Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Colombian Tall Ship - 27 July 2013

My boys did not even know where's Colombia! Daddy told them it's named after Christopher Columbus (though he never set foot in Colombia), they guessed it's in South America. They've surely heard of the Brazilian football, but not much from that continent. Then we heard the ARC Gloria, one of the world's biggest tall ships, which is a training vessel from the Colombian navy arriving at Port Klang, and we're one of the early birds to visit it.

Such a beauty! This 3-masted ship came a LONG way, from Cartagena in Colombia via the Panama canal. So the boys also learnt about this awesome waterway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The Armada Republica de Colombia (ARC) "Gloria" had its 1st stop in Hawaii before the grand tour to Asia. 

First time in Asia and it's our privilege that it docked at SouthPoint in Port Klang!

It took them about 2 months to reach our shore. 

Setting foot on the Colombian ship.

The ARC Gloria is manned by about 160 crew, comprising cadets and ship officers. It's in its 45 years of service but everything onboard was in tip top condition. We could see no obvious signs of wear and tear.

Awesome masts. We're told that it takes 24 crew to man the main mast alone!

The bridge of a ship is a very important room from which the ship can be commanded. So many interesting stuff here - the control console, radar, binoculars, sound pipes, GPS, the helm and the captain's chair as well. This is the 1st time the boys boarded a real working ship besides the usual ferries or leisure boats.

Mr Daniel Romero led us in a tour of the ship. We're quite fascinated at the way the crew is signalling with one another which is unique to individual ship, using the seaman's whistle. Daniel told us that they've access to internet through the satellites, and even play soccer on board.

Learning the ropes involves handling and storing ropes, tying knots, mooring and anchoring. The seaman's life is not always exciting as we read in novels, but these tasks are very important to navigation.

The ship was named after the wife of the then Colombian Defence Minister.

Touching the bow, the front part of the ship.....

and the stern, all the way at the back.

A little peek into the kitchen, and classic roast chicken for dinner!!

From Malaysia, it will sail to Singapore and Bangkok, before continuing to Hong Kong, South Korea and the last Asia's stop in Japan. All in all, this round the world tour will take about 7 months and it's expected to be back in Colombia by early December.

Brandon's first few attempts to draw the sailing ship after the visit!

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