A Danish tall ship which has featured in numerous films and television series has departed Penzance Dry Dock following the completion of a programme of general maintenance and surveys.
The Phoenix of Dell Quay, which has appeared in several blockbuster films including Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto and Ridley Scott’s 1492: Conquest of Paradise, spent 12 days in Dry Dock before sailing out of Penzance Harbour at 4am on Thursday 25 April.
Work carried out by the team at the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company operated Dry Dock included Dry Docking and surveys and assistance to the owners’ shipwrights who replaced some hull timbers.
The 112 ft tall ship has a colourful history; originally built in Frederikshavn in 1929 she spent her first 20 years of service as an evangelical Mission Schooner and the next 25 years carrying cargo, until her engine room was damaged by fire.
In 1974, Phoenix was purchased by owners who converted her into a Brigantine and then sold her on to Charlestown-based ship owners and operators Square Sail in 1987.
In 1991 she was converted to the 15th century Caravel ‘Santa Maria’ for Ridley Scott’s film ‘1492 Conquest of Paradise’, and was known as Santa Maria until 1996 when, due to increasing demand for period square-riggers, she was converted into the two-masted 18th Century Brig she is today, and reverted to her original name.
As well as her appearances on the big screen, Phoenix has played a role in a number of television series, including Hornblower, the Scarlet Pimpernel and Doctor Who.
Jeff Marston, Chief Executive of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, said: “The team at Penzance Dry Dock are highly skilled and able to work on a wide range of vessels, from our own passenger and freight ships to historic tall ships like the Phoenix. We were delighted to welcome a ship with such an interesting background and will be sure to keep an eye out for any of her future film or television appearances.”
Penzance Dry Dock is leased to the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company and is one of the UK’s longest established dry docks, providing facilities for vessels in need of repair and conversion.