The tall ship, Tecla, came though the Caledonian Canal Canal today, 19th April 2016 [and a lovely sharp bright day pointed by snow on the tops of the Nevis range], down the locks to Corpach and out into Loch Linnhe – caught in transit by the expert camera of Martin Briscoe.
She’s on her way to Oban to pick up her paying guests who will crew her on a six day sailing tour through the Sound of Mull, round Ardnamurchan Point to the Small Isles, on to Skye and then to Ullapool
An attractive two-master carrying a surprising amount of sail when fully rigged, Tecla has become something of a darling of Tall Ships race circuit in different waters of the world.
She was built in Vlaardingen in the Netherlands as a fishing boat – named Graaf van Limburg Stirum – in 1915, at the start of World War 1, which she survived. Originally designed with wind propulsion only, she and her like were overtaken by the appearance of the marine diesel engine.
In 1935 she was sold to Denmark, renamed Marie, and put in another working life into the 1970s as a cargo vessel in the Baltic. At some stage during this period, she registered at Allborg and was renamed Tecla.
Then in 1985 she was brought back to her home country and refitted as a sailing yacht for charter – launching in this guise in 1989 and retaining the name Tecla.
After her six day cruise north out of Oban, departing the beautiful Argyll waterside town on Monday 25th April, Tecla is remaining in Scottish west coast waters for a further two to three weeks, visiting the Outer Hebrides and hoping to go out to St Kilda. She will have three more crews paying to join her for what will be three more cruises, the last a 21 days trip out of Ullapool for Iceland, via St Kilda, North Rona and the Flannan Isles.
After that, she’ll be in Icelandic waters until well into August.
Anyone in Oban over the next few days should be able to catch sight of her there.
Note: Those watching the Weather forecast at the end of BBC Scotland’s Six o’clock news tonight, 19th April, will have caught sight of Martim Briscoe’s photograph of Tecla in the basin at Corpach, as she made her way down to Loch Linnhe. All photographs accompanying this article are © Martin Briscoe.