On Monday 7th August The Christian Radich opened up her decks to the public, so my daughter Naomi and I went along for a visit, we were not to be disappointed.
The Christian Radich is a Norwegian sailing ship with full rigging, which was built as a training vessel in 1937 at the Framnæs Mech yard, Sandefjord Norway. It was initially built to train merchant seamen and until 2015 still did so in the winter months. In the summer months it opens up to the paying public, offering an opportunity to young and old alike to experience life on the ocean wave aboard this most wondrous of ships.
It offers training in traditional sailing skills such as steering, sail maneuvers, safety and fire patrols not to mention honing your knot making skills at every available opportunity, often when the seas are calm or you are in port. On board the trainees learn to work as a team and are encouraged but not forced to work the rigs. We were lucky enough to see some trainees running up the rigs to carry out essential maintenance, not for the faint of heart.
It has a capacity for 80 trainees under the supervision of approximately 18 crew and can often have multiple countries represented on board at any one time, in fact it once had 18 countries during one particular leg, ensuring trainees should leave their adventure with a truly International feel.
We were given access to sections of 3 decks and what a delight it was to wander around this magnificent ship, even if negotiating the steep stairs was made all the more challenging by my silliness in wearing a skirt, but I managed and it was well worth the jiggery pokery involved. It has to be said that throughout our visit we were rather envious of the crew as everywhere we turned we were met by the delightful aroma of curry, presumably a feast to be enjoyed once we had all disembarked.
The ship itself is a full rigged, 3 masted, 27 sail, work of art, 73m in length, 37.70m high with a depth of 4.70m and a beam of 9.70m. It has a speed capacity of 10 knots under engine power and an impressive 14 knots when under wind power. To see it whipping through the oceans shall need to be a joy for another day.
On this day however it was great to participate in the Christian Radich’s open event, along with a great many other people, from wee tots to their parents and grandparents, who all had a few things in common, rosy cheeks, smiles and a sparkle to the eye which is often brought about by the sheer exhilaration of being up close to what can only be described as a feat of outstanding Norwegian engineering, that has quite literally stood the test of time.
A wee video of our day can be seen here.
NB There are still a few places left on board this summer if this wee article has piqued your interest.
Phone: 22 47 82 70
Fax: 22 47 82 71