Fond farewells, and then they were gone.....

Funchal bade her sad goodbyes to the fleet this morning as the first of the fleet to manoeuvre out of the port made her way, aided by two tugs. 

Their work now done, the liaison officers, volunteers who have each devoted a great deal of time and energy into looking after the needs of their appointed vessel while in port, waved their charges off from the quayside.

Sedov (Russia) led the fleet out to a waypoint where the vessels congregated before making a return sail, east to west, passed the city and the saluting vessel, a Portuguese Naval ship, carrying the Mayor of Funchal, the President of Funchal 500 and other distinguished guests. 

Horns blew as they sailed by; Cuauhtémoc (Mexico) fired canons and a helicopter swept through the fleet recording the occasion for Portuguese television.

Most of the fleet continued on their way to their various destinations – many back to their home ports after many weeks or months away.  Some to go into dry dock for maintenance during the winter months, others onto warm climes and a winter of more sail training. 

Tecla (Netherlands), Pelican of London (UK) and Endeavour (UK) remain in Funchal for a couple more days before making their final departure.

Pic: top – the crew of Shabab Oman, popular and proud winners of the Friendship Trophy

middle - a few of the many liaison officers



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