The ‘Pascual Flores’ has arrived in Algeciras, Spain’s enclave in North Africa, where it will be put in ‘dry dock’ to undergo hull cleaning and painting.
It left Torrevieja last Monday under the command of Captain Manuel Murube Seville, with seven crew, for the journey which lasted two days.
In the usual Spanish fashion the schooner was given a ‘send off’ at a press conference held in Torrevieja Town Hall attended by the mayor, Eduardo Dolon, and the ship’s Captain, the Councillor for Culture, Luis Maria Pizana, and the director of the Nao Victoria Foundation which will be carrying out the work, Jose Fernandez de Cabo.
The mayor said that the overhaul, at a cost of 18,000 euros, will be the first step in making the schooner a little more active on it’s return to local waters.
The work in Algeciras is scheduled to take approximately two months. Once complete it will return to Torrevieja where it will remain under the control of the Nao Victoria Foundation and once again assume its duties as a tourist attraction where it will represent the values, culture and the seafaring history of Torrevieja.
The councilor explained that the schooner could also function as a mobile tourist office for Torrevieja and, in theory, it could promote the city by travelling all over the world.
The director of the Nao Victoria Foundation stressed that the Pascual Flores is in good condition and remains a great attractionl for Mediterranean sailors. He said that it is the intention of the Foundation to show it worldwide.
However two of Torrevieja’s political parties have criticized the possible new status of the schooner.
PSOE spokesman, and candidate for mayor, Angel Saez, said the whole upkeep of the ship has already cost the city far too much from which the citizens are getting very little, if no, benefit. “We have already spent over 5 million euros on it’s upkeep and preservation’ he said, “It is probably worth around 6 million and we need to recover the money it has cost the city, therefore it should be advertised for sale and if somebody wants to buy the boat they should be allowed to do so”.
However José Luis Alarcon, number 6 on the Sueña Torrevieja list of candidates for the forthcoming elections, totally rejected the transfer of assets for the schooner which have been going on for 25 years saying that it will be totally irresponsible to continue with such funding “.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/47237/