Jeanie being built at Blennerville
Built at Blennerville
Jeanie at Fenit pier
Fitted at Fenit Pier
Jeanie's sea trials
Jeanie's Sea Trials
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The Jeanie Johnston Chronicle

Jeanie's progress,
a recent visit,
and sponsorship details

16th December, 2000
Jeanie Johnston
    The Kerry coast has been battered by storms and gale force winds these past few months, whilst the Jeanie Johnston lies at her moorings at Fenit pier, continuing to be fitted out. During the 3 months Sept-Nov, we have experienced 33 inches of rainfall, over half the annual average.
    The team of expert carpenters, fitters and designers ply their trade in Jeanie's interior and deck houses with minute attention to detail, every step bringing a new design challenge, because there has never been a ship like the Jeanie Johnston built here in Ireland. We are assured however, that the end of the work is in sight, and that in the Spring of 2001 Jeanie will finally head out across the Atlantic to make land-fall in the US. The ship's mechanical systems are due to be tested and commissioned this week. The continuing over-run in time has meant continuing over-run in costs, and the final total of building the Jeanie is now estimated at almost IR£10 million.
Jeanie Johnston at Fenir pier - 16th December

In the picture on the left, taken early in the morning of 16th December, you can see the tarpaulins covering the deck houses to protect them and the workmen from the weather. These are due to be removed in early January.

Click to send this picture as a postcard.


    There have been changes in the project management team recently, some of which will see John Griffin heading for the US to promote the American and Canadian tour, and Jim Finucane, local Councillor, being given overall responsibility for public relations.
    Continuing our tour of Jeanie's unique Tween Deck, begun in the previous update, this deck also houses the quarters for the permanent crew, who will stay on the ship throughout the voyage. At the rear of the deck is the Great Cabin which will be used for social events organised by the skipper. "Officers and crew will be able to come in here if the skipper invites them in" says Ciaran O'Regan. The Great Cabin will also house two bunks which can be used in medical emergencies. Just as important is the mini bar which will be available at the skipper's discretion. work in progress at an earlier stage in the Great Cabin
Work in progress
at an earlier stage
in the Captain's Great Cabin

    The lower deck has a number of uses. It holds the ballast which stabilises the ship, in this case a series of lead blocks. These were used instead of the traditional stone in order to save space for the engines and other essential equipment. The two Caterpillar engines, as industry standard, each have 300 horsepower, while two generators each supply 500 horsepower. The engines will be connected to the propellor shafts and will power the ship up to a top speed of 10 knots. The lower deck also houses the sewerage plant, a desalination plant to provide fresh water, and the diesel tanks to power the engines. The ceiling is fitted with a series of removeable sections to allow repairs or replacements to be installed.

Carpenter sheeting the deck houses
Carpenter sheeting the deck houses
    Above deck, the two deck houses on the main deck have now been sheeted. The rear deck house contains the skipper's cabin, along with quarters for the senior officers. The two most important rooms in the rear deck house are the chart room and the radio room. These are so vital to the ship that both are water and fire proof, and are separated by a solid fire door. There is a new page with new pictures of the work in progress on the project website.

the senior carpenters on the Jeanie project
Senior members of the shipbuilding team (l to r): Foreman Fitter Peter O'Regan, Shipbuilding Superintendent Michael O'Boyle, Foreman Shipwright Ciaran O'Regan and Foreman Carpenter Martin O'Sullivan.

Tom Kindre A warm Irish welcome was last month extended to Tom Kindre, a US Coastguard Auxiliary member, who will be crewing on Jeanie's trans-Atlantic leg. He was here to help the project set up communications and newsletters for crew and supporters, but when I rang Fenit pier office to talk to him, he couldn't come to the phone as the Captain had him sitting out on the bowsprit splicing ropes!
Tom and I did, however, find time to share a pint of Guinness. Tom is very enthusiastic about the voyage, and the spirit of the Jeanie Johnston project, and is writing a series of articles about his experiences. You can read about the background to his involvement with the project, right up to date, including his visit to Kerry here. This page also gives details of how to apply for few the remaining crew positions for the trans-Atlantic voyage. In an earlier article, Tom shows a map of Jeanie's proposed route across the Atlantic, although the timetable he suggests has been revised, there are still no firm dates.
By the way, did I mention he'll be 80 by the time Jeanie sails?

Tom Kindre on the bowsprit of the Jeanie Johnston
Tom Kindre on the bowsprit of the Jeanie Johnston

    We have received many e-mails and some messages to this website's guestbook from people who empathise with the spirit of the Jeanie Johnston voyage, its roots and its ideals. Remembering and rejoining with one's roots from past generations, and a sense of building on one's heritage to forge a stronger future, this is what the Jeanie Johnston embodies. I think that, whatever the delays and trepidations which have beset the project, the spirit of Jeanie will survive and triumph, that she will be met with much affection and generosity in the US and Canada, and in hard financial terms will meet her building costs and surpass them from sponsorship, revenue from visitors and corporate events.

    I also hope that people who visit and support Jeanie will take a little time to stand aside from their daily busy lives to honour their heritage and remember their ancestors whose courage brought them to the shores of the New World. When you touch the Jeanie Johnston, the beauty of the wood and the excellence of the craftsmanship transports you to a byegone age, one that many will feel is worth remembering.
Millennium mile scroll

2003 - The sponsorship described below is no longer available - please go to the project website where you can read about the new types of sponsorship.

    If you would like to be involved with the project and have the Jeanie Johnston sail a nautical mile on her Atlantic voyage in your name, or that of your nominee, visit the sponsorship page of the project website. For a donation to the project of $100, you will receive a Sponsor's Pack, including a personalised scroll. Full details and an online booking form can be found on the webpage.
There are also a range of sponsorship opportunities which are detailed on this page.

Schedule for Jeanie's Irish visits and trans-Atlantic voyage
will be posted as soon as it is released.

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