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Volume Eight - Pre-Victorian to the present day - more aspects - Pamir and Passat - the end of an era . . .

As well as the previous reports there was great interest in the windjammers future from the Australia perspective. Sadly, their demise was on the horizon and the Passat and Pamir were the last vessels to make the grain race.

1950 - Sailing ships for Sale? - 'The Finnish barque Passat (3,137 tons gross) arrived at Barry docks recently and discharged her 4,600-ton grain cargo after being used for many months as a floating warehouse at Penarth. There is yet no information that the Pamir, also used for storing grain at Penarth, is shortly to be discharged. It is almost certain that the Passat, on completion of discharge, will be laid up, probably in the Bristol Channel, for an indefinite period. So far as is understood, the owner, Mr. Edgar Erikson, would be willing to sell these two vessels if a satisfactory price was forthcoming. With the Archibald Russell having gone to the scrapyard late last year, the Erikson Fleet is now reduced to the Passat and Pamir, the Viking (laid up at Antwerp), and the Pommern (laid up at Mariehamn).' - Daily Commercial News and Shipping List [905] Wednesday 12th April 1950.

The fine book 'Dictionary of Disasters at Sea During the Age of Steam - 1824-1962' by Charles Hocking, [799] has the following record of the loss of the 'Pamir' : -

'Pamir' - Stiftung Pamir und Passat : 1905 ; Blohm & Voss; 3,103 gross register tons ; 377.3 ft. long x 46.0 ft. breath x ?? ft. depth; 4-masted steel barque; auxiliary oil engines.

The four-masted steel barque 'Pamir' was among the last of that great fleet of sailing ships which flourished at the beginning of the present century. She had a long and eventful career, escaping all the perils of war and of the elements for more than fifty years of voyaging.

She had been built for services in the Chilean nitrate trade and made many voyages around Cape Horn. Later she passed to the Australian grain trade and sailed in the last of those famous races from the Antipodes to Europe, together with the 'Passat', a ship of similar design. Finally both ships were condemned to the ship-breaker's yard, not because they were unseaworthy but because no one could be found to run them. At the last moment they were rescued by a group of West German shipowners who formed the Pamir-Passat Foundation, an organisation created to train officers for the German mercantile marine, and were reconditioned and fitted with auxiliary oil engines.

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