On 14 January, the training ship Juan Sebastián de Elcano set sail from the port of Cádiz to begin its XCV Training Cruise.
On the quay, having overcome the restrictions of previous years due to the pandemic, a large crowd of relatives of the crew members and the general public gathered to watch the departure of a ship that is part of the history and landscape of Cadiz.
The sailors of the training ship Juan Sebastián de Elcano went up to the masts to greet the authorities and general officers. The music group of the Tercio Sur played the melody of "Gato montés", on board the aforementioned ship, which is currently sailing the Atlantic Ocean towards Rio de Janeiro, to continue making calls at the ports of Buenos Aires, Punta Arenas, El Callao, Cartagena de Indias, Puerto León, Pensacola, New York and Marín where, on 12 July, after half a year at sea, the training cruise will end for the students. From there, the ship will set course for Cadiz to return to its base in La Carraca on 21 July.
One of the most important ships (part of the Fleet's maritime action forces, responsible for State action in Spanish waters), which remains in the background, is the Tofiño, which accompanied the Juan Sebastián de Elcano in the Bay of Cádiz.
The "El Tofiño" is one of the hydrographic vessels that carries out the official nautical cartographic work of the Spanish State (the Instituto de Hidrografía). José Antonio Candón Rodríguez, lieutenant colonel-second commander of the hydrographic vessel, told Atalayar exclusively that they produce nautical cartography to guarantee the safety of navigation for the rest of the navy, fishing, civil and sports vessels. There are areas of the Spanish coast that need to be updated, so commissions are set up and deployed in the bathymetric survey areas. Once the acoustic image of the seabed has been obtained, the bathymetric data is transferred to the nautical chart. As Candón Rodríguez explained, it is observed that the orography is changing and thanks to cutting-edge technology (anchor systems) for sounding the sea, "we can produce an increasingly precise acoustic image of the seabed and now things appear that were previously undetected (sunken ships, rocks)," said the lieutenant colonel-second-in-command of El Tofiño.
In addition to its crew, a total of 74 midshipmen who make up the 425th class of the General Corps of the Navy and 155th class of the Marine Infantry Corps, have embarked on the Juan Sebastián de Elcano, as students of the Naval Military School. Therefore, a total of 241 sailors will sail more than 18,000 miles in the 143 days at sea planned, to enjoy stays in port for another 41 days. The 94 previous cruises have shown that a voyage such as this remains an incomparable personal and professional milestone in the training of future Navy officers.
The farewell ceremony was presided over by Admiral General Antonio Martorell Lacave, Chief of Staff of the Navy, and was attended by various civilian and military authorities.
Carmen Chamorro García, board member of CIP and ACPE