to be a motor into a gale which provided a bit of
excitement but didn't last long and we soon found ourselves passing through the mouth of
the river in between castles and into the beautiful Dart Valley. Darmouth to the left and
the right. The last night was quite rowdy with shanties and laughs. All round another
to Southampton Voyage:
A full ship of Voyage Crew again with 90% having previously sailed with
Soren at one time of another. Jan took the last spare berth after coming to the Reunion
yesterday and she last sailed with us in 1985 with the JST..!
Deckhand Nick Anderson from Perth, W.A. takes up the Log from Kate, giving you a focs'le
perspective of the events from London:
|Thurs 7th Sun 10th Sept
||An early rise as we weigh
anchor and steam up the Thames to London past Greenwich and the great Cutty Sark. This was
to be a homecoming for some but the end of the road for Kate, Mike and Todd, for whom the
celebrations soon began with some fore deck rock revisited. St Katharines wont
be quite the same again and some some reason our evening paddeling session wasnt
appreciated! Cheers for all your hard work and laughs guys you shall be missed and
we love ya
On the other hand we gained
Peter V. as Engineer and Dinty as Cook both old hands returning for more punishment
and its great to have them on board. Dinty has been spoiling us with donuts and Peter has
been having some interesting interactions with a Scotsman and a nice man named
Sledgehammer in the local alehouses. (Whatever you do, dont ask a Scot if he has a
spanner in his pocket).
We brought the weather with us, introducing the Poms to sunshine and allowing us to get
some maintenance done and it was perfect for our Voyagers reunion day. Loads of old faces
to catch up, including Adrian, Granny and Jeremy (with brass band) from the
Auckland-Easter Island trip. Ben was busy with modifying our new gaff after the North Sea
|Mon 11th Sept
||Once again new Vcrew join with
a big contingency from Gloucestershire. Bonny and June, from the Bay of Islands, carry on
from the last couple of trips. Hands aloft while we motor down the river - and many a
black hand returning to the deck after discovering the new tarring in the rig, ha
ha ha. !
|Tues 11th -Thurs 17th
||Out into the Channel and
hugging the coast to Beachy Head where we set the squares and headed for France. Not
exactly for Cherbourg but for France nonetheless, a beautiful full moon lighting the way.
Interesting reading in the comments column in the Deck Log book: " All is well. All
is well. All is still well. And then Brians comment at 0500 "Its all a bad
dream..". Mike could be heard mumbling "Whose bloody idea was this
anyway.." after being woken for his midnight watch. Some rolly stuff sees a few heads
over the side, which is where the forts of Cherbourg where sighted. Ooh la la.
Vcrew ashore and our short visit was lengthened by an untimely visit from Customs. After
the all clear we headed north for the Isle of Wight. A westerly breeze filled in
throughout the night and allowing us to sail across the channel. We passed The Needles in
the morning and went on around to Yarmouth. We sighted the Tenacious, the
Jubilee Sailing Trusts latest addition, a 3 masted barque, at anchor. Unfortunately
our helmsman (not mentioning any names) couldnt quite get us to within funnelator
range in fact no where near to it. So anyway I turned to port steered for Cowes.
Better luck next time. We dropped the pick at lunchtme and all got ashore at one time or
another for a wander around and a well needed pint.
Aaarghh! That night carried on with loads of laughs, wine and shanties.
||In the morning we picked up and
Poffer flaked 4 shackles for the last time. We headed up the Solent to Southampton,
docking in front of Lord nelson to end a great trip. We found an Aussie/Kiwi bar in town
serving VB and Stienies much to our pleasure. Eric managed one way or another to sneak in
to the Southampton Boat Show (which opened that day). He says they recognised someone of
great importance but we all know the thruth.
||Next up Dartmouth, perhaps via
the Channel islands (if there isnt a northerly) and then its REFIT just around the
Thoughts of home last of all I want to say Happy Birthday to my dad Wal
Sept: After a wet and windy morning we cast off the lines at Southampton
and headed out down the Solent. Tony plans to anchor tonight within the Solent and
call at Weymouth on our way down to Dartmouth. The weather forecast doesn't look
helpful with rain and SW winds down the Channel.
Plans are afoot to rendevous with the 'Lord Nelson' and the JST's new ship 'Tenacious' off
Dartmouth on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning.
13th Sept: The ship has had a quiet trip down the Channel and
has called at Cherbourg. We expect to arrive into the Solent on Thursday afternoon.
Tony may anchor off Cowes Thursday night and be up to the berth on Friday 1000
hours. We will be berthed at berth 44 by the JST's 'Lord Nelson'. If you are
coming to Southampton by road to visit Soren then head for the Docks and go to Dock Gate
4. Saturday will be a public open day and there is a Voyage Club reunion 10 am to
3pm on Sunday. The voyage to Dartmouth commences on Monday.
|Sunday 10th Sept:
Voyagers Club Reunion at St Katherine's Dock,
The sun shone, Voyagers past and present packed the decks, and we all had a wonderful
afternoon as the band played on!
For the whole story and a number of pictures, which may
take a while to download, Click
Here for more...
Thurs 7th: Soren Larsen is
in St Katherine's Dock by Tower Bridge. We'll be here until Sailing for Southampton at
noon Monday. Do come and visit anytime - there is a reunion of past Voyage Crew on Sunday
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All are welcome!
Photos Chris Portwine:
|7 am Nearing
||Web 6th Sept: In
After delays with fresh headwinds down the east coast, Capt. Tony has decided to anchor at
Gravesend tonight and take the early flood tide up the river to berth at St Katherines
Dock by Tower Bridge at 8am Thursday morning.
|Kate's Last Fax - Purser Kate Ryan's final installement of her
diary takes us from the end of the trans Atlantic race to the European Sail festival and
|Thurs 17th Aug
||Closed the finish line at
04 34 30 GMT. Isle of Wight in view. Party poppers and balloons
breakfast! Wind is a favourable SWF5 - sailing nicely
||England to the left and
France to the right. Passed Dover to port and Calais on starboard. Arrived Vlissingen at
1900 hours. Pergoria is berthed nearby. Find out that Mir has been locked out (due to a
legal wrangle on outstanding Russian debts) and cannot berth in Holland.
berthed nearby last night. Endracht arrived later in the evening. Open day for
the ship - many stalls and interesting craft surround the canal. Eric is happy to find an
ice-cream stall right outside our gangpank. A few Vcrew visit Amsterdam for the day. Steve
decides to go to Paris for a few nights! A game of 3-Man in the galley (traditional,
noisy Soren drinking game)
||Church chimes ring
everywhere. Open day for the ship. Sunday roast.
||Hire bikes and peddle
along the canal to the nearest town, called Middlesburg. We watch Ascard come
through the locks. Bikes are everywhere! Many windmills and really good bakeries.
||Leave Vlissengen early and
enter the lock around 0600 and set sail for Ijmuiden. A calm and sunny day. We pass
Stad Amsterdam and Ascard. Berth next to the French navy ship
Belle Etoile and had a tour around their beautiful ship. Lots of entertainment
and stalls on the decks.
||Day spent in Ijmuiden
people everywhere! Hieneken girls visit the ship giving out Hieneken flags and free
beer the lads flew the flags straight away! The horizon is cluttered with hundreds
of masts and rigging many ships are rafted alongside each other.
||Almost the last ship to
depart in the morning. Standby till 1130 before casting our lines and taking our turn for
the line to the locks. We enter locks with the giant Sedov, even the Blue
Sphinx a mascot for Dutch sponsors Postbank follows us into the lock. Many
Vcrew sit aloft and witness the lockout. Exit lock and proceed in a parade of sail up the
Norsden Canal. Set the tgallant , upper and lower topsls. Its a clear
day with spectators lining the canal.
Ships of all descriptions everywhere notably the Ship of Fools and many
traditional Cogs. We arrive in Amsterdam around 1730 and berth alongside the Roald
Amudsen. and in front of 'Lord Nelson'. The canal is cluttered with boats
a very festive atmosphere. Beautiful blood red sunset we are in Amsterdam!
Ian has flown in from Auckland and is looking a little jet lagged..
||Vcrew visit Anne
Franks house, Van Gogh museum and many other parts of Amsterdam. Unfortunately eight of
our Vcrew must leave us here and we have presentations and good-byes.
Sail Amsterdam supply all crew tags for free transport and entry into
ship partys almost every night. Soren crew make their own half way bar on the docks!
||Explore Amsterdam with
friends. Many interesting places and managed three museums. There are literally hundreds
of thousands of people pouring down to the docks. Bicycles everywhere. The canal is
crammed with spectator boats and ships. Sample Dutch McDonalds with Mike, Toni,and
Iceblock. Good to see ex Vcrew Tys, Johan and Mario who come down to say hello.
||New Vcrew join and good to
see so many returnees. Busy day taking on water and fuel. Black tanks pumped. Huge
firework display at night. The music and festivities continue. Boats made of plastic
bottles, floating TV visuals, Hieneken barrels all sorts.
||Depart Amsterdam. Pass
through the middle lock. Once through we set the Main, Staysls and headsls.
Ready for Bremmerhaven. Wind is SW and a good F 3-4. During the 8 12 watch,
lightening is visible on the horizon, clear night and many stars. Chilly but thankfully
not wet. Sailing in company with 'Sorlandet, Pride of Baltimore and
||Calm steady sailing.
Passed by Pride of Baltimore. Lost of laughs combining Welsh, English, Kiwi
and German languages. Brasso galore
Iceblock (Colin) takes to the rigging like a
monkey he may have found his true calling.
||Making suck good
progress that we tack away and head north to kill some time. Very pleasant sailing.
Jessicas birthday balloons and a cake (never trust those magic candles).
Starry night. Sailed past Helgoland island harbour-stow the squares.
At anchor 20 miles from Bremmerhaven at Weser River. Big rolling seas
and strong tides. Eye of the Wind anchors nearby.
||Lock-in early in the
morning. Arrive in Bremmerhaven and berth next to Europa. Aromas of wurst
German sausages fill the air. Traditional German music and beer tents along the docks.
|Fri 1st Sept
||Sadly we have eight vcrew
depart here. Sad to as goodbye to the boyos 3 men in a tub. Enjoyed
everyones company. Crew part is put on at the town hall with famous German singer
and local entertainment.
||New vcrew join. Gas
bottles filled. Tony is away at the Captains briefing most of the morning. People
everywhere. Old vcrew and crew Tassilo and Edwin pop in to say hello. The nights ends up
being a Soren reunion Seth, Chris, Rassmus, Ellis, Johan, Mette, Sabina and many
others come to visit!
||Leave Bremmerhaven around
0900 worth the [parade of Sail out of the harbour. Force 6 wind and wind over tide. Ships
everywhere. Diligent watch keeping to avoid sandbanks and traffic.
||The North Sea greets us
with strong winds motorsailing. Many land birds such as silver eyes swept on board.
A falcon crashed on to the deck.
At 0245 the gaff boom on the mainsail cracked all hands on deck to hand the main
sl and derig the gaff.
||A few green faces,
however everyone braves the cold and stands watch. A German airforce Tornado fighter jet
flies over at 100 ft. very load and startling. The boys work to jury rig the gaff. The
main staysail boom comes off and is attached to the mainmast.
Mainsl is reset and we are sailing again!
At 2300 the goose neck fitting on the improvised gaff snaps
and once again we are without a mainsl and we limp into the Thames Estuary.
||Wake up to grey skies and
a warmish So westerly. Seas have eased the day sorting out the broken booms and
harbour stowing the squares. Chris cannot be kept on deck he is up aloft furling
before you can blink. Jimmy braves the seas pray on bow watch: doesnt seem to mind
that he is drenched. Anchor in the Thames at Gravesend near Essex.. Will haul up the
anchor at 4am tomorrow morning and lock in to London, St Katherines Dock to complete this
I sit here on anchor watch recapping on Sorens Global Odyssey - what an amazing
venture for a solid oak hulled tallship to do! This will be my last entry as I leave with
I understand the the Voyage Log Diary will continue, however it will be through another
crew members eyes a new perspective. I feel that each entry has been too brief.
They only touch the mere surface of the atmosphere on board here. Words cannot paint a
picture of tallship life
or not Soren life. My 15 months on here have been a life
changing experience and probably the start of a lifelong addiction. To learn new skills.
To feel the wind on your face, see the sails full bellied, smell the salt air and sense
the ships every movement. To climb aloft and look out for miles around only to see nothing
but ocean and sky. To meet various people from all over the world of all ages and
cultures. To chat and share stories with them. Most importantly to be able to look around
you and feel genuinely happy. To laugh aloud and feel alive.
I am hearing words from a special Vcrew; "Soren is addictive
youll come back for more"
Yep already I am harping on like Im hooked.
Thanks to all those Ive sailed with and for all those who made it possible for me to
here in the first place.
See you at the Voyagers Club reunions.
Kate. X X
of this page
|| All our thanks to Kate Ryan who has kept us
entertained, informed and inspired with her diary dates log on the journey from New
(Kate - Auckland)
( Kate - Cuba)
Previous Voyage Logs and Diaries:
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