The three masted German merchant navy ship, the Gorch Fock, made its first stop in Martinique at Fort de France between May 16 and 22, after a transatlantic crossing. After a press conference on the 16th, this magnificent vessel opened its doors to the public and welcomed pupils from the different Lycees on the island as well as the children from the Ruche Orphinage and the Foyer l’Esperance.
Training of sailors is a tradition that goes back to the 19th century in Germany, from whence came this great training ship (the sixth of a series) built in Hamburg in 1958. Based at the port of Kiel on the Baltic Sea, it serves as a training ship where officers and petty officers from the German Merchant Navy receive theoretical and practical training. Equipped with the most modern technology in communications and radar, it manages to focus on the sail and helm maneuvers which require a great deal of hands. This 89-meter ship can take 230 crew, including 75 permanent and 12 officers.
This warship under sail but without arms crosses the seas with one mission : peace. It is an ambassador for the Federal Republic of Germany. It is also included in the big races, including the Columbus Regatta, and the Cutty Sark Tall Ship Races. Leaving Kiel on the 26th March, it is now heading for the States and Canada, after stops at Portugal, Spain and Martinique, and will take part in the Sail America 400 Regatta and the Tall Ships Challenge between Newport and Halifax, before returning to Germany at Christmas.