Lošinj sailing ships

Lošinj has more than a hundred year old maritime and shipbuilding tradition. 
This barque was called the queen of the Lošinj sailing ships because of its twelve beautiful snow-white sails that adorned it. It was built in Glasgow in 1875 under the name “Blairgowrie” and it first  sailed the England-Australia passenger route. It had 1646 GRT, it was 76.8 m long, 11.6 m wide and 6.8 m high, with 17 crew members.        
           The beautiful and slender lines made it look like a sail-powered yacht. The lower masts were made of iron, while the topgallant and royal masts were made of wood. Under favourable wind conditions, it could achieve a speed of up to 16 nautical miles per hour. The 6-mm-thick steel plates provided it with great strength, allowing it to sail for over 35 years. The deck was adorned with boards made of American teak-wood, while the walls of the comfortable ship lounge were covered with mahogany panelling. Its central section below the deck held a storage space for 10 tonnes of drinking water, which was used in unlimited quantities, except during draughts when water consumption was supervised by the ship's bookkeeper (škrivan). 
         In 1902, Lošinj’s Captain Franjo Leva and 85 other co-owners (karatist) bought the ship from its English owners, and from 1907 to 1910, when it was sold as scrap in Genoa, it was owned by Captain Klodoveo Budinić from Veli Lošinj. 
  The first local captain commanding the Contessa Hilda was Aldebrand Petrina who was, following his death in Iquique in 1906, succeeded by Captain Ivan Volarić from Vrbnik. From 1908 until its decommissioning, it was commanded by Captain Branko Širola. 
          It was on this very ship that Captain Petrina demonstrated his exceptional seafaring skills. On his last voyage to Chile in 1906, shortly before his death, he set a record sailing the route from Trieste over the Cape of Good Hope to the Chilean Port of Taltal in only 94 days (over 19,000 nautical miles). At that time, this was the fastest voyage ever made from one of the Adriatic ports to Chile by a sailing ship. 
        In 1910, the ship set sail on its last voyage for Genoa carrying coal. Captain Širola sadly said goodbye to the ship that was the last Lošinj overseas sailing ship.
Sailing routes:

“ETTORE M.” (barque) 

             The last sailing ship owned by Lošinj’s shipowners and the Martinolić family. It was built in 1904 under the name “San Giovanni” in Chiogga, where it was purchased by Casimiro Martinolić from Lošinj for 32,000 francs. Because of its tall masts it was nicknamed Guardasuso (Looking up).
            It was 44 metres long, 8 metres wide with three masts and an iron hull. The foremast had five cross-masts, which made it extremely powerful, while the main and stern masts had additional gaff and top sails. Its navigational instruments consisted of a compass, sextant, chronometer, mechanical speed log, nautical charts, pilotage and tables. It could achieve speeds up to 14 knots when fully loaded. 
         It most often sailed for the port of Kalyves on Crete via Corfu and Benghazi. On Crete they would load carobs for feeding the French Army’s horses. Casimiro and his sons Ottavio and Marino were fluent in Greek, which significantly helped them in their trade dealings. They would look for carobs in small villages, from which they were transported on donkeys and loaded in bags onto the ship anchored in shallow and inaccessible bays. The carobs were transported in bulk and, in order to achieve the best possible stability of the ship, they pressed them by rolling barrels full of water over them. The freight was unloaded manually in bags in Nice. 
              The ship was sold on 4 February 1911 in Genoa for 32,000 francs, the same amount for which it was purchased seven years before. It was sunk during the First World War. 
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GANGE (barque)

          The first Lošinj sailing ship made of iron and the first iron sailing ship in the Austro-Hungarian Merchant Navy built in a local shipyard, as well as the last large ship ever built in Lošinj. It was launched in 1885 from the shipyard owned by Nikola Martinolić who built it at the initiative of his son Marko, while its construction was ordered by the consortium of Tarabocchi, Ivančić and Hreljić. The carrying capacity of the ship was 1680 tonnes.
            When Nikola Martinolić installed the first iron keel, the entire town got excited because it was the first time ever that one of the Mediterranean shipyards tried to build an iron sailing ship. Until then, only the English managed to do it. The most difficult task was to solve the problems regarding the processing of the new material. It was simpler for the ordering parties to buy used wooden ships, thus the construction of Gange was Martinolić's greatest challenge. 
              He entrusted the command of the ship to his cousin Carl Martinolich di Matte (Mali Lošinj, 1848 – Trieste, 1922), one of the most skilled masters serving on regional coastal liners. "Gange" was one of the few sailing ships that did not belong to the Lloyd Company, whose ships sailed on specific routes and had a special status. 
          From the material left after the construction of "Gange", Martinolić built the first Lošinj steamship called “Flink” with a carrying capacity of 100 tonnes, which was ordered by Carl Martinolich di Matte, who in the meantime became manager and owner of several sailing ships and coastal steamships.


        This full-rigged ship (nava) of the Venetian Merchant Navy became part of the history of Lošinj maritime navigation because it was commanded by Captain PETAR PETRINA (1706 - 1758) from Veli Lošinj, who during one of its voyages saved the ship from the threat of pirates.
       This heroic victory by the courageous captain took place on 4 August 1752. Headed for Alexandria carrying rich cargo, Captain Petrina received a notification from the English consul in Alexandria that a dangerous Algerian pirate, known as Hadzi Bekir, was planning to seize the captain’s ship on its route by a ship carrying as many as 300 pirates and 44 cannons. 
      After consulting with his crew of 72 men (of which 50 soldiers), Petrina concluded that they should continue the voyage even though they are outnumbered by the vicious pirates both in terms of cannons and men. The two ships stood face to face on a scorching summer day of 4 August near the Turkish coast. The fighting began when Grazia Divina fired 15 of its cannons. After three hours of constant exchange of fire, the enemy ship, which was visibly damaged, retreated. Two days later, near the coast of the Turkish Province of Karaman, the two ships confronted once more. The ruthless fight lasted the entire day and ended in Captain Petrina’s victory with only negligible losses. 
     For his heroic deed of saving the crew and the ship’s rich cargo, he was awarded with a gold medal and a diploma by Francesco Loredan, Doge of Venice, who also named him a knight of the Order of St. Mark. 
      Although he saved the ship from Algerian pirates and fought bravely at Candia and Morea in the war between the Turks and the Venetians, Captain Petar Petrina could not escape the fate of most of the sailors of that time. Together with the entire crew of Grazia Divina, he was killed in a shipwreck on 27 October 1758 in the English Channel. 

              This full-rigged ship (nava) built for shipowner Ivan Antun Tarabocchi became part of the history of Lošinj maritime navigation for two reasons: weighing 2,500 tonnes, it was a ship with the greatest tonnage in the history of Lošinj, and its launch on 13 May 1875 was attended by Emperor Franz Joseph I. The ship was built in the shipyard of Nikola Martinolić and was named after Empress Elisabeth of Austria known as Sissy. The locals were so excited about the fact that the emperor himself was coming to the launch that a Lošinj woman who had the same name as the ship, Elisabetta B., wrote a poem called “Pisma od dana”.
           A barque was the most common type of sailing ship that was built and sailed by Lošinj seafarers, so it is the main feature on the coat of arms of the town Mali Lošinj. It had three masts, the mainmast was the largest, followed by the somewhat smaller foremast and the smallest stern mast. Its was 40 to 60 metres long, 7 to 12 metres wide and 5 to 8 metres high, which made it especially suitable for ocean navigation. 
        In merchant navy the name of the ship was affiliated with the shipowner and the crew, while shipbuilders and shipowners often named their ships for sentimental reasons - after their local customs or places, and many were named after shipowners’ and captains’ wives. For example, the family Cosulich de Pećine named their ship “Kalk” after an area in Mali Lošinj where their ancestral home is still located, while others were named after family members – “Mater” (Mother), “Slava”, “Ugo”. The most distinct ship names were given by Nikola (Nicoletto) Martinolić who named his ships after the conditions under which they were built - “Sudore” (Sweat), “Lavoro” (Labour) and “Perseveranza” (Perseverance).
      The most beautiful barque was “Contessa Hilda“ with its 12 elegant sails, followed by “Jupiter“ and “Amor“, that were built in 1869 in the shipyard of Nikola Martinolić.

SATOR (barque)

         The name of this ship was meant to symbolise strength, fierceness and success, as well as to help it on its maritime voyages. However, despite of its powerful name, Sator was damaged, run aground or collided with other ships so many times that it was dubbed the Bad Luck Sailing Ship.
        The origin of its name is unknown, it is probably derived from the Latin word sator (satoris), which means sower, creator, father. The other possibility is that it came from the saying: Sator Arepo tenet opera rotas (God holds the plough, but you turn the furrows), which was at that time frequently recited in educated social circles. It is also possible that the ship’s name cames from the Latin phrase: Sator hominum deorumque, which pertains to God Jupiter.
       It was built in the shipyard of Nikola (Nicoletto) Martinolić in 1864 for Captain Ivan Anton Tarabocchi, co-owned by Ivan Augustin Kozulić. It was 45.9 m long, 8.9 m wide, 6.3 m high and had a carrying capacity of 634 GRT. This ship’s commanders included the following citizens of Lošinj: Mihovil Inocent Hreljić, Josip Premuda, Anton Minio, Franjo Ivančić, Ivan Mate Rodinis and Mihovil Dinko Hreljić, son of Capt. Hreljić. 
       It sailed the routes between the Black and Mediterranean Seas, eastbound-westbound across the Atlantic and towards the North Sea and the Baltics, where it transported Slavonian and Gorje barrel battens (dužice) and large beams (bordunale), Russian grains, Caucasian and American raw oil, Canadian and Baltic timber, Mediterranean salt and English coal. 
          In 1875, during the ship’s return voyage on the route Odessa – Grimsby – Hull, before arriving to the British port of Hull, it collided with a steamship in the River Humber and its masts were damaged.
         On its voyage from Cagliari to Philadelphia in 1887, it ran aground at the Schuylkill River, but remained undamaged. 
          In 1892, while transporting Algerian lilies, it collided near the Škarda Island with the Italian schooner “Maria R.” The collision was so severe that the Italian schooner had to be evacuated and Sator was tugged to Mali Lošinj by a gunship called Nautilus where it was repaired. That was its last arrival to its native town. After being repaired, Sator set sail from Rijeka towards Port Vendres, but was damaged in a storm and had to find shelter in Marseilles. The ship returned from its last voyage to Rijeka in 1894, where its masts and its equipment were removed and since then it served for years as the port barge (maona) for transporting coal to steamships. 
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