Not a standard experience for Dutch youngsters!


During the season of 2012 'Shtandart' sailed over 8000 miles and was a guest in many ports of different countries. The last country she visits in 2012 is the Netherlands. From the last port in Germany (Flensburg) some Dutch trainees joined 'Shtandart' to sail with her to their home country. An experience of a lifetime according to one of them. Here is her story.

My sister and I joined Shtandart for one week. We both think that that week was an experience of a lifetime. Sleeping in a hammock, swimming in open sea, climbing to the crow’s, when the ship was moving, steer by compass, lots of ropes and helping the permanent crew. All are images at the thought of those days. That week gave us a good impression of how sailing was three hundred years ago.

We joined sailing the part from Flensburg to Vlissingen. That week we became aware of The Netherlands on another level. It was brilliant to see The Netherlands from another side; the sea. All the tiny lights in the dark and the empty beaches between the towns we past. It was beautiful!

It wasn’t a week of luxury, but that didn’t matter. It was great to share any meanings with any of the crew members. Most of the crew spoke perfectly English, the others understandably. Anyhow, It was always quite clear to us what was expected of us. Further gave the crew us a lot of responsibility and trust, which made us feel welcome.
It was wonderful to be part of that devoted crew.

We had a wonderful week. Shtandart, thank you for that!
Hanneke Klip (19), The Netherlands

A week later the city of Middelburg welcomed 'Shtandart' for the first time and the ship attracted a lot of visitors including school students. What a surprise it must be for 15-16 year old students when your teacher tells you that your class may sail on 'Shtandart' for a day excursion instead of sitting in the classroom! On 4th September 31 students of the Calvijn College stepped on board for a historic 'Shtandart' experience. Back at school they were requested to write about their experience of that day.

A day trip on Shtandart
Shtandart had been moored for a week in the canal in Middelburg, where our school is. During our geography class we visited the ship, and our teacher explained what kind of ship it was and what it was used for. The next day we heard we could make a day trip with that same ship. It would be on Tuesday 4 September. We were all incredibly excited!
That day we had to be at school at 8.20 a.m. The boat was anchored in the Middelburg canal. We started sailing as soon as we were all on board, at about a quarter to ten. First, we helped taking in the gangway. Then the engines started, and we sailed towards Veerse Meer (a big lake). Each one of us had brought a small gift for the crew, and our presents were displayed on the table in the galley.
When we arrived at the locks we helped throwing the fenders overboard. We were also allowed to steer the ship on Veerse Meer. The captain taught us how to do that. One of the crewmembers, Irina, gave us directions as well. Her English was very good. Which was great, because it meant we could communicate easily with her. In the meantime a delicious meal was prepared for us inside. We ate spaghetti in the galley.
At one of the locks we had to wait for twenty minutes. Because the weather was nice and warm, we were allowed to take a swim, which we did, of course. While the boat was sailing we could also climb to the crow’s nest. From up there we had a marvellous view over the water.

At approximately a quarter to six we had another bite to eat. This consisted of tea served with all kinds of biscuits and cakes. This was also very tasty!
At the last locks we had to wait for another hour. Here again we had a swim.
We arrived at our final destination, Willemstad, at ten past eight. Since we could only moor at 12 o’clock, we tied-up at about 2 kilometers outside of the town. As soon as we arrived in Willemstad, we found a snackbar and had some french fries. When we came to our bus, we saw Irina passing by. She was jogging. After that the bus we had ordered picked us up and took us back to Middelburg. It was an amazing boat trip!
Debora de Hollander, Anne de Visser, Julia de Visser/VMBO4

Sailing with Shtandart
On Tuesday 4 September 31 students from our school’s fourth grade joined Shtandart on a day trip. The ship had been moored in the Middelburg canal for several days. Our teacher, mister Goedbloed, thought it might be a good idea for those fourth grade students whose curriculum included geography, to sail with the ship, in order to learn more about what ships looked like in those days. Shtandart is a replica of the frigate Shtandart, which was built in 1703. Tsar Peter the Great commissioned that ship. After some time we heard we could join the ship on a day-trip.

At nine o’clock in the morning we boarded. We could look around for half an hour, and used that time to buy some snacks at the local bakery. At a quarter to ten we took the gangway in and prepared some other things. At ten o’clock we started sailing. We sailed through the first locks towards Veerse Meer (a big lake). The views over the wide water and the surroundings were amazing.

We were allowed to take the wheel and climb the rigging all the way up into the crow’s nest. We all thought that was brilliant. The captain was very obliging during the steering. We also helped the Russian crew to set the table and run some other errands. And we loved lying in the crew’s hammocks. We were served two meals which the crew had prepared for us. It tasted good.

After passing Veerse Meer we continued sailing on the Oosterschelde, and we had to pass several locks, and two bridges had to open up for us. Twice we had to wait for some time, and we killed that time by diving in the water, whether we had our swimming gear on or not… When we were sailing we did the chores we had been given on the ship. We could also ask the crew questions. These had to be posed in English, because the crewmembers could not speak Dutch. We arrived at Willemstad at approximately 8.30. We said goodbye to the crew, and they helped us ashore. At the quay we sang the Dutch national anthem, ‘Wilhelmus’. After that we walked to a snackbar close-by, where we enjoyed a delicious bite to eat. At a quarter past nine a bus brought us back to school. It was an amazing, unforgettable day!
Mirjam and Melissa