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Voyage log  NY-Halifax-Amsterdam.jpg (15422 bytes)



Soren Larsen heads for England: Bremmerhaven to the Thames:
Contact Ian on 077960 17234 or Pat & Olga on 01463 772031 or latest UK port info.
By Tower Bridge photo Chris Portwine.jpg (17544 bytes)

Thur 7th: Soren Larsen is in St Katherines 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:

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7 am Nearing Canary Wharf Passing Bulters Wharf
map 6 sept.gif (10661 bytes) Web 6th Sept: In the Thames!
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.


Monday 4 Sept

Sailing 6.8 knots W x S off northern Dutch coast

Lat. 54 43 N Long 005 29 E at 1400 hours

nseamap4sept.gif (11753 bytes)The ship sailed from Bremmerhaven in the late afternoon Parade of Sail out of the city.  After motorsailing overnight she is now off the Dutch coast and making good time on this last leg of the journey back to Britain.

We still aim to sail up the Thames with the tide during the afternoon of Wednesday 6th Sept and lock into St Katherines Dock by Tower Bridge at the top of the tide at approx. 7 p.m. The present voyage from Europe will then finish the next morning.
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Mid Atlantic update from Purser Kate Ryan

Diary extracts from Kate and Catherine:
Boston & Halifax

Purser Kate Ryan's Diary N.Y. to Boston

See Previous    Voyage Logs and  Diaries:

 Friday 1st Sept 2000
Soren Larsen has arrived in Germany to take part in the sail festival at Bremmerhaven.

We had a great time last weekend at Sail Amsterdam as the Trans Atlantic fleet celebrated the end of Tallships 2000. Many of the vessels have gone on to Bremmerhaven, as we have and this community under sail is very sociable indeed! A full report of our European port adventures follows shortly.

soren atl photo courtesy Max.jpg (13780 bytes)Monday 21 Aug 2000:
Flushing, Holland. The ship arrived here at the weekend for the first taste of a European port.

Programme plan is now - remain in Flushing, take part in the sail festival here until departure early am. Tues 22nd.

Arrive Ijmuiden early am Wed 23rd for the festival of small sail. Thurs 24th 0900 depart parade of sail, transit Canal   12.00 - 16.00  into berth at Sail Amsterdam 2000.




As the ship sails up the English Channel for her first European landfall here is Purser Kate Ryan's final instalment the trans Atlantic passage.:

Mon 7 Aug nick helmsmall.jpg (5064 bytes)Calm sea Wind SW
Nick crushes thumb in door. We now find he delegates more than usual.
Days Run 137.  Finish Line 1247miles to go
Tues   8 Aug chrisportwine sl3small.jpg (4996 bytes)Alastair in charge of the fishing - 10 striped dolphins play off the bow.

Wear ship to port. Cross halfway mark. Celebrate with a halfway party. KateR goes as a half pint, Alyson wears a half crown, Topher and Ben P shave half their heads.
Dan gives whipping classes. Wind NW dies and leaves the ship rolling in 3m seas.
Days Run 160 Finish Line 1085

Wed 9th Someone is busy making her bath towel into a canon flag for the finish line. Ship becalmed. 12 to 4 watch "crabpaddle" forward by bracing several times. Vang chaffed. Dan and Eric splice new line to replace it. We drift under a large rainbow. No fish for Alastair.   Days Run 49 Finish Line 1042
Thurs 10th Ben And Dan washing.jpg (5376 bytes)Clocks go forward 1 hour. Wind SW. Gained 100 miles on Eye of the Wind as Mir crosses the finish line.
Dark night with glowing dolphins and jellyfish. Water shortage. No washing or showering.

Michael C scrapes rain water off poop deck to do his washing.
(left Ben and Dan do to saltwater heavy wash cycle:)

Days Run 149 Finish Line 886

Fri 11th Sunny days - Warm sunbathing weather. 8 to 12 watch lumbered with morning deckwash as the generator wakes late. Mike has a go at fine tuning galley stoves. Alternate showers for stinky starboard and putrid port dwellers. Jess and Jess and Kate R make tags for rerigging during refit. Some end up as butterfly shapes much to Bosun Dan's disgust! Days Run 136 Finish Line 751
Sat 12th carol gagne6small.jpg (3440 bytes)Wind SW. Wore ship in morning. Orange buoy sighted and retrieved. Photo op of ship under full sail. Sei whale surfaces metres away from doti boat. The look on Ben W Nick and Tonys faces are priceless.
Shop open. Some speculate that the no washing rule is a ploy to increase shop sales. V crew climb the "spiderweb" cranelines. Topher takes Pooh aloft for some photos. Days Run 109 Finish Line 646
Sun 13th Robert A [Bob) birthday . Balloons party poppers wine and festivities. Cake candles set off the smoke alarm! Days Run 153 Finish Line 496
Mon 14th Change of watches. Clock forward 1 hour. Alastair catches fish. It is made of tin and crafted by Bob! Mainsail sheet block split. Sheet in main and replace it. Games of pictionary played in the saloon. Barry entertains us with interesting stories of his pilot days.
Days Run 142 Finish Line 355
Tues 15th Jess R scrapes and varnishes forward hatch cover. The 2 Jesses cook lasagne for dinner. No easy feat in rolling seas. Fabulous full moon.
Days Run 147 Finish Line 210
Wed 16th Eye has caught favourable wind and crosses the finish line. Jens Krogh is in sight beyond us. Friends of Soren photo shoot in the saloon with foscle animals. Veteran ALF,  our double-circumnavigation binnacle mascot is present.
Pod of pilot whales follow our path. Steve assists Todd in making desert. Pass Lizard Rock -  into the Channel. Days Run 119 Finish Line 107
Thurs 17th Cross finish line (due south of the Isle of White) at 7 30am GMT time. Balloons supplied for the bang effect. Chris S makes a satellite connection via his Palm/cell phone device  and we find out about Concord crash via the net. Isle of Wight in sight. Celebratory champagne for finishing: The first Danish ship to cross the line! Days Run 139 Finish Line today!


Thurs 17th Aug 2000:
The end of the Trans Atlantic race course lay 20 miles due south from the Isle of White.
During the course of this week the ships have been crossing the line as they make their way up the channel. Soren Larsen crossed the line early this morning, in near company with Danish vessel Jens Krogh. Soren Larsen finished a few hours behind Eye of the Wind, which was positioned 14th overall in the fleet. The ships now make their way up to the assembly ports on the Dutch coast, before the canal transit to Amsterdam on the 24th.  Soren is due to berth in Vlissingen for a couple of nights before making the canal at


Map race map thu10 aug.gif (15035 bytes)Friday 11 Aug:  While the first modern yachts in the fleet close on the finish line off the Isle of White,  fresh SW winds as giving some advantage to those further back as the field closes up.
    Soren is still in company with Jens Krogh and Roald Amundsen and is closing slightly on our chief rival Eye of the Wind. At noon yesterday their positions were:

SOREN LARSEN 47.31N 23.41W
EYE OF THE WIND 47.55N 22.38W

Were we racing for position this would make us 2nd in class and 18th overall. There is about 900 miles left to the finish line which they should reach about 18th August.


This Report from Comms Officer onboard Mir
8/10/00 3:21:08 PM
"After a curious stop and go kind of race, excitement is mounting as the front of the fleet is passing the last waypoint, south of the Scilly Isles and entering the western approaches to the English Channel.

During the course of the race, the Atlantic Ocean has offered a series of Lows which have sent the ships surging along only to end up sitting under an equal number of High pressure systems where they languished, some for more than 48 hours. But this has meant that the lead, which the front-runners established on leaving Halifax is now challenged from behind. The wind, weather and tides could give rise to some challenging conditions before all finally cross the finishing line at the southern tip of the Isle of Wight. Norddeutsche Vormoegen Hamburg and Pride of Baltimore lead in real time while Brilliant has led on corrected time since the start. The big square riggers are not too far behind, their huge square sails filled by the strong south westerly winds."

6th Aug Our latest broadcast from the ship - Kate Ryan's diary extracts:

Mon 31
Dan2a.jpg (14338 bytes)WNW Force 4 Running with wind Wear ship Kate P & Chris S learn to splice Jess & Jess sketch on the poop deck as Nick spots Eye of the Wind from T'Gallant. Sperm whales & Rossi Grey dophins swim past. Alastair takes to fishing - but no luck. Reef mains'l b4 dinner. Dan saves 9 stormy petrels
Days run:- 136 NM Way pt 4: -2040 NM to go
Tues 1
Wearship to port. Overtake Roald Amundsen. Akogare passes us @ sunrise. Ben P is busy working on glass rack. Robert P J creates a trivial pursuit challenge for all. Everyone gets clean sheets to mark the end of a wet week. Tarring & tallowing bowsprit results in Jess R getting black bottomed feet. Kate R takes Chris C (Topher) to T'gallant and while we're there we sight a sperm whale breaching from aloft. Topher writes segment on fear in the Convicts Log. Days Run-152 WPt -1942 NM to go
Wed 2
NW wind Rolly sea Dog watches.  Voy Crew busy with experiments & star charts Wind picks up 5-6 kts . 100 striped dolphins pass ahead. Much phosperesence in water at night .
Days run:- 157 WPt-1806 NM to go
Thurs 3
Water temp 23.9 -warm deck washes Shake out reef Blue skies Gentle sailing Av 7.95 kts 12-4 become the 'snake' watch given snake tattoo to wear on forehead Chris S & Jim take 2 baggy-wrinkling Akogare sighted several miles ahead f 8-12 sea shanties
Days run:- 191 WPt-1623 NM to go
Fri 4
Abbi galley1a.jpg (10015 bytes)Wear ship twice Squalls. MOB drill.
Mike S birthday - cooks make giant cheese scone with bovril & pepper Engine parts costume dress party Michael H (Mick) goes as piston broke Steve is nuts - dresses in very little Geoff does toilet seat monologue 12-4 watch as thunder storm Lightning across the horizon
Days run:- 169 WPt-1421 NM to go
Sat 5
Clocks forward 1hr Wear ship -all sails set except FTS & gaff Top Sunny day Everyone washing Safety lines are now washing lines Jess R makes great bread & sneaks in cinnamon wheels as a treat.
Days run:- 140 To finish line-1524 NM to go
Sun 6
Todd deckhouse a.jpg (8263 bytes)Wind WxN.
Phosperesent dolphins @ bow Stuck behind a large high but still making 4-5 knots Majories map of stars gets wet - turns to map of the sea Sunday best for dinner & wine night.

Barry Jess R & Kate R sing old rock songs in saloon with guitar. On the 12-4 watch a secret baker makes choc cookies …..

Days run:- 140 Finish L-1389 NM to go



Sat 5th August 2000
The ship's noon position today is 45 31N 35 36 W
This is an extract of the latest Race Mapping from today's position.
Below Martin, Eric and Dan on the Upper Tops'l

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Wed 2nd August 2000 Mid Atlantic
At Noon Soren Larsen was 42 02 N 49 16 W
Her position overall in the fleet was
race map2aug.gif (3883 bytes) 27th and just behind Eye of the Wind, the leader in class.  They have had some wet and windy Atlantic weather but today the conditions have improved. The Race Map shows that Soren Larsen is in a group in the 2nd half of the fleet as at noon today. About 70 miles separate this group west to east.

We have received a brief diary update from Kate Ryan for mid ocean:

Mon 24 July
Halifax NS
Catherine lookout.jpg (5581 bytes)Gdbye to Catherine: Cabin Boy Leaves for Indoesia with pirate flag strapped to back pack.   Parade of Sail form Halifax harbour: Waterbombing (ex Soren crew) Seth on Europa: the Tititilator works well. Smooth sea. Little wind. Sight Fin Whales.  Dinner on deck surrounded by sunset and other tallships.
Tues 25 July VC Alyson met decapitating hose on 4-8 deckwash. Fin whales breathing close by and playful bottle nose dolphins are seen at our bow.  Wind shifts SSW2 ESE Wearship. Muster drill and safety talks. Jess R brings out the yoyos Martin proves to be a pro.   Ascard Eye of the Wind Europa Mir Akogare on horizon
Wed 26 July Wind freshening from E 61/2kts.  Stormy "Peter" Petrell arrives and settles   on deck. Jess R decides to look after it and take it below and nurses it in girls cabin.  Rob A(Bob) has taken to sleeping on deck on the paint locker with shoes for pillow...
Thur 27 July Seabuilding. A few green faces. We hand the T'gallant and Upper Stays'l. Rainy squally Baggywrinkle making begins. Peter Petrel still resting .
Fri 28 July europa.jpg (15717 bytes)Gale force wind 7 Wear ship and head south again. We pass close under Europa's stern. A magic sight of her close up full sail and stonking past our portside.   Put first reef in Mains'l.  Wind becalmed by 4pm.  Dan the bosun is busy with snapped upper top brace. Lumpy seas. Peter given sardines for tea.
Sat 29 July nick helm1.jpg (8433 bytes) Sun streams through clouds. In the aftermath of heavy weather the deck is an obstacle course of safety lines and wet gear. After a few false starts Peter flies away. Reef shaken out of the main. Jess R finishes a baggywrinkle. Steve takes to the TopG like a monkey now, Geoff supplies us with puzzles to solve and  Kate R gets hair chopped off.  Lots of sail trimming as the deck watches get the ship to a sailing optimum.

Nick Anderson on the helm

Sun 30 July Sunday Miracle - Focsle is clean.. Treasure hunt in the afternoon. Put reef in the Main for easier steerage. Lazy Sunday with sun and lightwinds.  Great Sunday roast dinner with wine. Hear a few ships are getting heavy weather with the gale further north. The book- The Perfect Storm is circulating the ship! We're going well heading east for 2nd waypoint


Sunday 30th July 2000 - North Atlantic
Captain Tony Davies reports "After our good start progress has been poor with light headwinds for 3 days and then  a Force 7/8 on the nose. This left some feeling less than well but all are OK now as we have a SE F3 and sunnier skies. Still sailing full and bye in an awkward swell but the new voyage crew are concentrating hard and becoming proficient helmsmen (and helmswomen). We have been sailing in near company with Europa and Jens Krogh as the fleet starts to spread out. 
Saw fin whales and humpback whales and dolphins during the last couple of days, which has kept those on bow watch excited for the next sighting. We have made 447 nautical miles made good.
Weather systems show that the fleet may make slow progress for the next few days however."
race map fri28.gif (12024 bytes)

At the Tallships2000 website they update a Map with the  vessels relative postions - this is the image for Fri 28th showing Soren Larsen ahead of Eye of the Wind with Europa 2 miles back on our port quarter, Lord Nelson is slightly further east some way further south from Soren Larsen. This would put Soren Larsen's position in the fleet about 29th overall. 

NB To access the map info go to Click on Race Information (top left) /
then click Latest Race Mapping (NOT Latest Race Results) / click Create / click Zoom In/ click on the  position in the fleet where you want the map to zoom to - you will need to zoom in and/or centre a few times to locate the section of the map with Soren Larsen in.  Below the map are the fleet's latitude and longitude for that date.
In the Race Results section it states that Soren Larsen and Lord Nelson 'did not start race' . Ignore this - it refers to that fact that both ships have voyage crew over 25 years old and th4 do not qualify for race prizes under ISTA rules.   Do not be alarmed  - both vessels are part of the fleet and proceeding to Amsterdam.

Tues 25th July 2000
racestart.jpg (10359 bytes)Two days in to our ocean passage
and all is well onboard. All the ships  managed to negotiate the very crowded start line without mishap.  We are  sailing in fine weather with SSW 10 knots. The fleet is still fairly close together. We are a few miles ahead of 'Eye of the Wind' and just ahead of us to the south and east is 'Kruzenstern' and then 'Oostershelte'.  All on board enjoying the conditions and the spectacle of the fleet.

Sunday 23rd July 2000 Tallships Halifax :
The ship has been in Nova Scotia for Tallships Halifax since Thursday and what a hectic time its been. The ship has hosted functions on board the past three evenings and its been interesting meeting the people but it was fairly full on.  We were double berthed outside of the Capatain Miranda which made access to the wharf a bit of a process but did give us a front row seat for the fireworks night. However the crew of the Capt. Miranda do enjoy their music and they like it loud. Some of us have managed only about 3 hours sleep during our time here! 
All are excited about getting off the sea again and the forthcoming tallships race across the Atlantic. The fleet departure will be a huge spectacle.


New ! Just in: Purser Kate Ryan's  Diary extracts of the trip from Boston:

14 July
Sail Boston
Kate deckhouse.jpg (7762 bytes)The Irish Frigate put on a hospitable night for a few Vcrews and crew last night. Sue managed to bring back to bring bac a special limited edition glass and sampled Guinness for the first time. We woke up to the sounds of Greek music for a neighbouring Greek navy ship. Boston was explored today by half the crew and VCrew,  a very busy city now that tallships are in. Free subway travel which allows people to visit the tea Party ship and aquariums etc
15 July
Open ship to the public at midday. Many people do the Boston freedom walk. Sore feet after!. Barry, Polly, Brent and Rob find good restaurants and bars - crew content with finding a park and snoozing beneath the trees. Nick A. goes to Harvard (ha ha!) and finds somewhere to play chess against a timer.. needless to say he found more than his match…
16 July
Bent on the new mainsail again. Getting prepared for the Boston-Halifax race and the Atlantic crossing. A few cases of Samuel Adams Boston ale ordered and stowed away carefully. VCrew Scott Wolfe's father kindly arranges complimentary tickets to see the Boston Pops. The 1802 overture was accompanied by real cannons. The night is finished off by a fantastic fireworks display themed the 'battle of the barges' . The 'Rose' arrives with cannons blazing. Previous friends made in Baltimore have driven across to say hello! A small party held on board as we leave tomorrow. Unfortunately we lose two v.crew Bill and Kurt - it was great sailing with them and we hope to see them again.
Mon 17 July
Depart Boston
Scott has supplied the ship with an enormous amount of water balloon ammunition and funnelator pieces. Jim and Joyce have developed their 13 (!) rolls of film. Pat and Olga have supplied us with lollies to keep us going on the night watches! We prepared to leave Boston after lunch in a parade of sails. Unfortunately we had only been out there a while when thick fog rolled in. We are motoring towards Halifax in a thick blanket of moisture.
Tues 18 July Temperatures have dropped considerably - duvets are out in force. There are a few green faces as people emerge from the deckhouse and into the fog. We know we are surrounded by sailing vessels via the radar - only in Jim's words 'this is the great race that nobody saw'.
We are blessed with a chef on board who makes the fluffiest 12-4 ships bread in history. Ben W sights a shark in the glassy waters. No whales yet though.
Wed 19 July The fog has been very thick and miserable, however this morning it cleared considerably. Much to many peoples delight we can now see the horizon. There has been a hiccup in the flag dept so Catherine is quickly making up a Canadian flag from our Maori cultural costume from Baltimore ( Paul H your material efforts in Balt. Are now even more appreciated!). Now perfect sailing conditions.


From here diary extracts from the 'Søren Cabin Boy' - Catherine Stevenson tell of the arrival and stay at Tallships 2000 Halifax :

Wed 19th July
Arrival Halifax
Catherine.jpg (7108 bytes)By lunch we could smell the land (pine tress) and the sky cleared as we came in to Halifax giving a fantastic sunset. Several voyage crew and crew had hair cuts on the foredeck (Nbr# 2 all over) - sorry Carol, it will grow back eventually!
The sight of tallship under full sail, rigging glowing in the evening sunlight, in such perfect conditions attracted a lot of attention from the other boats. Luckily the flag was completed just in time - cheers to all those who helped with 'the Mission'!

As we furled the squares on the way in to the harbour we had a fantastic view of the big ships already in, lit up in outline with their fairylights and spotlights playing the air.

A message from harbour control stating that if we required fuel during our stay we had to take it NOW foiled our plans for anchoring off and having an end-of-voyage party. So at midnight we found ourselfs alongside a fuel barge haggling over the method of payment for diesel. This turned out to be a very long drawn out progress; Jim and Joyce - those choc chip cookies you baked were fantastic. I don't know how we'd have got by without them. Fuelling was finally completed only to be followed by an equally long debate as to where we were to berth. Heads finally hit pillows around 4.30 am

Thurs 20th July
Tallships Halifax
First reports of Halifax are very favourable. Free email, free laundry, free transport and all the boats within easy walking distance - a welcome change! A very festive feel with live bands and street performers everywhere.
Disappointed to fine that we have to move - for once we had ended up with the best berth in the harbour! However we were only there a few hours before mooring alongside the Capatain Miranda. Hardly had the lines fast before the caterers for that evenings function came aboard. We entertained the Nova Scotia bank for the evening, then were entertained in turn at the lower deck bar. Very packed.
Fri 21 July
Bent on new upper topsail, while half the crew were ashore exploring Canada. The VCrew from New York had sadly had to depart.
Anther function this evening. It was 2nd Mate Eric's 40th birthday, combined with 'the Cabin Boy's' leaving do. Eric's presents from the crew caused great amusement - a T-shirt with his favourite expletive on it (part of a NZ-Toyota promotion?) and a walking cane to support him in his old age. (Not just any cane - this one had a horn on it to clear the way ahead and a rear view mirror to see what was sneaking up behind). Purser John also got a belated birthday present - a pair of boxer shorts that could have solved the flag crisis- Laurie you must get his to model them for you.
Combined with vast quantities of pizza a beer donated by departing voyage crew (THANKYOU THANKYOU!!) and a huge birthday cookie from Polly and Barry and I do mean huge, it fed the whole crew, we had a great night, finishing up at a local Irish bar.
Sat 22nd July
The day began at 0430 with an all hands call to stow the groceries which had arrived on the wharf - enough for 34 people for 33 days : quite a bit.

This operation painful for some late night revellers who had forgotten this part of the plan.
Later in the day half of the crew were let loose ashore, while those remaining finished the sail change overs and managed the miracle that is making up the cabins - it never seems like it will be done in time but somehow it is!
The first of the new voyage crew began arriving throughout the day to say hi to the ship - nice to again see some familiar faces there.
A charter function in the evening was followed by a great night with ships crews getting together finally - being within shouting distance as opposed to different towns helps greatly - thankyou Halifax we love you!
We managed to get a great group together with crews from the 'Mist of Avalon' , 'Niagra', 'Rose', 'Pride of Baltimore II' and 'Europa' among others. We caught up with some old Søren crew who are now on boat boats.

Sunday 25th July
New V.crew joined this morning, some of those coming for the first time joked that maybe an Atlantic crossing will not be the ideal first trip on a boat - but hey you'll be great! The day sped by in documentation, introductions to the boat and crew, safety briefings etc and generally preparing for sea.
Monday 26th July The great day arrives! All spic and span and safely stowed below. The new voyage crew already getting the hang of the first lines and working aloft.
Sadly I am to leave Søren Larsen here and will be on wharf as she draws away. After a tearful farewell I waved my adopted family and home for the previous 9 months goodbye and watched them sail off into the wide blue Atlantic, after an impressive Parade of Sail. It was a perfect morning for it. Blue skies, a good breeze, music playing and cannons firing. Have a good voyage folks!


Wed 19th July 2000 Boston to Halifaxkruz in fog3.jpg (8431 bytes)
We had a good Parade of Sail out of Boston to the start of the race but 2 hours out (late afternoon) the wind had died and the fog rolled in.  The Russian barq Kruzenstern overtook us in the fog. Later visibility just 150 yards and the race line extended to 32 Nmiles but Soren Larsen has shortened sail and is motor sailing as are many of the other vessels due to the lack of wind. ETA Halifax 1200 on Thursday 20th July.


Poetry Cornersl and eye.gif (4130 bytes)

There once was a princess called Daisy,
Who, for a young sailor, went crazy!
All her messages finally got through;
With those famous three words,
Dot A U

old sailor.jpg (9366 bytes)
Mate Martin Smith relays this ships ditti.....

A young sailor (not..)

Sunday 16th July 2000 - Departing Boston
We leave to spectacular celebrations at Boston for a Tallships 'race' to Nova Scotia. This is a 'feeder' event to position the fleet in to Halifax for the start of the trans Atlantic Race.  Although its not a serious competition it is very exciting to sail in company with the whole fleet for the 400 mile 4 day passage to Canada.  It was a great atmosphere in Boston and many people came to view the ships here in Boston - this is the account of one of Soren's old friends who came to see us:

A BOSTON REUNION :         "Got a chance at a reunion over the weekend.
A lady friend of mine, back in town for the week, beckoned. So, on a beautiful Saturday morning, David (4), Rachel (2), Laurie and I set of by commuter rail from Natick, armed with stroller, back-pack, and lunch on my/our quest. Forty five minutes later we disembarked at South Station, (down-town,) (the best part of the day for the kids was that darned train ride,) and started walking towards Neptune Marina, near Pier Four, where she was staying. Got there after a walk of a mile or so only to be told that she had never checked in. Now what? Ah ha! Modern convenience alert. Using my cellular phone, unfortunately due to business always attached to my right hip, I continued the search electronically. Got an address. Other end of town. Bummer. Started walking. Hot day. Got there four miles and 1.5 hours later, no friend, no word, no clue. Real bummer. Crankiness level rising. Found a park, sat down, had lunch. Cheese and crackers, salami, Iced tea, M&M Cookies. Good stuff. (David had a nice pee in the bushes outside of FedEx's corporate head quarters.)

So we eventually resign ourselves that my much anticipated reunion was not destined to be. The day improved greatly after that. We strolled back along the water front, watching the boats in the harbour and enjoying the crowds who were enjoying the day. At the end of a long pier there was a Greek Navy Vessel that looked like it was giving tours. Anyone interested? Down the pier we went only to find the line from hell. Seems like everyone in Boston wanted on board that vessel. Forget it. Hate feeling like a sheep. Baaaaa.

Walked on around the corner and literally bumped into her. Out of the blue and totally by accident. Fate was on our side that beautiful day in Boston. God she was gorgeous. Every line, every curve brought the memories flooding back. Laurie was stunned. The kids were not sure what to do. Even with her minor face lift she was the lady of my dreams, second only to the two other lady loves of my life, Laurie and Ibu. We stood and stared at each other. Some where, a clock ticked. A dog barked. The moon rose. (Getting a bit carried away, sorry.) Then, in a daze, and still not sure if my eyes were true, I boarded her. (OK,OK, it's a family story.)

This woman friend of mine was the STS SOREN LARSEN, the tall ship that Doug and I sailed with and on for a year in Australia back in 1988. She was back in town in the company of 60 other tall ships and gosh the port of Boston was beautiful for a week. We had spent the better part of three hours searching for her, had given up, and there she was, closed to the public, all sails furled on their yards, bobbing gently along side her berth at the Fish Pier. (I had at one point even called the Coast Guard Central Command Center. Was told that she was at Neptune Marina....wrong!) 

I leaned over the railing, spied the captain, and said, "Captain Tony, Steve Strout from Australia. Permission to come aboard?"    He looked up, did a double take and responded, "Is that your family? Get over here!"   We lifted the rope off the gangway, carried the kids on board, leaving the little people who pay taxes staring at us enviously, and there we were, back in the shadow of the mighty masts and swaying halyards.

I'm still somewhat in awe of the time we spent on board. The Australian, Kiwi, British accents, the total kindness and warmth of the crew, the freedom they all gave me to re-explore that beautiful ship with my family. The last I'd seen the Soren was during her previous visit to Boston in 1992. Laurie and I were just us. To get a chance 8 years later, with my whole family, to share, not just share, to walk on, touch, feel, smell and be a part of my history, was priceless. We wandered below decks, admiring the heads and the tightness of the bunks. Rachel and David spun the wheel and imagined the pirates swarming at us from all directions. The galley was visited as well as most other nooks and crannies.

John Gryska and his wife Katie were on board as well and together we remembered the life that was ours and the incredible memories that remain. Later, as we strolled back to South Station, munching ice cream, my thoughts were thousands of miles away: manning the helm of a 140' tall ship as we made our way from Tasmania back to the Australian mainland through the Bass Straight. The wind screaming in the rigging, the valiant Soren sliding down one trough and bounding up the next, we forty humans her cargo and her trust. I was hot inside my survival suit, hood up. After half an hour or so I couldn't stand it so I removed the hood. Two minutes later, a large wave broke over us on the stern, filling my suit with frigid waters. I was no longer hot. Put the hood back on. Half an hour later I was hot and wet.

Took the hood off again. Same damn wave, laughing this time, pooped me again. "Take the wheel," I said to the nearest person sharing my watch, "I'm going below....."

Warmest Love to you all,

Steve Strout


Purser Kate Ryan's Diary Extracts of the Voyage from NY to Boston. This first hand account is Kate's personal view of the voyage

Tues 4 July New York A huge day! We are in New York on 4 July 2000! We heaved up anchor around 10.00am and joined the parade of sails into Manhattan. Tallships and navy frigates from all over the world emerged from the dense morning fog like ghost ships from another era. We had the NZ Consulate and prominent NZ business people aboard, we had a water balloon fight with the HMS Rose, which resulted in them putting their fire-hose on us. We passed the  frigate John F Kennedy with President Clinton on board. We lowered flag and t-gallant as we passed. Millions of people lined the waterfront, ferries were at their 6,000 capacity. Great atmosphere. nytimes.jpg (25989 bytes)
Berthed on Staten Island and were greeted warmly by the local wharfies and their families inviting us to a BBQ and drinks. Very funky NY accents. Had dinner and drinks on board and watched 45 minutes of fireworks display that went right up the river. It was spectacular and we had the perfect view. After this several crew members decided to hit the town and caught the free Staten Island ferry service to Downtown Manhattan. Walked Wall Street and past the World Trade Centres, found the happening street, ‘Bleeker Street’. A good night at the Peculiar Pub. Other crew members and Voyage Crew hit the local Irish pub, an early morning return.
Wed 5 July
New York
Said our farewells to Voyage Crew, sad to say goodbye to our long-time seaman Peter V, who has sailed with us since Auckland. Open ship 1.00pm to 4.00pm. Goodbye dinner for Captain Jim and Terri. Sherry and Phyllis have kindly come back and done ship–keep for us so we may all be at the restaurant. Soren made front page of the New York Times, along with the HMS Rose. Sherry shows us developed photos – very funny. Fiona donates a whole heap of stuff to the crew, including an airbed that will be well used.
Thurs 6 July
New York
Ben Poff begins scarfing the main boom. Dan sees Riverdance on Broadway on his day off! Nick and Eric drove the Staten Island ferry over to Manhattan, past the Statue of Liberty. Huge crew party put on by Opsail at the ballroom. Many navy crew from all over the world, great food, free drinks and entertainment. Met up with Steve and Fiona there.
Fri 7 July
liberty sml.jpg (2726 bytes)My Kiwi mascot went with me to Statue of Liberty, World Trade Centre, Times Square, Broadway and Central Park, where it ate nuts with the squirrels. New York is a great city with a real pulse to it. At 5.00pm we sadly farewelled Jim and Terri. Captain Tony arrived early this morning and is in high spirits. Mike went out to CBGB’s – something he has promised himself since Auckland.
Sat 8 July
New Voyage Crews join around 9.30am. We have an almost full ship. It is good to see familiar faces again: Pat & Olga, Barry, Polly, Brent, Rob, Vera, Mike, Judy, Kurt, Bill etc. Today is the beginning of International Frigate week (or something similar). We watch a Harrier jet hover above an aircraft carrier and do a 360° turn and fly backwards. Lots of stealth bombers and military airforce about. OpSail Liaison officers Jane Byrd along with Steve helped let our lines off and waved us goodbye. New Vcrew Scott is highly enthusiastic over the water bombing of ships! We are getting better at aiming now.
Sun 9 July & Mon 10 July
OpSail New London
Overnight sail. Arrived at New London in the morning. A quaint little town with a railway station and lots of English looking brick building. We are a couple of days early for the official OpSail event here but we were greeted by Channel 3 Connecticut News. Mike and I were interviewed. Poor Pat was captured as he came out of the shower and put on an interview in the saloon. Barry and Polly had all the rellies over! One huge Milne reunion! Jim and Joyce had their family bring 7 month daughter Angelica down. ADan bow small.jpg (4763 bytes) very cute baby who had an outfit with Soren Larsen, New Zealand embroidered on the collar! Scott and Kurt did a fantastic job at selling the ship for us.
Dan was interviewed by a good looking reporter. He went the colour of beetroot! Liaison officers: Sean and Hal were extremely helpful. THANKS! We made the midday, 6.00 o’clock and 10.00 o’clock news! STARS!
opsail newlnd.jpg (9536 bytes)

Images of Soren Larsen in New London at OpSail CT 2000: Photos thanks to Harold Robbopsail Ct.jpg (8982 bytes)

Tues 11 July Left early. Beautiful dear day. Dodged thousands of crayfish pots. Had a really good sail, approximately 6-7 knots towards Cape Cod Canal. Anchored off Wings Cove.
Wed 12 July Went through Cape Cod Canal. Strange to be at the same level as a cyclist – who went past us! Anchored at Broad Sound, just before Boston.
Thurs 13 July Boston Arrive in Boston. We are berthed at the World Trade Centre Pier (East) next to an Irish Frigate! Could be dangerous – according to Todd they have 25 tonnes of Guinness on board! Niagara has pulled in as well!

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Friday 14th July - Sail Boston
The ship has arrived in Boston, MA to take part in the Tallships 2000 Sail Boston festivities.
Since leaving New York we have enjoyed very pleasant but all to brief stop in New London, before sailing through the Cape Cod Canal and across the Bay into Boston.  Wonderful to see old friends here including ex Bosun and 2nd Mate John Gryska. As always in port the ship is busy with work being done on the boom and on our communications equipment. 
There's public open days over the week end, fireworks Saturday night and on Sunday afternoon we sail down the harbour, salute the USS Constitution and join the Tallships race to Halifax NS.
We sail out of the city centre at lunchtime and the race start is at 4pm. Some time in between you may see the ships on the Boston  webcam at and click on their Logan Airport Cam and Narragansett Bay Cam.

Sunday 9th July
Departed  N.Y. on the 8th and enjoyed a good passage via East River and a moonlight sail,
Sailing conditions good off Long Island Sound. We anchored off New London, home of the US Coastguard at 2000 hours with our ETA on the berth 0800 Monday.  During Monday we plan tours to Mystic Seaport Museum for the voyage crew and we aim to depart 0600 on Tuesday the 11th in order to make our appointment with Sail Boston.

nytimes.jpg (25989 bytes)Saturday 8th July 2000 - New York
The Voyage Crew for our next leg of our journey have arrived and Soren Larsen is preparing to sail from her berth Staten Island in N.Y. Harbour. Captain Jim Cottier and wife Terri leave the ship here and owner/Master Tony Davies has arrived from Auckland to take over the skipper's cabin.

     The ship will sail to New London and spend Sunday night/ Monday there before sailing on to the Sail Boston celebrations. Soren Larsen was mentioned in reports of the 4th of July Parade of Sail on NZ radio and TV but we were pleased to see she also made the front page of the New York Times on the 5th July -

thanks to past (and future) Voyage Crew Ed Slaughter for sending us this picture of her on the parade in company with 'HMS' Rose.



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South Pacific 99 Voyage Log

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Last Updated 17 April  2002