Dutch Tall Ships in Australia (Port Adelaide Open Day)

Welcome to my second post following the visit of the Dutch Tall Ships to Australia.  In the first post here, I covered a chance encounter with the ships in Fremantle Harbor.

Five weeks on, and the ships have made it to Adelaide for a short stopover before continuing on their way to Melbourne and then onto Sydney for the Royal Australian Navy’s International Fleet Review.

On Saturday 31st August, the ships were open to the public visitors, and quite a crowd turned out for what was a glorious early spring day.

Joining the Europa, Oosterschelde and the Tecla for the open day were the local sailing vessels Falie and the One and All, and the historic steam tug Yelta.

I wandered down to Port Adelaide late in the afternoon and added some more images to my growing set of tall ship photos.

Lord Nelson

The English sail training ship, the Lord Nelson, joined the Dutch tall ships in Adelaide, as she too makes her way towards Sydney. Completed in 1986, she is designed for both able bodied and disabled crew members to actively participate in the sailing of the ship.

Lord Nelson Sail Training Ship

The inner section of the bowsprit is wheelchair accessible.  Must take a fair load though when buried into a big sea.

Lord Nelson Sail Training Ship

A different view of the Lord Nelson, taken from the stern of the steam tug Yelta.

Steam Tug Yelta

The steam tug Yelta entered service in South Australian ports in 1949 and continued in port operations until 1976. She is fitted with a triple expansion engine intended for fitment to a World War II corvette but had instead became surplus with the end of the war. She retired as South Australia’s last fully operational steam tug. The Yelta remains in operating condition and periodically cruises the Port River.

Steam Tug Yelta

Yelta’s smoke stack and whistle.

Steam tug Yelta

The Yelta’s engine telegraph.

Steam tug Yelta

Rear deck of the Yelta. Of note, the large air intakes for the engine room. It must have been pretty darn warm down below on a hot summer’s day. Looks like the portholes were on lifting hatches to allow hot air to escape.


Better slip in a few images of the Dutch ships to prove they were really there. Here’s the Europa, with a good crowd milling around.


Chocka block full on the Europa’s rear deck.


In the previous Fremantle post, I showed you the starboard-side view of the Europa’s figurehead. There is of course ‘another’ Europa. A mirror reversed second carving on the port hand side.


As the day came to an end, things looked pretty relaxed on the Oosterschelde.


And I’d better not forget the Tecla.

One and All

Next up, the One and All, South Australia’s own sail training ship. Built of timber in 1985, she is rigged as a brigantine which indicates that she has two masts, only the forward of which is square rigged.  But you knew that, didn’t you!

One and All

I have no idea why, but as the open day ended, remaining visitors were treated to a lone bagpipe player on the fore deck of the One and All.


The Falie was one of the last two coastal trading ketches serving South Australia’s small country ports. The fleet peaked in the 1880s and 1890s when more than 70 ketches and schooners traded out of Port Adelaide. They endured past the introduction of steamships, railways and roads, to remain one of the last fleets of commercial sailing vessel working the Australian coast. In the 1950s there were still thirty ketches working out of Port Adelaide. The Falie and the Nelcebee were the last to retire in 1982.


Unfortunately, the Falie is languishing in the harbor. Thinning metal plates below the waterline means she is out of survey, no funds are available to effect repairs, and her future is uncertain. She turns 100 later this decade – perhaps that will be the impetus to fund the needed repairs.

Port Adelaide lighthouse

The fleet was looked down on by the Port Adelaide lighthouse. The lighthouse was first lit in 1869 and originally stood at the entrance to the Port River. It was prefabricated in England of iron plates and shipped in pieces, replacing an earlier lightship. The lighthouse was dismantled and relocated in 1901. The lantern was installed in a lighthouse on Wonga Shoal off of nearby Semaphore Jetty. The iron structure was re-erected on South Neptune Island (located at the western entrance to South Australia’s two gulfs) with a new lantern and served there until 1985. The lighthouse was restored and re-assembled on its current site in the heart of Port Adelaide in 1986.

Port Adelaide bridges

To finish up, Port Adelaide’s two new bridges. One for road and one for rail. Originally, neither bridge was intended to be opening, which would have meant that the inner harbor was inaccessible to vessels of any reasonable size. Community pressure forced a design change (at considerable extra cost) to allow the bridges to open so community events such as what occurred today could continue. They do muck up what used to be a nice view down the river though.  The fleet would depart through these bridges the following morning.

Camera Gear

Camera gear used was a combination of my usual Pentax K-x andTamron 17-50 F2.8 lens, and a brand new (as in bought the prior day) Samsung NX1000 mirrorless camera. The NX1000 uses a 20 megapixel APS-C sized sensor.  Both were fitted with polarising filters to tame the strong afternoon glare.  If you are curious, the images of the Load Nelson at the top of this post and the Yelta close ups were taken with the Samsung. Acquitted itself fairly well I thought.

To Learn More

Links to the ships’ official sites:




One and All


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2 thoughts on “Dutch Tall Ships in Australia (Port Adelaide Open Day)

  1. Pingback: Dutch Tall Ships in Australia (Under Sail) | Photo Morsels

  2. Pingback: Dutch Tall Ships (In the Twilight Zone) | Photo Morsels

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