The thing about a new arrival at Gloucester Docks is that you can generally spot it from some distance. So it was with the latest visitor – a celebrity tall ship who’s starred in too many films to list but includes Shackleton, Amazing Grace and the Three Musketeers.
There’s something about tall ships in Gloucester Docks that I find irresistible. It’s like walking into one of those old sepia prints of the docks at the turn of the century 20th century.
The docks has been restored, tarted up and in some places ruined but that iconic view of the old grain warehouses with the wonderful Cathedral tower visible between them, still remains. All that’s needed to complete the picture of 1890’s is a flotilla of tall ships.
The Kaskelot was in the filled “dry dock” basin of Tommy Nielson’s Yard yesterday. The company makes bespoke narrow boats but restores and refurbs any manner of craft so some fascinating clients sail into the docks from the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal.
My snaps really don’t do her justice. The Kaskelot is magnificent, built in 1948 for the Royal Greenland Trading Company to ply the waters of northern Greenland, she also did service around the Faroe Islands. Thirty-two years ago she was redesigned and re-rigged as a 19th century three-masted barque. She’s one of the largest wooden ships still in commission.
This is her in full sail.
I hope she’ll remain in Gloucester Docks for the Tall Ships Festival at the end of May.