Photo: Wikimedia Commons
ARA Libertad, a training ship owned by the Argentinian Navy, is one of the most storied tall ships at sea.Yesterday, It was just seized by the hedge fund Elliott Management while it was docked in Ghana because of a bond debt the country owes to the firm.
Basically, Elliott has been pursuing a full payment from Argentina on sovereign debt for some time, and it was able to get the government of Ghana to give it what was essentially an arrest warrant on the ship in exchange for its debts.
The ARA LIbertad is a beautiful ship with a long history, which is still used for sailor training.
In 1966, she established the world record for a transatlantic crossing using only sail navigation. Libertad set sail from Cape Race in Canada and landed at Dursey Island in Ireland. The 1,741.4 nautical mile trip took 6 days and four hours. The record remains unbroken to this day.
Source: Guyana Chronicle
Among its specifications, Libertad is 103.75m long and weighs some 3,765 metric tons. She complements a crew of 357 souls--24 officers, 187 crewmen, and more than 150 cadets.
It's four Hotchkiss 47 mm cannons were designed and build in 1981. They are now used as a salute battery.
When at sea, the ship will be propelled by sails 30 per cent of the time and propelled by its 2 diesel engines 30 per cent of the time. The remaining 40 per cent of the time, she's propelled by a mix of both, depending on the wind. She can reach a top speed of 11.8 knots.
Five square sails and three jibs are affixed to the main mast (the middle mast) which tops out at 56.2 meters.
Five square sails and two jibs are affixed to the foremast (the front mast) while five square sails and a spanker are affixed to the mizzen (the back mast).
In addition to its transatlantic record, the ship won the prestigious Boston Teapot Race in 1966, 1976,1981, 1987,1992, and 1998. The prize is awarded to the training vessel which in a given year covers the greatest distance during any period of 124 hours (5 days and 4 hours).
ARA Libertad previously spent time in the coast of Paramaribo, capital of Suriname before heading for La Guaria in Venezuela. The tour of the Atlantic basin was slated to include the Caribbean, US, Portugal, Spain, several African countries, and finally Cape Town this month.