Oude Haven, Rotterdam
World Harbour Days Since our rowing race the other day, the Word Harbour Days festival has kicked off in earnest with events and ships marking the celebration of this, the worlds biggest port. In the Oude Haven, there is a big collection of traditional ships, which extends further into the Haringvliet as well. Barges, yachts, steam launches and tugs are all here, most dressed overall in flags. Out in the main harbour, all sorts of vessels can be seen ú Naval vessels, supply ships, survey ships, freighters, barges, floating cranes, ferries, sailing vessels, yachts, tugs, launches, speedboats ú the list is endless. The noise of aircraft is continuous with Navy Orion parol aircraft frequently swooping past overhead and Navy helicopters putting on some impressive displays of their manoeuvrability, climbing, diving and banking sharply at low altitudes over the harbour. All along the waterfront are numerous stalls with crafts, traditional and nautical antiques, food and drink in abundance, company promotions, Navy and Marine recruitment ú again the variety goes on and on. After some very quiet days this week, Duyfken is very busy too with a steady stream of visitors both to the ship and to the winkle (About the only Dutch word I have learnt ú the shop) Some heavy rain in the afternoon as a SWïly change came through slowed it up a little but if tomorrow continues busy then we may finish the tour with a bit of a bang. The rain is somewhat unfortunate though, it means all the rigging is now soaking wet, just in time for us to begin rigging down on Monday. Most of the Duyfken crew attended an important event this morning, the stepping of the stern post of the Delft replica. You may remember Duyfken visited the Delft back in May (seems like a lifetime ago now) and at the time she was just a keel. At 1100 this morning the towering oak stern post was unveiled and lower gently into its mortice and tenon joint at the aft end of the keel. It was an honour to be invited to the event and I told them I would bring Duyfken back to be her escort when she sets off on her first voyage. That would be quite a sight, our little yacht leading a great ship-of-the-line to sea. Quiet days for the crew now, little point in doing a great deal of maintenance, and everyone is gearing themselves up for the hectic pace that will take place from Monday as we begin the de-commissioning process. Our last day of exhibition tomorrow.
Master - Duyfken