No. 5 Elbe

JULY 2006 – The two-mast schooner No. 5 Elbe, while sailing the Baltic Sea near Denmark. © Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

Here’s another shot from our 2006 Baltic Sea trip with my father-in-law. Here, a true gem of the (German) sailing world crossed our way (and lens): The No. 5 Elbe. It was built in 1883 and served 30 years to transport professional marine guides to their destinations along the Elbe river. Then many interesting years followed, including a period where it crossed 13 times the Atlantic Ocean. In 1937, it rounded Cape Horn. Huge achievements.

But No.5 Elbe made it to top news in Northern Germany in 2019 when the ship dramatically sunk in the Elbe after a bad sailing maneuver. Wikipedia has the whole story (in German.) I am happy that no one got seriously injured during that accident and that the ship could be lifted. Now it seems to be still in repair.

Of course, I did not know any of that when I innocently made this shot in the summer of 2006. The ship just looked nice, but it was nothing more than a beautiful old yacht to me. In my view, the photo is the perfect illustration of a traditional ship and an eye feast for lovers of the sea. The reduced color set, the frontal sunlight from above the frame, the even horizon. All this makes the ship stand out even more.

Love it.

The high resolution image

Capture Date27-JUL-2006, 12:38
LocationBaltic Sea, Denmark
CameraCanon DIGITAL IXUS 60
Exposure1/400 sec at f/10
Digital Image Source FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions2810 x 2094 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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