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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Portuguese Navy Tall Ship N.R.P. Sagres in San Diego - June 8, 2010

The tall ship of the Portuguese Navy, N.R.P. Sagres, is visiting San Diego as part of its 2010 circumnavigation of the world. The ship is open to the public for tours, and we didn't miss the opportunity.

The Sagres was built in Hanover, Germany in 1937, and is the sister ship to the U.S. Navy's tall ship Eagle. Sagres, known as the Albert Leo Schageter when it was built, was captured by the U.S. in 1945 and handed over to Brazil in 1948. From there it found its way to Portugal in 1962 when the Portuguese Navy purchased it to replace its older tall ship.

The Sagres is 89.5 meters long, the main mast is 45.9 meters tall. Total crew is 139. The ship left Portugal on January 19th and will finish its round the world trip at the end of December. While in San Diego it will pick up a compliment of up to 63 Portuguese Naval Academy cadets for the portion of the trip between San Diego and Macau.

We spoke with one of the crew, he was looking forward to their next port-of-call, which is to be Honolulu. He had heard Hawaii was "paradise". We asked him about the casks of wine lashed to the deck. He said that the Portuguese Navy has a long-standing (several hundred years) tradition of taking wine in casks on board ships that sail to the Southern Hemisphere and bringing it back to be further aged and then bottled as a special edition wine. He could not quite explain just what properties the long sea voyage was thought to impart to the wine, but apparently the vintners consider it to be quite special. These casks will be aged many more years upon their return, then bottled and sold as a limited edition to commemorate the voyage. The winery is one of the sponsors of the trip.

The Sagres is tied up next to the San Diego Maritime Museum on Harbor Drive, just north of the submarine USS Dolphin.  The Sagres departs on Sunday June 13th.

Click here to see more pictures from the N.R.P. Sagres and a few other shots from around the San Diego Maritime Museum after dark on June 8th.


  1. We recently visited the ship and crew here in Honolulu. We are supposed to meet them in Shanghai later this month!

  2. My husband, a Naval officer, our daughter and I were invited to the captain's reception in Honolulu in late June/early July 2010. My husband was there to support the RIMPAC exercises. It was a lovely evening and I got to practise my French and my limited Portuguese, acquired during summer holidays at the Algarve Coast.


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About me . . . When I'm not working I like to be out exploring and photographing. I do this blog just for fun, and to be able to share these images with friends. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.

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Header image: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, Arizona. End image: Downtown San Diego, California skyline from Coronado Island. Profile picture: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, by Heather Baiamonte.