Many different ships visit Fremantle Port in the course of a year.
There are the usual fleets of commercial vessels along with cruise ships and naval ones.
But there are also icebreakers and research vessels heading to or from the South Pole, among other places on our still blue planet.
Case in point is Umitaka Maru who departed from Fremantle at 9 am today after being tied up at D berth for a few days.
Built in 2000 (so she’s 24 years old) Umitaka Maru sails under the flag of Japan. She is 93m long and 15m wide.
While listed as a ‘fishing vessel’, Umitaka Maru is more than that: she’s a training and research vessel operated by Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology and can carry 107 passengers including crew and cadets.
She conducts observation cruises to the Antarctic region every year. These cruises provide on board fishery training: tuna longline fishing, squid fishing and oceanographic research.
She departed Toyko, Japan on 24 November 2023, on her 72nd long sea voyage. On her way to Fremantle she visited Bangkok, Thailand on 10 December and arrived here on 6 January.
She is enroute to Hobart, Tasmania and expected to arrive there on 7 February.
Here she is again departing Freo this morning.
This ship has sailed to all the oceans of the world and is no stranger to Fremantle, her previous visit was in January 2023.
The current Umitaka Maru carries the same name of earlier Japanese research ships that also worked in Antarctica, as these images from 1963 and 1985 show.
Always something to see and lots to learn at the Port!
* STORY by Jean Hudson @jeansodyssey. Jean is our Shipping Correspondent and also a regular feature writer and photographer here on the Shipping News. You may like to follow up her informative Places I Love stories, as well as other feature stories and Freo Today photographs, right here.
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