Around noon this Saturday, April 13, from the Molo de Abrigo, the Training Ship “Esmeralda” set sail to begin its 68th Instruction Trip. The “White Lady” was dismissed by the whistles and sirens of the ships in the bay along with smaller vessels that accompanied her along the coast; in addition to hundreds of people, including family and friends. 

This year, the crew, under the command of Captain Fernando Méndez, is made up of 283 people, of which 94 are Midshipmen and 34 Sailors, in addition there are four Officers from the other branches of the Armed Forces, Order and Public Security.

On this trip the “Esmeralda” will sail for six months, during which it will visit 12 ports and nine countries. The first port it will call at will be Balboa (Panama), to continue with Curacao (Curaçao), Cádiz (Spain), Brest (France), Portsmouth (England), Lisbon (Portugal), Salvador de Bahía (Brazil), Mar del Plata (Argentina), then, in Chile, it will stop at Puerto Williams, Punta Arenas, Lota; and she will return to her home port, in Valparaíso.

Commander Méndez indicated that, “we are ready to begin our 68th training voyage and that it is also very special because it is the ship’s 70th anniversary. The ship celebrates seven decades since it first raised its flag in the port of Cádiz…. On the other hand, we are a very powerful instrument in the Foreign Policy of the State, the Esmeralda has sailed 1,390,000 nautical miles and visited 81 countries; So we are very proud to be able to lead this journey.”

For her part, Carabineros Second Lieutenant, Karina Vergara, pointed out that, “It is a unique opportunity, I feel very proud that they have chosen me to represent my Institution on this educational trip. In addition, it will allow me to create new friendships and learn a little more about the world, sailors and other cultures.”

Meanwhile, Second Lieutenant Jesús Martínez, of the National Aeronaval Service of the Republic of Panama, who is one of the invited officers, indicated that he is “very grateful for the opportunity that has been given to me, since after four years I had the opportunity to train as a Cadet here at the “Arturo Prat” Naval School and well, it is an opportunity that I have been waiting for four years, since the day I entered the school and they told me about this trip. The truth is, I hope to enjoy it to the fullest, spend more time with my teammates and take advantage of this experience.”

Finally, Midshipman Javiera Walker referred to the challenges she faces on this training trip, pointing out that, “the sailing maneuvers are what we are focused on for the departure and then, living day to day, with the different situations that we have. to face; Furthermore, we feel very proud and happy to be able to be in Cádiz for 70 years representing the Institution and the country abroad.”