The Danmark – Just another Tall Ship?

Date: 28.12.2023
Position: Cap Verde
Geographical Position:
16º52’.934 N 025º00’.390 W
Etmal: 44 NM
Total: 2870 NM

Tall Ship Danmark

Today we visited the Danmark. The Danmark is a three-masted full-rigged sailing vessel. The ship is owned by the Kingdom of Denmark and operated by an university called MARTEC which stands for maritime and technical education. It was built in 1933 with 26 sails and 219 ropes. There is a main engine built in for low wind conditions or manuvering in harbour or other difficult situations.

Tallship Danmark

Training Program

The training program contains a one month stay in Denmark at MARTEC`s college where you visit lessons and learn a lot about theorethical sailing stuff. There the trainees sleep in cabins of four people. After their stay they go aboard the Danmark. There they learn many different things during a four month adventure, crossing the atlantic.

During their stay there are also regular theory lessons where the trainees learn about fire fighting, basic safety, medical first aid, security awareness, tanker familarisation and navigational watchkeeping. As well as getting trained in electro technology, marine technology, mechanical engineering and hygienics.

How to get paid by working on ships

At first you need to know, if you want to work on ships and get paid for your work, you need STCW certificates. It doesn‘t matter if you are the cook, or cleaning staff or even the captain.

These STCW cerificates are extremely expensive (and i mean extremly, about 12.000 € for all of them combined). But because of the danish government and their educational system, the journey is largely financed for international participants. For danish citizen the journey is nearly free.

How to participate

In general everyone can apply to the program but there are a few requirements. At first you have to be a european citizen. Also you need to have completed elementary school and also be between 17 1/2 and 23 years old at the start of the voyage. For security reasons there is a medical examination at a maritime doctor.

For faireness you cannot be accepted if you have already taken part in a similar education. It is important to mention at this point that Ocean College is not a similar education, but your chances to be accepted are extremely increased if you have visited Ocean College before. This is because they want students who have some experience and therefore can help others.

Danmark‘s crew

The permanent crew consists of a Captain, a Chief officer, a Chief Engineer, Deck Officers, a Doctor, a Chief Steward, cooks and quartermasters. In total the professional crew consist of 15 to 20 members. Onboard are 80 trainees which are split into three rotating watches. Which is very similiar to our system on the Pelican of London.

The day

Today we arrived at about 11:00 ships time in Cape Verde. There we searched for a place to anchor and adjusted our time to the local time zone (CVT). Just as we were anchoring we were already approached by local fischermen trying to sell us tuna. Margot jumped at this chance and we bought two large tuna totaling 20kg.

After lunch a new stock of food arrived and it took us a lot of time to store everything. When we were finished, the Danmark‘s tender finally arrived to pick us up and bring us to their ship. David was really excited because he also participated in the program a long time ago as a trainee on the Danmark. In the evening we returned to the Pelican and ate our fresh Tuna.

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