Barque Passat in Travemünde by David Davies

Barque Passat in Travemünde by 

(Wikipedia) Passat is a German four-masted steel barque and one of the Flying P-Liners, the famous sailing ships of the German shipping company F. Laeisz. The name “Passat” means trade wind in German. She is one of the last surviving windjammers.

Passat was launched in 1911 at the Blohm & Voss shipyard, Hamburg. She began her maiden voyage on Christmas Eve 1911 toward Cape Horn and the nitrate ports of Chile. She was used for decades to ship general cargo outbound and nitrate home. Passat was interned at Iquique for the duration of World War I and sailed in 1921 to Marseille and was turned over to France as war reparation. The French government put her up for sale, and the Laeisz Company was able to buy back the ship for £13,000. Again she was used as a nitrate carrier until 1932 when Passat was sold to the Gustaf Erikson Line of Finland. The ship was then used in the grain trade from Spencer Gulf in South Australia to Europe. At the onset of World War II, Passat was at her home port Mariehamn in the Åland Islands of Finland. She was towed in 1944 to Stockholm to serve as a storage ship.

In 1948 the Erikson Line reentered the grain trade, and together with Pamir she participated in the last Great Grain Race in 1949 from Port Victoria around Cape Horn to Europe. Among her crew was the bosun Niels Jannasch who later became the director of Canada’s Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. All told, Passat rounded Cape Horn 39 times.

Edgar Erikson (son of Gustaf Erikson, who died in 1947) found he could no longer operate either Passat or Pamir at a profit, primarily due to changing regulations and union contracts governing employment aboard ships; the traditional 2-watch system on sailing ships was replaced by the 3-watch system in use on motor-ships, requiring more crew. In March 1951, Belgian shipbreakers paid £40,000 for both Passat and Pamir.

German shipowner Heinz Schliewen stepped in and bought both ships for conversion to freight carrying school ships (thus often erroneously referred to as sister ships). The two vessels were modernized at Kiel with refurbished quarters to accommodate merchant marine trainees, fitted with an auxiliary diesel engine, a refrigeration system for the galleys (precluding the need to carry live animals for fresh meat), modern communications equipment and water ballast tanks. After financial problems for the owner, a newly organized consortium of forty German shipowners purchased the ships. For the next five years Passat (and Pamir) continued to sail between Europe and the east coast of South America, primarily to Argentina, but not around Cape Horn.

In 1957, a few weeks after the tragic loss of Pamir in mid-Atlantic and shortly after having been severely hit by a storm, Passat was decommissioned. She had almost experienced the same fate as the Pamir when her loose barley cargo shifted.

Passat was purchased in 1959 by the Baltic Sea municipality of Lübeck and is now a youth hostel, venue, museum ship, and landmark moored at Travemünde, a borough of Lübeck in the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein.

Olympus OM-10, 50mm 1.8

I’ve been an amateur photographer for as long as I can remember, which at my age is about a couple of weeks! I’ve owned film cameras from Zeiss, Scheider, Leica, Nikon and Olympus, as well as digital cameras from Pentax and Canon, and still have several, if I can ever find them. I currently use a Sony NEX-5N with an 18-55mm zoom lens, and after a year of ownership am still learning all the functions.

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  • DonDavisUK
    DonDavisUKover 4 years ago

    Wonderful work David. What a cracking ship.

  • Thanks, Don, isn’t it a beaut! We were on the ferry from Gedser, Denmark to Travemünde at the time, just arriving in Travemünde. I just had to take a picture!

    – David Davies

  • thanks for the fave!

    – David Davies

  • David Davies
    David Daviesover 4 years ago

  • Tom Gomez
    Tom Gomezover 4 years ago

    Beautiful boat, super find David …

  • Thank you, Tom!

    – David Davies

  • cherylc1
    cherylc1over 4 years ago

    Magnificant capture!

  • Thanks, Cheryl!

    – David Davies

  • Al Bourassa
    Al Bourassaover 4 years ago

    She looks extremely fast…

  • Doesn’t she just, Al. Read further on in this thread and you’ll find more fascinating information from Roy Massicks about the three sister ships.

    – David Davies

  • Wendi Donaldson
    Wendi Donaldsonover 4 years ago

    A beauty!!

  • Thank you, Wendi!

    – David Davies

  • Roy  Massicks
    Roy Massicksover 4 years ago
    Terrific picture David and great write-up. There were three

    ships actually, called the ‘Flying P’s ’ – the Pamir, Passat and last but not least, the ’ Peking. ’ The Peking was taken over by the British and re-named ’ Arathusa ’ and run as a boys home and training ship moored on the River Medway in Kent. I think it was the Shaftsbury boys home than ran her. I lived near Upnor which is close to Strood. The Arathusa is now restored and re-named Peking and can be seen in New York USA.

    The Pamir is probably the most famous of the three. I was serving on a British merchant ship and we passed the Pamir under full sail the day before she was sailed under. She was a beautiful sight and a tragic loss ! There is a New Zealand connection with the Pamir – she was in an NZ port at the start of WW11. As she flew a Finnish flag and the Finns fought on the Germans side she was seized and sailed under the NZ flag for the rest of the war. Sorry about the rant David but you got me going on a subject dear to my heart !

  • Nothing to apologize for, Roy, it’s a fascinating story, well worth the telling. It’s really a small old world, isn’t it!

    – David Davies

  • Roy  Massicks
    Roy Massicksover 4 years ago
    David, so sorry to double up, this new computer only wants a single click and we are used to double clicking. Please delete one. Roy
  • Aren’t new toys fun! lol! Takes a while to get used to them, but what a ride! By the way, I took the picture from the ferry from Gedser in Denmark to Travemünde, just as we were docking in Travemünde. We had been on a holiday to Norway and Sweden and were on our way back to our home in South Germany.

    – David Davies

  • 1stImpressions
    1stImpressionsover 4 years ago

    this is wonderful

  • Thank you, Steve!

    – David Davies

  • shortshooter-Al
    shortshooter-Alover 4 years ago

    What a great old ship Mate.

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