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VLADIVOSTOK, February 14 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian sailing ship Sedov, which is circumnavigating the globe, has left the port of Nagasaki, heading for Hong Kong, where it is estimated to arrive on February 21.
On Wednesday night, when sailing out of the Japanese harbour, the ship, the masts of which are 58 metres high, had to pass under the Megami Bridge, the height of which is 65 metres. A lot of people gathered at the railings of the bridge to see how the Sedov with its sticking-out aerials will clear the bridge span. It seemed that the vessel was certain to catch on the bridge, reported the press service of the Rosrybolovstvo (Federal Agency for Fishery), which is the owner of the training vessel.
The Sedov had arrived at Nagasaki on Feb 11 and was a guest of the harbour for three days. People in Nagasaki had been looking forward to the arrival of the ship and the Mumiy Troll rock group, who participate in the round-the-world voyage, and accorded a hearty and friendly welcome to them.
Oleg Ryabov, Russia's Consul-General, who arrived there from Tokyo, related that people in Japan know quite well the Russian Far Eastern training sailing ships Pallada (Pallas) and Nadezhda (hope). "However, they were awaiting most impatiently for the arrival of the Sedov, a recordholder entered in the Guinness Book of Records," the diplomat pointed out.
The ceremonial and moving welcome to the sailing ship at the port reaffirmed his words. From the very outset while the ship was mooring at the pier, Japanese folk performing groups staged a colourful show. National dances to the sounds of drumbeat ended with a salute with crackers. The welcoming throng was dotted with small Russian flags and the wharf was decorated with a streamer with an inscription in Russian "S Priyezdom! (Welcome!)".
The Embassy of Russia and the Russo-Japanese Friendship Society arranged a sightseeing tour of Nagasaki for the crew and cadets of the Sedov, and acquainted them with the culture and traditions of Japan. In the Peace Park and in the Museum of Atomic Bomb, the ship's crew laid wreaths at the memorials. At the old Russian cemetery the crew honoured with a minute of silence the memory of the Russian seamen buried there at the end of the 19th century, and laid flowers.
The history of Nagasaki, which had been for long Japan's only port open to the foreigners, repeatedly interlinked with that of the Russian fleet. It is precisely there that the sloop Nadezhda under the command of Ivan Kruzenshtern called in 1805 during circumnavigation.
The Sedov's round-the-world voyage is dedicated to the 1,150th anniversary of the emergence of Russian statehood and to the memorable dates in the history of Russia's geographical discoveries.
Over its 92-year record, the legendary barque is making such a long-distance cruise for the first time. The voyage is to come to a close with the ship's arrival in St Petersburg in July 2013.