“You can’t keep a great old schooner down!”

At 9:30 in the morning of Thursday, March 8, 2007 the schooner Lord Jim quietly slipped below the surface of the crystal-clear waters around Ilha dos Meros, Brazil…

It’s soon six years ago that the schooner LORD JIM (ex-MERIDIAN, BLUE WATER, SHOAL WATER): 72’3″ LOA John Alden-designed, Lawley-built keel schooner, 1936, hit a rock and sank in Brazil.  She was raised and taken to a shipyard where she was restored, but from there the situation deteriorated. Owners Holger Kreuzhage and Tracy Brown-Kreuzhage have remained in Brazil since then, caught up in a nightmare of a legal battle trying to get their ship free from the corrupt crock who owns the shipyard.

Lord Jim and their owners need our help to get their ship and their life back. Please, sign this petition, it’s the least we can do.

For some extended info on the whole situation, check this articles. Two parts, one written in 2010 and another from august this year.

Our ship sank off Brazil’s coast March 2007, we are still here held hostage, Part 1

Part 2

La Grace aground!

Oh boy. A sight like this could be a pretty one. But unfortunately this one is not a ship careened to get some hull work done. Quite the opposite. This is the beautiful lines of the Czech brig La Grace, ran aground on a beach in southern Spain, a heartbreaking sight that lingers and aches in every sailors soul.

The information on what happened to La Grace is shorthanded, but it seems like she was laying at anchor close to Puerto de la Bajadilla in Marbella, Spain on October 26 when a storm hit in the morning. She started dragging her anchor – a feeling of unease that is indeed – and on top of that had an engine failure – and ran aground stern first. Her rudder was knocked out and not maneuverable she ran aground on Playa el Cable. All of the eight crew members who was aboard the vessel were fine and managed to get ashore by themselves. La Grace is right now laying on a 1.5 m shallow shoal just a stone throw out from the beach. She is listing about 20 degree’s to port and is taking in water and sand.
It now seems like the owners have problem to scramble enough funds to get her afloat, which would be a damn shame and a big loss if they couln’t. Right now we can only hope that the damage is not too bad and that she is afloat as soon as possible.

The owners are pleading for the tall ship and sailing communities help! The Spanish authorities are saying that she need to be removed within 15 days from the wreckage, otherwise they will/can eliminate her (?!) La Grace needs to get afloat ASAP, with or without the insurance companies help (which happens to be Spanish and doesn’t seem very concerned about getting the ship afloat).

Help La Grace in this crisis situation!

Account: La Grace

Acc. No: 240290748/0300

SWIFT: CEKOCZPP

IBAN: CZ90 0300 0000 0002 4029 0748

Variable symbol: 26102012If you have any questions, you can contact:

Dan Rosecký (Dan@lagrace.cz)

Lucie Forštová (Lucie@ifp-publishing.cz)

Jaroslav Foršt (jaroslav@ifp-publishing.cz).

La Grace is a brand spanking new Brig that was launched by some sailing enthusiasts in the Czech republic in December 2010. She is a replica of a 18th century brig and is based on blueprints from the Swedish naval architect, Fredrik Henrik af Chapman, from 1768.

She is named La Grace after the Czech explorer and merchant Augustine Herman’s (1621-1686) frigate with the same name. The old La Grace sailed waters in Europe, Caribbeans and North America and is particularly known for her corsair affairs against the Spanish merchants. On a side note, Herman has alot of interesting history of his involvement in the Dutch West India Company, New Amsterdam, Chesapeake and the Delaware Bay area, worth looking into.

The new La Grace was built during only two years in Egypt where boat building is still done much in a traditional way. ”If you turned a blind eye to the T-shirts with advertising signs worn by local workers, you have the impression that you are in the 18 century.”, they state on La Grace’s homepage.

As always with these kind of projects, enormous amounts of blood, sweat, toil, tears, time and love was put in by volunteers, together with boat builders and other professionals. She was built with the purpose of preserving Czech maritime history and to teach traditional knowledge and skills.

The first year afloat she spent sailing from Africa to Europe and later set sail for her first transatlantic voyage to the Caribbeans, where she stayed until April this year. Since then she has been operating in the Med, where she now is sadly aground.

La Grace:
Homeport: Prague
126 tons
LOA 32.3m (106ft),
Height 25m (82ft)
Draught 2.8m (9.2ft)
364sqm sail area (3 918 sq ft)