There was a study in contrasts off Penarth late this afternoon as the square-rigged sail-training ship “Stavros S Niarchos” – bound for Cardiff – and the tanker “Bro Developer” heading for Pembroke, passed each other off Penarth Pier .
Both ships are well known in these waters .The 11,000-ton Bro Developer – registered in Copenhagen regularly ferries petrol and diesel fuel to Cardiff from the refineries at Milford Haven.
The brig-rigged tall ship Stavros S Niarchos was also making a return trip to Cardiff where she calls in twice a year .
The ship caters for all ages – including mature people who want to experience a voyage under sail This 635-ton square-rigger is owned and operated by the Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT) and provides young people with the opportunity to undertake “character-building” voyages under sail.
She also provides holidays afloat for a more mature clientele. The ship is 195 feet long and has a crew of complement of 67 on board 48 of whom are trainees or guests.
Stavros S Niarchos may look as if she’s sailed here out of a previous century but in fact she was launched just 16 years ago . Built on traditional lines she can reach a top speed of 14 knots under sail.
…And as the big blue tanker passed the classic sailing ship there was comradely mariner’s salute – and an echo, on the VHF radio, of the next line of Longfellow’s famous poem …“So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another” .