by Rod Thomas
The international tall ships have departed Australian waters but there are still good opportunities to go sailing on a tall ship over the coming months. Melbourne's traditionally rigged wooden topsail schooner Enterprize has commenced its season with public sails in Melbourne Docklands, and on Port Phillip and other Victorian waters.
Enterprize and Europa sailing together
The Enterprize program follows a very successful week at the Melbourne International Tall Ship Festival in September when over 500 people sailed on Enterprize off Williamstown and several thousand viewed her dockside.
Enterprize has a full program from late October to June with monthly sailings and pierside inspections for the general public, school groups, and private and business charters from Docklands, Williamstown, and Geelong. In summer there are also sails being scheduled from Portarlington, Blairgowrie and Rye.
The most popular Enterprize sails, are the shorter daytime one hour sails and twilight sails for up to forty people conducted most weeks. These are suitable for people of all ages from young children to people well into their 'seniors' years. There are a number of Overnight Adventure sails and half day Bay Cruises scheduled for the lower Yarra and northern end of Port Phillip. The first half day Bay Cruise is on Sunday 27 October, and the first weekend of one hour sailings is in Geelong on Saturday second and Sunday 3rd November.
For a multi-day tall ship experience Enterprize has a unique lifetime experience with a trip to Port Welshpool in late November. This is a one week trip departing Docklands on 21 November, sailing to Port Welshpool via Port Phillip, Bass Strait and Wilson's Promontory. The trip is for up to nine passengers and is crewed by an experienced offshore crew.
The Enterprize is an all timber carvel built, traditionally rigged two masted topsail schooner – a replica of J.P. Fawkner’s Enterprize which brought the first European permanent settlers from Launceston to Melbourne in 1835. The current Enterprize was launched in Melbourne in1997. The ship is operated out of Melbourne by a not for profit Trust, with experienced sailing masters and volunteer crew. Information nights and induction sessions for new volunteers are held monthly, with opportunities available to be involved in on water crewing and shore-based activities both midweek and on weekends.
Further information and online bookings are available from Enterprize website