Max Visits the Cuauhtémoc

She's a "Barque," 220 feet at the waterline, 1800 tons and with a crew of 186.

You know what the chances are of me standing on a yard arm like that? Zero. Absolute zero.

ARM Cuauhtémoc is a sail training vessel of the Mexican Navy, named for the last Aztec Emperor who was captured and executed in 1525.

I think Cuauhtémoc means “Descending Eagle” but don’t hold me to that as my conversational Aztec is a little weak.

It could also mean “only crazy people climb up those high masts.” But I digress.

The figurehead from the tall ship.

The figurehead from the tall ship.

Wikipedia says Señor Cuauhtémoc ascended to the throne when he was 25 years of age, as his city was being besieged by the Spanish and devastated by an epidemic of smallpox brought to the New World by Spanish invaders.

Wiki goes on to snark, “Probably, after the killings in the main temple, there were few Aztec captains available to take the position.” Yuh think?

Not much gold was found and ultimately Cuauhtémoc was executed and ascended to indigenous folk hero status as the badazz Aztec emperor who resisted the conquest by the Spanish.

He is revered as an indigenous hero and was a master of bad timing.

He is revered as an indigenous hero and was a master of bad timing.

His face has appeared on Mexican banknotes, and he is celebrated in paintings, music, and popular culture.

Interestingly, the name Cuauhtémoc is one of the few non-Spanish given names for Mexican boys that is perennially popular.

In addition to the ship, there are many things named after him from subway stops to government buildings. It especially pleases me to know that the sassy Emperor’s legacy lives on at a brewery.

The Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma Brewery, a subsidiary of Heineken, was founded in 1890 and is based in Monterrey,  México.

Beautiful day; beautiful ship.

Beautiful day; beautiful ship.

The company produces the Dos Equis, Sol, Bohemia, Superior, Carta Blanca, Noche Buena, Indio, Casta and Tecate brands among others.

I don't always drink beer whilst hanging my ass out 130 feet above the ocean, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.

“I don’t always drink beer whilst hanging my ass out on a yard arm, 130 feet above the ocean in the middle of a roaring gale, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.”

This gorgeous “Tall Ship” is the last of four sister ships built by the Naval Shipyards of Bilbao, Spain, in 1982.

Like her sister ships, Cuauhtémoc is both a naval training ship and a ambassador for her home country having sailed almost a half million miles over nearly 32 years.

This year, the proud vessel has been on a goodwill voyage that includes port stops in 12 countries and she has been berthed at Aloha Tower for three or four days.

I never miss a chance to look at tall ships and since Gordon Biersch brewery is next to the dock Max and I were unable to resist paying a visit.

Snazzy kicks on these cadets. Photo credit: Seattle Times

Snazzy kicks on these cadets. Photo credit: Seattle Times

The Cuauhtémoc is a Barque measuring 220 feet at the water line and displaces 1,800 tons.

She carries 2,400 sq. meters of sails with a 1,125 horsepower back up power plant.

The ship is staffed with 186 officers and crew plus 90 cadets who train to receives sailing certifications in international waters. By the way, all of the cadets wear Converse sneakers while on board.

These are ships that train future fisherman, most about 15-17 years old. They go on 45 day missions with a stopover in Hawaii.

These are Japanese government ships that train future fisherman. They go on 45 day trips with a stopover in Hawaii.

The Mexican Navy ship wasn’t the only vessel at the tower today. There were also two Japanese fishing ships.

These government-sponsored ships take young men from 15-17 years old and train them to be large scale commercial fisherman.

One ship was from Sendai, not too far from the site of the terrible tsunami of 2011 and one was from Kyushu, Japan’s southern island.

Not yet, Max. Wait for "OK".

Not yet, Max. Wait for “OK”.

The AJF conversed with the seamen and found out they were on 45 day journeys with a Honolulu stopover that was the highlight of their adventure.

Meanwhile, our favorite Malt was thrilled to be back port side. He really likes to sit on his own chair, observe the goings on, eat some burger and sausages (it was Octoberfest!) and accept tribute and adulation from other diners.

Speaking of tribute, I couldn’t resist making the Malt into an Aztec sacrifice to celebrate the visit of such a fine naval vessel. I used the “Simba” format to make my offering.

The Malt was not amused.

That's me making Max into an Aztec offering. Perhaps that second beer was having an effect.

That’s me making Max into an Aztec offering. Perhaps that second beer was having an effect.

13 replies

  1. I’m a product of a Mexican puppy mill and found you narrative informative. I have to find out about now. My peep was a guest of a ship of the Spanish main. Well, it was a full blown (no motor) Spanish sailing vessel that the Spanish equivalent of the Naval Academy used to train by sailing around the world. This was in Panama and rumor has it that a few brandies were knocked down during this visit.


  2. Gorgeous day for informative ‘sealore’–fascinating! And through in a good beer or two, well, sounds like the makings of a perfect day. Well done to you and especially to Max for being a good little sacrifice Malt. 😉


  3. I’ve been aboard this beauty when she was taking part in a tall ships meet in Rouen….very friendly crew!
    Making an Aztec sacrifice of the Malt…I just bet he was not best pleased… reckon I can see a Queen Victoria expression on his face from here…


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