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29.11.2016 11:21

Voronezh citizen sails a Petrine era frigate along the European coast

A citizen of Voronezh, Denis Subbotin, 40, has been twice a crew member of a unique sailing-ship that was built in Saint Petersburg. He spent 40 days on-board the boat as a sailor. He set the sails, controlled the helm, weighed the anchor, and taught a French cook to make Russian dishes. This autumn, Denis had a chance to become a Jules Verne’s character on-board of the sailing-ship “Standard” – an exact copy of a Petrine era frigate.

It was Denis’ second voyage on the boat. He sailed it for the first time in 2015, when he learnt about “Standard” from his fellow musicians from Saint Petersburg. They told him that anybody could become a sailor on the ship for a certain period of time (unless they have any health problems). Denis sent his application and in 2015 he made his first 14-day voyage in the Baltic sea along the coasts of Sweden, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania. This voyage changed him completely and he decided to leave the land and go to sea.

‘I would like to become a member of the frigate’s professional crew one day. But there are lots of things I have to learn first: navigation basics, maritime traffic regulations, and wind and sail management. You need to learn a lot of theory and spend plenty of time practising,” says Denis.

Denis has a degree in philology and judging by his posts on Facebook that is also his way of thinking. However, he is a musician, a producer, and an installation engineer by profession.

‘I think I’m a happy person. I have millions of friends all over the world, I have three wonderful children (the oldest is already 21 years old and studies at university). I love the things I do for a career - music, recording, engineering, and bringing into being complex technical concepts. I travel whenever I have a chance and it is a great source of inspiration for me. I’ve noticed that everybody takes up painting or writing when they are on the boat. It is impossible to be idle there”.

The frigate “Standard” is a unique historical, cultural, and educational project, which was created by a graduate of Leningrad Shipbuilding Institute, Vladimir Matrus, and a team of like-minded people. The ship was literally built by hand. “Standard” set sail in 1999 in Saint Petersburg and is an exact copy of a battle ship built by Peter I in 1703 to defend Saint Petersburg. The boat has eight active guns (they fire when the frigates call at a port).

“Standard” is not a cruise ship but a sailing ship that goes along the European coast. Anybody can come on board of the ship, regardless of their age, sex, and citizenship. Nautical school students are frequent visitors of the frigate where they can recieve unforgettable practice and training. However, it happens quite often that the participants of voyages are not professional sailors.

The ship is designed for 20–30 people. However, there is enough space for 50 travellers. And in the Petrine era it could have up to 150 people on-board – though, the level of comfort was a bit different then.

The constituted crew includes a captain, several watch officers, a boatswain, and a housekeeper who manages operational activities on the ship. The captain and watch officers are responsible for the ship and the people on board. There is no doctor on the boat. However, there is a first aid kit with all necessary medicine.

On the project’s website, sea lovers can check the route of the frigate which is scheduled for the next 12 months and is divided into several stages, each 3–10 days long. Every potential sailor can choose a destination and a period of time they want to spend on the ship and then send an application as Denis Subbotin did.

Further details can be found on http://www.moe-online.ru/news/view/353838.html

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