Tall ship Esmeralda is in West India Dock while the Tall Ships Festival takesvplace in Greenwich.
She was built with the intention of becoming Spain’s national training ship, however the yard in which she was being built she was badly damaged by explosions and the ship itself suffered considerable damage.
In 1950, Chile and Spain entered negotiations about debts and Spain offered the not yet completed Esmeralda as part of the settlement. Chile took over ownership of the ship and she was launched in 1953.
Esmeralda has been a training ship for the Chilean Navy since and has visited more than 300 ports worldwide acting as a floating ambassador for Chile.
In the 1970s, the Esmeralda (White Lady) was used by the Pinochet regime to hold political prisoners with allegations of torture being used, which has led to some protest when she visited ports.
Since then, the ship has travelled the world in her ambassador role, most recently attending the Sail Amsterdam 2015 from August 19 to August 23.
The ship leaves on August 30.
Words by Alan Kean from Isle of Dogs Life