On Monday, October 4th, 2021, the German Navy’s sailing training ship “Gorch Fock” is expected to return to the home port of Kiel. After handing over the ship from the repairs back to the Navy, the crew of around 120 under the command of Captain Nils Brandt (54) sets off with their ship from Wilhelmshaven on the way home to Kiel.
The “Gorch Fock” will first call at Eckernförde Bay. There the Federal Minister of Defense, Ms. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, and the Inspector of the Navy, Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach (57), will go on board to accompany the crew the last nautical miles to Kiel. Around noon the “Gorch Fock” will pass Laboe and then enter the Kiel Fjord, accompanied by two naval mine-hunting boats. At the level of the Kiel naval base, she will be greeted with a gun salute and then continue to the inner fjord to report back to Kiel. The barque will then turn around at the level of the state house in order to then approach its regular berth at the naval base. There the families and friends of the crew as well as invited guests will greet the barque with the Albatros figurehead. The Kiel Marine Music Corps will provide musical accompaniment to the reception.
After returning home, the crew is not given a long break. A few days later, the ship and crew will start a four-week training phase, most of which will be completed in the Baltic Sea. This is about sailing training, but also internal processes of on-board operations such as leak and fire fighting. This phase will be concluded at the beginning of November with the so-called clear sea survey. This certifies that the ship is fully operational.
The ship and crew will then leave their home port again and set sail for the Canary Islands. After a stop in the Portuguese capital Lisbon, the destination is Santa Cruz, the capital of the island of Tenerife. From there, intensive sailing training is on the program. In these latitudes, the weather situation is generally more predictable and overall significantly more stable than in domestic waters, which is a great advantage for sail training. After the turn of the year, the first trip of the cadet crew will go on board in Santa Cruz de Tenerife at the beginning of January 2022 and complete the regular training on board the sailing training ship. The “Gorch Fock” is expected to return to the home port of Kiel in the second half of March 2022.