Wednesday, March 07, 2007
The majestic Stad Amsterdam, a three-masted clipper, sailed into Pensacola early Tuesday morning and is scheduled to leave at 11:00 p.m. tonight. This beautiful ship which was inspired by 19th-century clippers took 200,000 hours to construct - 35,000 of which were spent on the hull.
Although it was not open for public tours, the 250 ft. long, 35 ft. wide, clipper enthralled visitors who walked or drove by in a steady stream.
The highest mast is 150 ft. tall.
One can only imagine the beauty of this ship on high seas when all of its 29 sails are unfurled.
The graceful figurehead is said to symbolize the belief that a woman can calm the sea (especially Poseidon, god of the sea in Greek mythology) and offer protection for the ship and its crew.
"I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over."
~~ John Masefield (1878-1967)