Soon, the Armada!

vendredi, 24 mai 2013 17:01
"The Crew" singing on the Belem deck in Cowes

Heading for France with the sound of music still echoing in her sails, Belem left her erstwhile haven of Cowes, on the Isle of Wight on May 13th after three days of warm welcomes, enjoyable encounters and a splendid demonstration of sea shanties by the crew… sorry ”The Crew” that really had them all singing on the decks! This Sunday musical interlude on board was due to the clever thinking of Barry Seaward, whose grandfather Mark was First Mate on board the three –master when she belonged to Sir Arthur Ernest Guinness, sailing under the name of Fantôme II and the colours of the Cowes Royal Yacht Squadron. As a member of the sea shanty band known as “The Crew” he had this brilliant idea of having them perform on board Belem, to the keen pleasure of all concerned, including the real-life crew, the trainees and the crowd of local visitors.

This latter part of May has Belem now heading for Ouistreham, then Dunkirk where several days of celebrations and events known as “L’Escale à Dunkerque” await her. And then… Normandy! Rouen and the 6th “The Armada / Sails of Freedom” for ten whole days at the heart of France’s greatest and most beautiful maritime event. Our venerable three master will be joining some fifty vessels – tall ships, sailing ships, warships - from all over the world on June the 6th, unforgettable anniversary of the Normandy Landing of 1944. Millions of visitors are expected, several hundreds of whom will be welcomed aboard Belem from Friday June 7th to Saturday June 15th (Friday 14th excepted). Visits will be free, as is usual during the Armada. There will be games, marches, music, fireworks, races and to top it all, the grand finale i.e. the Grand Parade of all the ships down the Seine from Rouen to the sea. A magnificent spectacle for the thousands of spectators lining the banks of the great river. > Click here (en français)


And last but certainly not least, a word about Belem’s trip down memory lane to Venice next year. Things are taking shape: it is programmed for Easter and may well be followed by a journey along the coast of Croatia right down to Athens then Crete… Interesting, n’est ce pas? Stay tuned for further details soon…


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