Tall Ship Extends Ocean City Stay; 30-Day Sailing Training Program Offered

Tall Ship Extends Ocean City Stay; 30-Day Sailing Training Program Offered
Photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY — Those who have not yet visited or toured the replica tall ship El Galeon Andalucia, moored along the bayside bulkhead between 3rd and 4th Street for much of August, will have a few more days as the vessel has extended its stay in Ocean City until at least Wednesday.

The 170-foot, 495-ton replica tall ship arrived in Ocean City on Aug. 11, making its majestic passage through the Inlet and up the bay through the Route 50 drawbridge to its mooring along the bayside bulkhead at 3rd Street. In the weeks since, El Galeon has hosted hundreds of visitors for daily tours, receptions and other events.

It was scheduled to depart for Spain on Monday, the final leg of its 2017 tour, but because of anticipated tidal issues, El Galeon will remain in Ocean City until Wednesday, weather permitting. The tall ship will remain open for tours on Monday and Tuesday before its scheduled departure on Wednesday afternoon.

This year’s visit to Ocean City is the third in five years for El Galeon and it’s always special when the tall ship arrives and departs through the narrow drawbridge with little room to spare and out the Inlet. Its departure on Wednesday is set for a window between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., depending on the weather and the tide.

For those who don’t want to simply tour the vessel at port in Ocean City, El Galeon is offering the chance of a lifetime for those with the time and desire, and perhaps the money, to do so. El Galeon’s ownership group, NAO Victoria Foundation, is offering a trainee program that will allow some aspiring sailors to sail with the vessel on its final leg from Ocean City to Spain.

Participants will have the opportunity to sail aboard El Galeon and experience life at sea aboard the 16th century replica. Trainees will learn the ropes, so to speak, from the professional crew and share in the day-to-day responsibilities on the ship. Trainees will learn a variety of sailing techniques, including participating on the watches from the bridge, sail maneuvers, woodwork, docking and more. Sailing experience is not a prerequisite as participants will learn all they need to know through sailing workshops on board.

The return journey to Spain will take an estimated 30 days. Positions in the training program are limited and there is a cost associated although the terms are negotiable with the crew. In addition, trainees would also have to make their own arrangements for a return from Spain. For more information, visit www.fundacionnaovictoria.org or contact Ulises Custodio at Ulises@fundacionnaovictoria.org.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.