Invited by the Curaçao Sail Foundation, the historic sailing training ship of the Uruguayan Navy: Velero Escuela “Capitán Miranda” visited Curaçao from May 7-10 on her way from Puerto la Cruz in Venezuela to Santo Domingo. The 2008 training trip of this 64 m three-master staysail schooner started in the home port of Montevideo on April 2 and will end on November 2, after seven months and 25 port calls in 16 different countries in the Americas and Europe.
Curaçao happened to be the first Caribbean port call for Captain Eduardo Franco and his 12 officers, 42 enlisted personnel, four guests, and 34 midshipmen finishing their navy education. After the Dominican Republic the journey continued to Cuba and the Bahamas. In Curaçao, the tall ship generously granted local people from all ages to come on board and have a look inside. The crew kindly answered all questions and showed many youngsters around. Furthermore the program included courtesy visits to the authorities on the island, a reception for VIP’s, a dance fiesta on the dock and a friendly football match, which was won by the guests. Many of the crew vowed to return, either by air or commanding their own ship!
The “V/E Capitán Miranda” has served her nation’s Navy for three decades. She was built in 1930 as a hydrographic vessel. As such she carried out an extensive activity, performing countless cartographical surveys which were, and still are, highly useful to seafarers. In 1977 the vessel was transformed into a sailing training ship. The old hydrographic ship became a long three-mast schooner, fitted with Marconi rigging, and was named after Captain Francisco Miranda (1869-1925) who was a bright professional as well as exceptional teacher at the naval academy.