Saturday, February 5, 2011

Juan Sebastian de Elcano comes to the Zattere

I was up before dawn to get over to the Zattere
to see the Spanish Training ship which sailed into Venice Friday afternoon.
Down at the Rialto I caught the vaporetto to the Accademia 

where it is short run over to the Giudecca canal and the Zattere, where the sun was scrapping the tops of buildings.

Walking west along the grand fondamenta della Zattere I caught a glimpse.

A little more than a glimpse, this ship is large.  113 Meters long with a beam of 13.2 meters.  48 meters tall.
I was in a rush to see the boat, and also to catch the early morning light, but it was overcast all day.  There were a few breaks in the clouds...  

Looking east, the sun is breaking through low clouds and the Zattere is still quiet.  The Elcano, as the crew calls her, is tied up to a floating dock attached to the Zattere for the modern purpose of extended stay.  In earlier days ships would be tied right to those marble bollards which are all along the Quay.

I got closer, but the pier was closed off till 10, when she was open for tours.

From the stern with the Giudecca on the other side of the canal.

The foredeck was busy in an orderly shiplike way.  Radar, communications, windless and those bow chasers...later, I realized that these guns were to shoot a heaving line to a dock or another ship.  Probably would not be welcome in many ports with bow chasers...

And the figurehead, elegant in a bronze-gold finish.

Then I noticed...

...that the jack was in place, it was 8 AM and the crew had placed it silently .

I had 2 hours to wait before the escorted tours began, so I wandered back to Rio Trovaso to check out the gondola shop, and catch a little breakfast.

As I went around the corner...ah!  Venezia!  Truly a view from the past.

Looking aft from the foredeck,
 She looks at home along this 500 year old quay.

Hoops, necessary on sailing ships, these are over a meter in diameter.

The Elcano was built in Cadiz, Spain and launched in 1927.  She carries out 6 month training cruises and has  circumnavigated the globe 10 times.  Named for Juan Sebastian de Elcano, the navigator for Magellan, who successfully made his way back to Spain, she is the pride of the Armada EspaƱola

This Commandantesseini was working on a mutiny 'till subdued with a cioccolato.

I went back to mia casa with fond memories:

And the thought that I would need to add an additional chapter to my projected
four  VeneziaMarina topics:  A fantastic ship arrives!


  1. Beneath the bronze-gold figurehead, her noble Dolphin striker and supporting martingale rigging complete the picture against the tinted pink gray Venetian sky. A stately ship, indeed.