Several pallets of food and beverages are loaded on board tenders in Marigot for “Danmark’s” Atlantic voyage of 100 crew and trainees. (Jean Jarreau photo)
Caribbean Sail Training vessel “Danmark” sailing along the St. Maarten-St. Martin coast line under full sail. (Jean Jarreau photo)
MARIGOT–The three-mast sail training vessel Danmark recently raised anchor after a 24- hour stopover in the Bay of Marigot where she was hosted as usual by the Port of Marigot and is on her way now to Bermuda.
The square-rigger tall ship, a frequent visitor to St. Martin, left Danish waters on March 11 and had a one-day stop at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
The ship arrived in Dominica a week ago for a short stopover and then came to St. Martin. From Bermuda she will cross the Atlantic again, returning to Denmark in June.
Danmark is a Caribbean Sail Training (CST) member vessel and is 252 feet (77 metres) in overall length with a beam of 32 feet (9.8m), a depth of 17 feet (5.2m), and a gross tonnage of 790 tons. She is one of more than 75 CST member vessels.
The ship has been used as a maritime school for youngsters since she was built in 1932. On board are 15 crewmembers and 80 young people (trainees) both male and female, who are spending 3½ months for basic training in maritime skills.
The 80 trainees are quartered in two large rooms below deck, 40 trainees in each room. Private life on board is limited to the hammock in which the trainee sleeps, with a small cabinet and locker for personal belongings.
Trainees will receive an ordinary seaman’s licence if they pass the examinations at the end of the voyage. Most of them will join the merchant marine and some will search for jobs on board sailing or other vessels. Although the ship is 86 years old she is still in good shape.
“Hopefully we will be back in St. Martin another time – and, of course, for a longer stay,” Captain Kurt Andersen said. He recognised that arriving in St. Martin with this ship is very convenient and effortless with all services provided by CST and Yacht Assistance, and with no fees charged by the Port.
The Danish Government had the Danmark built in 1932. The purpose was to have a proper training ship. Now, as back then, young people who want a career at sea can have their basic training on-board Danmark.
To ensure the ship’s proper functioning, all on board are required to be involved in her operation around the clock. Furthermore, professional competence and social skills are highly valued and during the voyage there is ample time and opportunity to hone the skills of cooperation, tolerance and responsibility.
Trainees on Danmark not only get an education, they also visit exciting parts of the world and make friendships that can last forever. Many choose to join a voyage after completing secondary education.
The sail training vessel is operated by Martec, a maritime and polytechnic education centre in northern Denmark. It offers several degree courses, the longest being Bachelor of Technology Management and Marine Engineering, as well as Ship’s Assistant.
Martec also offers a wide array of professional courses and training in maritime subjects, offshore safety and technical skills and knowledge. Possibilities for Caribbean youngsters to follow the courses as trainees are offered year-round. The language spoken on board is English.
The training to become an ordinary seaman consists of the voyage on board the Danmark and a craftsmanship workshop training ashore at Martec in Frederikshavn, Denmark.
An ordinary seaman has to undertake all kinds of work on deck as well as in the engine room of a ship. A seaman has to be multi-faceted, and the better he is at working as a responsible member of a team, the better he will adapt to the changing and challenging tasks at sea.
Training alternates between practical work on the vessel and classes in technical subjects, working safety and environment, firefighting, navigation and right of way rules, practical seamanship, marine technology, safety at sea, first aid, maintenance, etc.
To be admitted as a trainee one must have completed elementary school; be 17½ to 23 years old when the voyage begins; and not be colour-blind or have any condition that might keep you from taking part in the daily work on board ship (you must pass a health and sight examination at a maritime doctors’ office).
For more information, contact Caribbean Sail Training atinfo@CaribbeanSailTraining.org or info@CaribbeanSailTraining.com