Ginger, a small Dutch vintage sailing ship, set sail from Amsterdam last April 26. His journey will be long and exciting: he will cross Europe from north to south with the aim of collecting stories, testimonies and ideas about the European Union in times of crisis and which every day looks more and more like an archipelago of distant islands. After 2,500 km of fresh and salt water, through 280 locks and four countries, it will arrive in Ventotene. The trip to Marseille will be by motor, then the mast can be rearmed to finally touch salt water and continue under sail.
VALERIO AND LORENZO:THE TWO SKIPPERS OF GINGER
Leading the boat through European channels are Valerio Dell’Anna and Lorenzo Santoro, who scouted it out in an old Frisian shed, bought and armed specifically for the venture. “Ginger is a 1965 Zwartemeer Kruiser, today there are ten specimens in the world, of which only four are registered,” Valerio says. “Seeing her there, very elegant but too far from the water broke our hearts, so we decided to give her a new life and a new name, to adapt her to salt water and make her the star of a little European odyssey.”
THE JOURNEY ALONG THE CANALS
Ginger spent her first day on the water in a long time in Amsterdam, and from there she reached the Vecht River putting in four days to get to Utrecht. During the first few days of sailing, the boat was tested in the water and some technical problems were solved. The second stop was ‘s-Hertigenbosch and then Veghel, an industrial town where the shipping channels are highways ploughed by barges up to sixty meters long, carrying anything and everything, until we arrived in Maasbracht, where Ginger is currently stationary ready to depart for the next stop. Lorenzo tells us, “The last section, between Veghel and Maasbracht, we traveled faster than the rest. Ginger has performed beautifully, but we want to fix some defects in the engine and electrical system that, if not fixed in time, could give us trouble on one of the long stages ahead“. The journey will resume, when everything is settled, toward Belgium on the Maas River to Givet on the French border. Continuing in French waters, Ginger will put the bow to the southeast in the direction of Toul and Nancy. Then a stop in Strasbourg where it will meet the Rhine River (here it will use the Arzille inclined plane, an “elevator” that allows one to ascend a drop of more than forty meters in a few seconds) until it meets the Sahone River in Burgundy, which will take Ginger to Lyon. Here he will finally take the Rhone to arrive, through the marshes of the Camargue, to Marseille.
EUROPE IS AN ARCHIPELAGO
You can follow Ginger’s journey along Europe’s canals and rivers at www.europeisanarchipelago.com and become part of the project by helping the boys through the crowfunding campaign that has been started on Indigogo.
GINGER: THE BOAT
The lines of this Zwartemeer Cruiser were designed by Roozeboom J.W. and was built in Friesland between 1962 and 1965. Fewer than ten specimens currently exist, of which only four are registered. The hull is made of steel and its line is not interrupted by any sharp edges. Lung. 7.65; width. 2.36; pesc 1.05/1.15; sup. vel. 26.3 sq m; displ. 3,350 kg.