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Our First Time on a Tallship

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

We went to the 20th Wilhemshaven Cup!

What an unforgetable day!

After almost 8 hours of drive, we were very tired when we arrived at Wilhemshaven, on the evening of September 30th.

However, as soon as one of the friendly crew members of Artemis showed us our cabin, we were fully recharged and abolutely excited.

We couldn`t believe our eyes! We were finally inside of a Tallship!

It was a dream coming true!

The truth is that (as we tell in our latest blog post) we applied for the Enkhuizener Zeevaartschool to study Traditional Navigation, without ever sailing or even stepping on such a big ship. All we knew was our past experience aboard Mintaka, our 33 feet sailboat, where we lived over the last 4 years sailing the coast of Brazil. But to be honest, for someone who sails Tallships, I guess Mintaka is comparible to an Optimist*.

It sounds absolutely insane, but this is what I call "the power of dreaming".

Yes, dreams! Not the ones we have once we sleep, but the thoughts we create in the present, to imagine our desired future. Made by thoughts, dreaming is the first seed of the power of creating our reality and manifesting everything we truly believe and act towards.

A simple thought a few years ago of us sailing the world on a big pirate ship, combined with a good amount of commitment and hard work, brought us here!

Right before stepping on the ship, we said to each other:

It will either be a "Oh shit, that was a stupid mistake" or a "Hell yeah!! That`s exactly what we want!"

Our first hour aboard the beautiful Artemis, from the Tallship Company

Guess what was our reaction?


"Well well, let`s go easy on that. Let`s get ourselves some rest and see how we feel tomorrow, once this ship is actually sailing." - I thought to myself.

We woke up the next day with a slight hangover (too much excitement sometimes comes along with one or two beers too much), but VERY excited for our first time sailing a Tallship.

We wouldn`t be the ones sailing, of course, but we would for sure watch every move carefully and participate in anything that we could be in good help.

Let`s set sail!

The start of the race

The very first moment that the Artemis turned the motor on and left the harbour, I was already euphoric.

But when the captain turned the motor off, with the sails up (I counted 11, from a total of 17), and we were sailing with that magic huge mothership, I was in ecstasy.



Artemis sailing

And also somehow overwhelmed by so many new information! So many ropes, so many sails, so many people aboard! Remember: we were used to sail just the two of us, managing only two sails. Easy peasy.

Our dream got bigger, and not only the size of the boat grew exponentially, but the amount of challenges aswell.

Shit, so many ropes!

For about one hour or so, Artemis was sailing beautifully.

But then, as impermanent as nature is, a squall came and we had to put most of the sails down. That is not an easy task, though.

People running, captain giving instructions, the first mate and the deckhand moving fast, doing many things at once and asking more people to help pull the sails down - yes, it is fucking heavy and you need a few people and lots of human power to do that.

Christof and I were trying to help, whenever possible.

Work, work, work

Adrenaline, cold, rain, wind, thunderstorm.

That was fuc*ing EXCITING!

Check it out:

Nice heeling

The only video I managed to record during the squall

As fast as it came, the squall was gone. The regatta was cancelled. All the ships went back to the harbour.

It was definitely a "Hell Yeah! We want more of that!"

Good we are going to the school though, because there is a LOT to learn and MANY miles to sail before we even think about buying our next ship.

But for now, since we were in that beautiful event at Wilhelmshaven, with so many Tallship around us, we decided to go visit all of them and fill ourselves with some extra inspiration!

It was time for the Open Ship inspiration day!!

Here are a few of the ships we visited:

Artemis: The triple masted barque Artemis was built in Norway in 1926 as a whaler. She then served as a freighter transporting goods between Asia and South-America. Since 2001 the Artemis returned to sail in european waters, honouring the great maritime tradition of the Netherlands.

Twister: originally built in 1902 with the purpose to transport fish between boats and the harbour. To ensure the fish remained fresh, Twister was built and rigged for speed.

In 1998 she was transformed into a luxury passenger vessel. Renovated again in 2012, she was updated with all new safety features/equipment and all the modern comforts you could possibly want from a charter vessel.

Avatar: Avatar was built in 1941 in Wolgast, Germany, as a KFK Kotter under number 401. In 2010 André Hanzens bought the ship and rebuilt her as topsail schooner. Like Twister, the Avatar is completely refurbished as a luxury sailing ship with the charm and elegance of a yacht. She is put into service in March 2014.

Stortemelk: Was launched as a fishing boat in 1961 and converted into an elegant, fast and safe sailing schooner in 1992, being able to sail in worldwide waters.

Abel Tasman: a two-masted schooner, built in 1913 at the Pattje shipyard in Waterhuizen (NL) for sailing cargo voyages on the North and Baltic Seas. In the winter of 1989 the ship was converted into a comfortable charter ship, and in 1998 the ship got its name Abel Tasman.

Zephyr: was built in the Netherlands and launched in 1931 as Motor Galjas under the beautiful name "BENTE". Jan (current owner/Captain) and his partner radically renovated the ship in 1994/95 and from April 1996 she went on beautiful sailing trips with guests in Northern Europe under the name "ZEPHYR".

If you want to read more about all the ships that participated on the Wilhelmshaven 20th Cup, click here.

That was a wonderful start of our new sailing chapter! A good taste of what is coming next!

We arrived in Enkhuizen are ready to start school!

Next post soon about what exactly we will study and do in this cute town called Enkhuizen


Keep your eyes and heart open! :)

* Optimist: a small, single-handed sailing dinghy intended for use by young people up to the age of 15

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