La Malouine visits St. Maarten/St. MartinPOSTED: 03/19/12 12:31 PM
GREAT BAY – The “Pirates of the Caribbean” style brigantine tall ship La Malouine from St. Malo in France came on a week visit to St. Maarten/St. Martin before sailing back across the Atlantic to Europe. The vessel was constructed in 1969 in Gdansk, Poland and transformed according to plans made by Dutch naval architect Oliver Van Meer to a Brigantine sailboat in 1992.
During the last 18 years, the vessel has done charters along the coasts of Sweden and Finland. As from 2010 La Malouine is doing charters in France and will depart in June for an arctic voyage to Spitzberg, close to the North Pole. From there the vessel will do 10 day charters every two weeks to visit the icebergs and glaciers. Seventy percent of the land at Spitzberg consists of glaciers.
The vessel sailed to the Caribbean some months ago and has been doing completely sold out kite surf charters in the Grenadines during the months of January and February. The owner and association of the vessel La Malouine are now considering to come back next season and work out of St. Martin to do kite surf charters from here and out of Martinique in the low season.
Talks with the Caribbean Sail Training Association have opened possibilities for the ship to take two local Caribbean students as trainees on board each time when the ship will sail out of the island on a voyage from the end of December. If final talks result in the tall ship indeed coming back, youngsters from St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barth’s, Saba, St. Eustatius, Anguilla and other islands will again have a chance to sail along on those trips in the Leewards and Virgin Islands with all costs covered by the Caribbean Sail Training Association.
The association will have more than 15 member vessels sailing around in the Caribbean next season and around fifty tall ships and other vessels in total including in Europe and the United States of America, on which Caribbean youth can have trainee positions.