The Nao Victoria Foundation has now launched the replica of the Pascual Flores following the restoration of the hull. The renovation work is currently being carried out by the organisation in Punta Umbria (Huelva).
Following an agreement signed with the Torrevieja council, in the coming months this unique ship will be completely refurbished, following which, at a cost of 150,000 euros per year, it will be used as a heritage of its history” and an “ambassador” for the tourist promotion and culture of the city.
It is hoped that the work will be completed by July.
The ship will be used to carry out cultural tours, in which it will display the long history of its relationship with the transport of salt, with an exhibition that will be displayed on its decks, and that can be visited by the public and by schoolchildren wherever it stops.
The Pascual Flores is a historic 3-masted schooner, a onetime star of the TV series ‘The Onedin Line. She was the last sailing ship built on the beach in Torrevieja during the early part of the last century.
After her trading career finished, she was British owned and based at Dartmouth and then Bristol. The ship was rescued in Milford Haven and brought back to her home port of Torrevieja on a heavy lift ship where, in 2008, she was restored at a cost of 4 million euros.
Unfortunately, in the intervening years, the ship was allowed to decay. Moored in the port of Torrevieja, it was left in a state of “semi-abandonment” with only minimal maintenance work being carried out. Last year all of the masts and all of it’s rigging had to be removed because of safety concerns, at which time much of the wood was found to be rotten.
It was at that time that the City Council agreed that all further repairs would be carried out by the La Nao Foundation, which has also restored many other historical replicas including the Nao Victoria, El Galeón and the Nao Santa María.
Based in Seville, the Nao Victoria Foundation is a non-profit marketing and educational platform that promotes historical events, which are supported by the construction of historical ships (the Nao Victoria and El Galeón) that are sailed throughout the world’s ports.
The agreement will see the Foundation retain control of the schooner for the next five years, although during that period it will dock in Torrevieja for at least two months every year. For the remainder of the time it will travel around the world, operating both as a School Ship and providing a strong marketing and educational platform in support of great world events and expositions.
The restoration and overhaul work began last November, when the ship was pulled out of the water in the Punta Umbría (Huelva), shipyard, since which time carpenters, caulkers and engineers have been working hard to return its structure “back to a perfect state”.
It will now be taken to the Levante dock in Huelva where the masts will be installed.
Once the work is finished, the Pascual Flores ” will be open to the public in Huelva, and from there it will begin its tour of different Mediterranean ports, with a special stopover in Torrevieja.