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Plymouth Marine Department, history has returned!

How did this special event come about?

University of Plymouth Marine Department, has a long and salty history,  Tectona being a part.
Remarkably, two paintings inspired by a former captain and Uni lecturer helped save and return Tectona to Plymouth.

Tectona“, was an 80 ton wooden ketch. She served as a training vessel with the “Moyana” for cadets of the School of Maritime Studies Plymouth, between 1964 and 1980.

With the Artist’s permission a marine painting of these two vessels was used by the University Plymouth Maritime Department for several years as an elegant greetings card.
The ships Tectona and Moyana used to provide “hands on” sail training for Plymouth students. 
In a way this hands on experience continues today with contemporary courses like Surfing, Marine Sciences.

After long service Tectona was “sold foreign” by Plymouth City Council in 1980. She was eventually thought lost, reported wrecked, but not forgotten.


By 2006 a remarkable event began to unfold.
One of the very few places on the Internet our Tectona was mentioned was on the web site of “our hero” marine painter Gordon Frickers.
In 2006 Peter Adams wrote to www.frickers.co.uk, after searching the web for Tectona:
 “Maybe half a dozen so far, after intense searching. There are passing references to her in a number of places. There are your pictures. But these are buried in a vast ocean of hits for tectona-the tree. 160 thousand pages in fact“.
This very marine web site has served as it increasingly does for others via the new blog, to put interested people in touch with each other.

In this instance it has helped to focus on tracking Tectona’s true course through rumours, time and across many seas.

The latest news is usually here on Gordon Frickers blog, www.frickers.co.uk/blog and www.tectona.org.uk

Tectona found!
Our story really gets under weight with the 2 very sound marine paintings of Tectona which appear with some of the ship’s history in Gallery One Marine Art/Merchant Sail,
You can read more and view the paintings on: http://www.frickers.co.uk/marine-art/tectona_bolt_head.html

This latter painting includes both the University of Plymouth Marine Department vessels, “Tectona” and “Moyana” and the Eddystone lighthouse.

This marine painting was privately commissioned by the now retired sea captain and professor, former member of the marine department, Plymouth University staff.

After an extensive search for her history, a surprise!
Tectona was found, not in good “nick”, rather in the nick of time, laid up and deteriorating rapidly at the Port Napoleon Marina at Port St Louis du Rhone in the South of France. 

Now Tectona has returned to British ownership (Dec 07).

Welcome home
Tectona arrived back in Plymouth on 5th May 2008 for the first time since 1980
After an 1800 mile voyage through weather varying from flat calms to moderate gales. Tectona was skippered by Martin Wenger and crewed by Roger Crabtree and 8 Volunteers.
Tectona performed reliably despite her age, wear and tear, returning with her crew all firm friends after the voyage.

Tectona was taken to Tom’s Yard at Polruan opposite Fowey, Cornwall, for a major refit.

The intention
Tectona’s present owners plan to provide for young people, from all walks of life, a shared sailing adventure in Tectona, to build confidence, self-belief and awareness of the needs of others.

The plan includes evolving this approach to help victims of mental health and substance mis-use. Similar projects in other parts of Europe have been highly successful, the Batavia Wherf,  http://www.bataviawerf.nl/en/ – Zeven Provincien Project for an example at Lelystad, the Netherlands http://www.frickers.co.uk/marine-art/zeven_provincien_2.html.

A touch (or 3) of fame
The renowned sailor and author Allan Villiers chartered Tectona in the early 1960’s. He cruised from Cowes to Cornwall and wrote the tale for the National Geographic Magazine.
August 1971 – “The seaman like conduct of cadets involved in the annual race to Fowey, at the time of the disastrous Fastnet Race of 1971, earned a commendation from the Navy.”

The University of Plymouth offers world-class teaching and research in a wide spectrum of marine subjects and works closely with its partner institutions, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the Marine Biological Association, the National Marine Aquarium, the Diving Diseases Research Centre and the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science.

TECTONA is still well known in the South West and with Dr. Roger Crabtree’s initiative (See: http://www.tectona.org.uk/) you can help keep Tectonaserving our community with her special, robust, seaman like and salty personality.

www.frickers.co.uk is delighted to have played a minor part in encouraging interest in Tectona and is willing to help more.
We have a great opportunity which we would like you to comment on here, even support with ideas and suggestions, contact us at info@nullfrickers.co.uk, subject Tectona or http://www.tectona.org.uk/ thank you.

Maybe one day you  will  sail on Tectona?

Gordon Frickers 2008