Many of the better known European tall ships were away from home waters in autumn 2012. The Russian four-masted barque Sedov left in May 2012 and rounded Cape Horn, being due back in St Petersburg in July 2013. The Dutch barque Europa went south at the start of her Around the World voyage and was followed by Dutch sail training vessels Oosterschelde (topsail schooner) and Tecla (ketch).

The Weymouth-based mainmast barquentine Pelican left UK waters bound for Chile to be support vessel for a re-creation of Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition of 1914-16. She is carrying a replica of the small open boat James Caird, which will be used to recreate Shackleton’s epic voyage to rescue his marooned crew. She is due back (in Liverpool) in June 2013.

On Trafalgar Day STS Lord Nelson left for a 23-month deployment which will take in Brazil, South Africa, India, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Cape Horn, Argentina, America, Canada and Iceland. The 400+ton barque, designed and built to take mixed ability crews, will alternate her sailing between eight long passage-making trips and shorter ones in local waters, sailing with crews from the country they are visiting.

All the vessels, apart from Pelican, will be in Australia for the International Fleet Review by the RAN in October 2013. This will attract a large fleet of naval vessels as well as tall ships.

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