Captain Jean-Pierre Boin took leave of the Belem on June 1st after a final station as her appointed Commander. Five years ago, after a brilliant career in the French Navy, where, amongst other responsibilities, he was Captain of the Navy's school-ship “L'Etoile”, Jean-Pierre Boin took on the multifunctional job of commanding the Belem during part of her summer season (alternating with acting Commanders Pery and Morzadec), teaching thousands of trainees the rules and traditions of tall ship sailing, and taking a very active part in the numerous activities organised by the Belem Foundation to promote the ship and French maritime heritage. Captain Boin will now be pursuing other professional perspectives : everyone at the Foundation will miss him but wishes him the greatest success in his new ventures.
Being such a popular and well-loved ship, the Belem can also be effective when it comes to boosting public awareness of environmental problems. For instance, on June 5th, International Environment Day, the Belem was in Nantes, hosting the “Childrens' appeal for environment” prize bestowed to a local school class on behalf of the Caisse d'Epargne des Pays de la Loire and the WWF. Just as importantly, the Belem itself has been one of the first ships of its kind to conform to the Marpol Convention against marine pollution : a selective waste disposal system is applied on board and in 2005 a new waste water processing station was installed in accordance with the very highest standards of marine protection.
The Belem will, once again, be taking part in “Bordeaux fête le Fleuve”, one of several spectacular events organised this summer in Bordeaux : the ship will be anchored at one of the central keys, in front of the Stock Exchange from June 17th to 24th. She will be open to public visits on a daily basis and, at the National Customs Museum, a special exhibition will put on show a series of the original drawings by Jean-Yves Delitte of the album “Belem-Le Temps des Naufrageurs”.
In July, the Belem will be part of another maritime event : “Les fêtes de la Mer” in Boulogne.
Anybody interested in sailing aboard the Belem this season should know that there are still a few possibilities in September. For further information, click here