During the afternoon of November 3, the Training Ship (BE) “Esmeralda” arrived in Valparaíso, ending its 67th Instructional Trip, and where its crew was awaited by hundreds of family and friends, who arrived very early at the Molo de Abrigo with balloons and banners to welcome them.
The “White Lady” was received by the whistles and sirens of the ships in the bay along with a score of smaller boats that welcomed her.
On this voyage the “Esmeralda” sailed for 103 days, in which she visited 11 ports and seven countries. The first port of call was Callao (Peru), followed by Rodman (Panama), the Panama Canal Crossing, Cartagena (Colombia), Norfolk (USA), and the Panama Canal Crossing. Recife, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Mar del Plata (Argentina), Puerto Williams, Punta Arenas and Coronel (Chile); and then, return to its home port in Valparaiso.
Its crew is made up of 294 people, including 25 Officers, 139 Seafarers, 107 Midshipmen, 19 Sailors and four guests belonging to the other branches of the Armed Forces, and Order and Security.
Upon his arrival, the Commander of the Ship, Captain Juan Soto, referred to the navigation, pointing out that, “it was four and a half months of navigation of this Instructional Voyage that departed on June 18. We visited 11 ports, in seven different countries and we are absolutely satisfied because all the academic objectives were met with the Midshipmen and Sailors.”
He also added that “we had everything necessary for the instruction of the new generations with strong winds from the north, the Caribbean Sea is very challenging, we had to face a tropical wave prior to a storm and hurricane, crossing from Cartagena de Indias to the United States. The ship had to carry out a night sailboat maneuver under a thunderstorm, it was a challenge that allowed us to test all the training we had up to that height and the crew did it very well.”
For his part, Sailor Alexis Olguín indicated that, “on this ship one is enriched by the knowledge as a sailor and the seafaring experiences along with knowing foreign cultures.”
Meanwhile, Midshipman Raul Silva referred to the experience he had on board, noting that, “this trip was a very rewarding trip (…) with a lot of help from the Seafarers and the Officers who instructed us in an excellent way so that we have the knowledge that will allow us to fulfill the next functions in the different areas.”