Santa Maria Manuela in port tall and proud

Published on May 19, 2011
The Portuguese four-masted tall ship schooner Santa Maria Manuela in St. John's harbour today. — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

The Portuguese four-masted tall ship schooner Santa Maria Manuela has arrived in St. John’s.

The ship is a member of the famed Portuguese White Fleet of fishing vessels, once operating off of Newfoundland. It will be docked off Harbour Drive and open to visitors during the long weekend.

The Santa Maria Manuela was built in Lisbon in the late 1930s. A refurbishment was completed in 2010 and it now serves as an adventure-tourism vessel.

The vessel is expected to stay in port until sometime Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on weather conditions.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, there will be a dockside welcome and a ceremony for the unveiling of a new plaque, commemorating the Portuguese visits to Newfoundland for more than 400 years.

That ceremony will be at the Cultural Connection statue — a piece by Luben Boykov located at the corner of Harbour Drive and Job’s Cove.

A former Canadian ambassador to Portugal will be in attendance, along with current Portuguese ambassador to Canada, Pedro Moitinho de Almeida.

The Santa Maria Manuela is owned by Pascoal and Filhos fish company, co-owned by Anibal Paiao.

Paiao’s family have strong ties to the White Fleet and has been working to save the ships from destruction.