Vintage Dutch sailing vessel visits once more

The Tecla alongside in Kikrwall today.

The first visiting vintage sailing vessel of the season arrived in Kirkwall early this morning, and despite the windy and foggy cold conditions, this is always seen as a sure sign that summer is indeed on the way.

The 102 year-old Tecla arrived alongside Kirkwall after sailing over from Holland. She is a regular visitor, with her owners inspired to visit the islands since first coming here as part of the Tall Ships ‘cruise in company’ event back in 2011.

This year the sailing schedule of the 38m long Tecla consists of voyages in several locations in Scotland, including the Northern Isles, as well as visits to Ullapool and St Kilda.

Visiting Orkney and Shetland on different occasions, there are also planned voyages to far-flung islands such as St Kilda and Mingulay.

The itinerary of the vessel throughout the summer months will see the vessel heading even further north, to Iceland, to explore new areas, sailing from Reykjavik, and Isafjordur and visiting many remote and stunning locations.

Onboard the family owned and operated vessel in Kirkwall today were skipper Gijs Sluik, his mother Jannette Sluik, and mate Reimar Beckert.
Several guests sailed over from Holland with them, and set off this morning on a tour to explore various sites around Orkney.

The ship has an interesting history, being built in Vlaardingen, Holland, in 1915 as a herring drifter. She was later sold to owners in Denmark and was used as a cargo ship.

In 1985, she was brought back to the Netherlands, and reconstruction work was started to get her ready for a life as charter vessel.

More pictures of the vessel will appear over on The Orcadian Facebook page later today.