Dutch Tall Ships in Australia (Under Sail)

Welcome to my fourth and concluding post covering a visit of three Dutch tall ships Europa, Oosterschelde and Tecla to Australia.

If you have just arrived here, then you may wish to first view the earlier posts:

Dutch Tall Ships in Australia (The Initial Encounter)

Dutch Tall Ships in Australia (Port Adelaide Open Day)

Dutch Tall Ships in Australia (In the Twilight Zone)

On the morning after the Port Adelaide open day, the ships set sail for Melbourne, accompanied by the local sail training ship One and All which was sailing down as far as Kangaroo Island. Another glorious early spring day and a good spectator fleet was on hand to farewell the four ships. I popped my own boat in the water (all five metres of it!) and followed the fleet down the Port River and out into the gulf. Wind was a steady 10-12 knot northerly and the sea was near flat.  Couldn’t have been a better day.

Europa, departing Port Adelaide

The Europa led the fleet down the Port River, surrounded by a spectator fleet of local yachts and power boats.  The fleet headed north for five miles (8 km) after leaving their berths. With the light northerly breeze, it was motors on, with the jibs and stay sails set solely for decoration.

One and All, departing Port Adelaide

The One and All, with bunting flying in the breeze.

Oosterschelde, departing Port Adelaide

The Oosterschelde was next in line.

Tecla, departing Port Adelaide

Followed by the Tecla.

Tall Ships departing Port Adelaide

Looking north as the fleet passed by the North Arm. The steam tug Yelta was meant to be coming down the river as well, but I couldn’t wait for her in the end. I wanted to get ahead of the fleet again for some more photos.  There was a current in-service tug coming back up the river (just left of centre) which the fleet was required to keep on their port hand side.

Europa, departing Port Adelaide

Europa, just off the Torrens Island quarantine station, heading up towards Pelican Point.

Oosterschelde, rounding Pelican Point, Port Adelaide.

Oosterschelde, rounding Pelican Point. Now picking up a reaching breeze, two crew members are up on the fore mast preparing her top sails for unfurling.


Passing Adelaide’s wheat and container terminals at Outer Harbor.

Europa, departing Port Adelaide

Europa, moving into the turning basin area of Outer Harbor. I was impressed just how quickly the crew was able to set the square sails.

Europa, departing Port Adelaide

What a sight!  With sails set for a broadish reach and developing a nice heel to leeward, the Europa heads out through the breakwater channel. Pilot boat is coming alongside to take off the pilot.

Europa, departing Port Adelaide

One and All, departing Port Adelaide

The One and All turned quickly to the south once the breakwater was cleared, and she was off, leaving the rest of the fleet astern.

Europa, departing Port Adelaide

The Europa stood a little further out to sea before turning to head down the gulf. It turned into pretty well a dead run for the first hour of sailing

Europa, departing Port Adelaide






Europa, Oosterschelde

Europa, Oosterschelde

And there we leave the ships, serenely running down the Adelaide coast line. After having followed the ships for three hours, it was time to turn my small vessel around and head back in to port. From this point it is 60 miles (100 km) to the open sea where they would turn south east to head to Melbourne.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this photo series. If you live anywhere near Sydney, don’t forget the International Fleet Review on the first weekend in October. The Dutch ships plus other tall ships will be there, as well as 23 warships from around the world. On possibly the most picturesque harbor in the world, it promises to be a great sight. Don’t think I’ll be there, although I haven’t written off the notion entirely!

Camera Gear

My Pentax K-x fitted with a Pentax DA 55-300 F4-5.8 telephoto zoom.  A few shots also with the Samsung NX1000 I’d bought a few days before. No polariser on the DA 55-300 as I don’t have one to fit it’s filter ring. But I did use its deep hood to keep the sun off the front lens element. With the large spectator fleet, it did get a little entertaining at times trying to be both photographer and skipper of my little boat.

To Learn More

Links to various official sites:




One and All

International Fleet Review

On the map below, I have marked Adelaide’s Outer Harbor which is approximately the spot where the Europa had completed setting her square sails.  They’d started earlier near the top of navigable waters of the Port River estuary (shown as Port Adelaide on the map), and I followed the fleet down the coast as far as Semaphore Park or thereabouts.


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