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Subject: [CORNISH] Penzance tall ship - The Times
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2008 23:19:29 -0500

Thought this might be of interest - even if it's modern day news. It's always
amazing how everything 'new' is actually old, and the old ways weren't always
bad. Perhaps Falmouth will become a major shipping port once again, as the harbour
hasn't changed, has it? Still a great anchorage for sailing ships?


>From today's The Times:

A British schooner docked in Penzance yesterday carrying 30,000 bottles of
wine on a voyage that enthusiasts believe will herald a return to wind
power in merchant shipping.

The first commercial cargo of French wine to be transported by sail in the
modern era is due in Dublin this week after a six-day journey, which is
being touted as a green and ultimately cheap alternative to fuel

The 108-year-old, wooden, triple-masted Kathleen & May has been chartered
by the Compagnie de Transport Maritime à la Voile (CTMV), a shipping
company established in France to specialise in merchant sailing. “This is
beyond anybody's dreams,” said Steve Clarke, the owner of the Kathleen &
May, which was built in 1900 in Ferguson and Baird's yard at Connah's Quay
near Chester.

“When I bought this boat in 1966 it was going to be cut up with chainsaws.
Nobody ever imagined it would ever sail again.” He said that amid high
fuel costs and concern over carbon emissions, commercial sailing ships
could have a future. “I think they might have hit on something.”

Frédéric Albert, a former French radio journalist who founded CTMV this
year, agreed. “We are the only firm in Europe doing this and the level of
interest in our project has far exceeded our expectations,” he told The
Times. “A lot of big companies have contacted us.”

His initial contract is with 80 vineyard owners from the
Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France to carry their bottles to
Ireland on the tall ship. CTMV is finalising another deal to bring Irish
whiskey and Scotch back to France by sail, Mr Albert said.

The Kathleen & May, which spent most of its working life transporting coal
and clay before being taken out of commercial service in 1960, left Brest
in Brittany last Friday and spent yesterday in Penzance to be inspected by
British customs officers.

It travels at a top speed of eight knots, about half as fast as a modern
cargo vessel. Its supporters say that it is pollution-free - unlike almost
all the other 50,000 merchant ships in the world, which emit 800 million
tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

“Originally this was intended as an ecological project enabling producers
to put a label on their goods saying they had been moved by a clean means
of transport,” said Mr Albert.

“But it could become economically interesting as well given the high price
of fuel.” He said CTMV had chartered five sailing ships to transport
products such as Fairtrade coffee, jam and alcoholic drinks. “We are 5 per
cent more expensive than standard merchant shipping companies at the
moment. But we are going to build our own ships and when they enter
service, we will be cheaper.” His initiative comes with the French
Association of Shipowners predicting that wind-powered vessels could
capture 0.5 per cent of the commercial shipping market, which transports
90 per cent of the world's traded goods.

Trouble at sea

— The International Maritime Organisation said this year that carbon
pollution from the world's merchant fleet had reached 1.1billion tonnes -
three times greater than previously thought

— Nearly 4.5 per cent of all global emissions of carbon dioxide is
generated by merchant ships, and the figure is predicted to rise to 6 per
cent by 2020

— When Tesco started ferrying wine by barge last year, 50 lorries were
taken off the road each week. Three journeys are made each week along the
40-mile stretch from Liverpool to Manchester, carrying 600,000 litres of
wine on each trip

Sources: Times Archive;

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