Another shot from Torquay harbour early in the morning on the day of the Transatlantic Tall Ships Race 2017. This is the Portuguese caravel 'Vera Cruz' and the fast pilot cutter 'Jolie Brise'. Sadly, the promise of a display of some of the world's largest and most beautiful sailing vessels in all their glory didn't really materialise with the larger ships staying well off shore in the English Channel; to be fair, there wasn't really enough room in Torquay harbour to accommodate many of the largest.
The pilot cutter 'Jolie Brise' was built in Le Havre, France in 1913 and was the last vessel to carry the Royal Mail under sail. She has been the winner of the Fastnet Race on three occasions and was the winner of the Tall Ships race in both 2015 and 2016. The 'Jolie Brise' is now owned and operated by the Dauntsey School in Wiltshire and is crewed exclusively by pupils at the school.
The caravel 'Vera Cruz' is a faithful replica, built in Portugal, of the style of vessel used by Prince Henry the Navigator and his contemporaries Columbus and Diaz during the great age of exploration, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries.
Even today, with the navigational and safety equipment that these vessels are now equipped with, it takes some guts to sail across the Atlantic Ocean in vessels of this size!