May I say what a pleasure it is that at long last have a vessel of interest upon to write that came alongside for just a short time in the middle of May.

This is a reproduction Galleon, named ‘El Galeon Andalucia’ and I had the pleasure of visiting it on Thursday 13th May, firstly viewing from seaward, courtesy of ‘Barco Turistico’ crewed by the three professional and well trained personnel.

If readers are not familiar with this, it is one of two craft operating entirely different facilities for touring Cartagena harbour. Brief details given here:  

From adjacent to the cruise terminal, giving a recorded historical commentary throughout, this vessel stops off at Fuerte de Navidad allowing passengers to alight if they wish to do so. You can tour this Fort on foot and arrange to be collected when the touring craft returns on the following round trip within an hour approximately.

The boat continues passage briefly beyond the harbour entrance offering splendid coastline views in both directions. Cargo berths at Escombreras can be seen; largely oil and gas tanker facilities. On this trip there were several ships within these facilities including a large oil drilling rig and what is believed to be a recent fire-damaged animal transporter. Both vessels were on lay-up.

Subsequently returning to the harbour, viewing several other types of vessel/cargo facilities, we had an excellent view of El Galeon. This ship is mainly sail-operated at sea, but for convenience and manoeuvrability and where limited wind conditions apply, it is motorised. Due to not observing this vessel under sail, I purchased a post card shown here which depicts the amount of sail available under normal operating conditions.

Not to make this contribution too boring possibly for many, with permission granted,  I will complete my Galleon tour within the July Chronicle. Furthermore certain companies are operating non-visiting Port type cruises enjoying on-board facilities including food and entertainment while at sea for a small number of days.

In the short term at least, there appears to be no cruise vessels scheduled, but later in the year hopefully there will be ‘action’ to report.