Jeanie being built at Blennerville
Built at Blennerville
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Jeanie's Sea Trials
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The Jeanie Johnston Chronicle

Jeanie leaves Fenit
and begins the
trans-Atlantic voyage

18th February, 2003
Return to Homepage for the Jeanie Johnston Chronicle
Return to Homepage for the Jeanie Johnston Chronicle

    The Jeanie Johnston finally began her long awaited trans-Atlantic voyage this week, on Sunday 16th February. The weather was cold, with piercing south easterly gales, but many thousands of well-wishers turned out at Fenit pier, Co. Kerry to cheer the ship on her way. There were speeches by Government Ministers, local Councillors and dignitaries, then an ecumenical blessing. The Army band played rousing sea shanties and the biggest cheer of the afternoon was heard when the Irish flag was raised, reflecting the County's pride in the ship, which has come through so many tribulations to fulfil her destiny. The ship pulls away from Fenit, crowds on both sides of the pier
The ship pulls away from Fenit pier, cheered on by thousand of well-wishers and accompanied by a flotilla of small boats.
Jeanie Johnston leavers Fenit and heads out towards the Atlantic
Jeanie Johnston turns and heads out of Tralee Bay towards the Atlantic ocean.
Gale force winds made it impossible for the ship to raise full sails, but she headed out of Tralee Bay accompanied by a flotilla of small boats, the Fenit Life Boat, and the navy vessel LE Eithne.

Jeanie has been unable to sail out of Irish waters so far, as the Captain deems it prudent to wait out the gales in Valentia Harbour, also affording another opportunity for crew training in preparation for the Atlantic. Jeanie carries a crew of 40, under her Captain, Tom McCarthy from Cork. The crew includes 15 professionals, and 24 enthusiastic amateur sailors, including sail trainees from the North and south of Ireland, and paying passengers.
Two Americans are sailing aboard the ship - Mel Davidson from Washington State, and Tom Kindre from New Jersey. Tom has the distinction of being the oldest crew member, at 81. He will be sending regular voyage reports which will be posted on this site and he is also writing a book about his experiences with the project.

The US Coast Guard Auxiliary, of which Tom is an active member, has unofficially adopted the Jeanie Johnston and plans to send boats out to greet her on arrival in the US. Here you can see Tom presenting a Commemorative Plaque to the Jeanie's Captain, Tom McCarthy.
Tom Kindre presenting a Commemorative Plaque from the US CG Aux to Capt McCarthy
Presentation of a Commemorative Plaque from the US Coast Guard Auxiliary to the Captain of the Jeanie Johnston.
More pictures from the departure weekend.
Sail training onboard the Jeanie Johnston
Sail training onboard the Jeanie Johnston
under the tutellage of professional crew.
The crew eating a well earned meal after intensive sail training
The crew eating a well deserved meal after intensive sail training in gale force conditions.
Not much room in these two bunks!
Two crew bunks in a cabin on the tween deck, which doubles as the museum space.
The Captain's own room, the Great Cabin
A view of the Great Cabin,
the Captain's domain.
Two trainees feel the cold on deck, waiting for their instructions.
Two trainees feeling the intense cold
out on deck, waiting for their instructions.
Last view of the Jeanie Johnston
Last view of the Jeanie as she heads out of
Tralee Bay towards the Atlantic.


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