On Friday January 22, our Tenerife office was delighted to consign the Dutch schooner Oosterschelde. With almost a hundred years of sailing it’s among those special ships that makes special the naval history and brings out the most romantic part that has this profession.
Built in 1918 at the request of the company H.A.A.S from Rotterdam, this schooner with 3 masts spent much of his life sailing through northern Europe, mainly through the Baltic Sea, but also sailed by the coasts of Europe and, frequently, the African coast and the Mediterranean. As a cargo ship, the Oosterschelde transported hundreds of tons of cargo, such as clay, brick and wood, as well as salted herring, bran, potatoes, stalk and bananas. But the time passes for everyone, and at one time the most modern nautical turned into an old treasure in an expensive antique to maintain.
In 1988 the schooner was bought to restore it and bring back the splendour of the past, saving the ship to a tragic end to be part of the history books. The restoration process was a major investment, and for this reason the Rotterdam Sailboats Foundation was established in order to promote this restoration through advertising media and trough fundraising. The restoration lasted four years of which the first two years were for the historical research and fundraising while the works were executed in collaboration with three maritime museums and several specialized technical offices, occupied the other two years. The ship was officially launched by Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet on August 21, 1992.
Nowadays the ship sails as an historical ship, besides serving as floating embassy for the city of Rotterdam. In foreign ports, the charming and romantic design of the schooner can be hired for presentations, conferences and various kinds ofevents.
The ship will sail again on the 23rd January with destination to Martinique (Caribbean). Goodbye by now but we hope that we can enjoy soon in the Canarian ports of this beautiful schooner.
Image by VollwertBIT – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5