Sailing through time: Torrevieja’s beloved ‘Pascual Flores’ en route to France

Sailing through time: Torrevieja's beloved 'Pascual Flores' en route to France. 

Sailing through time: Torrevieja's beloved 'Pascual Flores' en route to France. Image: Pascual Flores · 1917 / Facebook.

On March 8, the historic pailebote ‘Pascual Flores’ set sail from Torrevieja, embarking on a new journey towards France.

This iconic ship, originally built in Torrevieja in 1917, has undergone restoration and remained docked in the Marinas Salinas port since November 27, welcoming visitors.

Now, it begins a new chapter with Port-Vendres in France as its first destination.

Torrevieja has a rich maritime history, rooted in the exploitation of salt from the surrounding lagoons.

Since the establishment of the Administration of the Reales Salinas in the town in 1803, maritime trade flourished, with salt being exported to various ports in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

In the early 20th century, Torrevieja boasted the largest sailing fleet in the Mediterranean, with around 200 registered boats, including 64 pailebots.

These vessels played a crucial role in commercial cabotage voyages, with Torrevieja serving as the last bastion of sailing in the Spanish Mediterranean.

The term “pailebote” derived from the English “pilot’s boat,” but it was also referred to as a schooner.

Built by renowned caulkers from Torrevieja, such as Antonio Marí, alias “el temporal,” the ‘Pascual Flores’ was launched in 1917.

Initially engaged in exporting fruits, salt, and general cargo across the Mediterranean and the African coast, the ship changed owners over the years and underwent structural modifications before ending up in England.

In 1999, the Torrevieja City Council acquired the deteriorating ‘Pascual Flores’ to restore it as a symbol of the city’s maritime heritage and the prowess of its sailors.

Today, the ship serves as a proud testament to Torrevieja’s seafaring legacy and continues to sail the seas, preserving the spirit of its storied past.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.