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#SailingWhiskey- In her centenary year, the classic West Country ketch Bessie Ellen will be very much keeping to her original role when she carries cargo, notably precious whiskey from Scotland to Drogheda for the Irish Maritime Festival held next weekend (13,14 and 15 June).

The whiskey is from the Bruichladdich Distillery on the Hebridean island of Islay and is also from where a cargo of barley will be carried to symbolise and re-establish the historical trading links between Drogheda's town quays and Islay.

Uon arrival to the festival, bottles from Bruichladdich will be presented to the Chairman of the Port Company, the Mayor of Drogheda and the Captain of the Bessie Ellen.

It is fitting that Bessie Ellen which would have been the very type of vessel to be involved in this trade a 100 years and that of transporting thousands of tonnes of barley and grain exported from the Louth port to the distilling industry along the Scottish western isles.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie she was expected to take week-long voyage where people have an opportunity to sail on board one of the last surviving trading ketches from a fleet of over 700. She hails from an era when working sailing ships were an everyday sight seen trading in Irish ports and harbours.

As owner-master, Captain Nikki Alford explained (also click for video) she regularly carried cargoes among them timber pit-props,coal, china-clay and grain for Guinness. In response to the current cargo carrying voyage she said "We are so looking forward to bringing this special cargo back to Drogheda and very excited at being part of the Maritime Festival."

CEO of Drogheda Port Company, Mr Paul Fleming stated 'This is a fantastic and very authentic way to commemorate Drogheda's rich maritime history. There are over 560 years of distilling, trade and transport history represented between the port, the ship and the distillery. It is thrilling to watch all of this heritage being brought to life at the festival'.

Bruichladdich distillery was established in 1881 and continues to this day to use only the finest barley and traditional distillation methods to produce their world class whisky. Their passionate belief in provenance and the barley itself has resulted in the production of the iconic Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2007 malt whisky where the grain for the whiskey was grown on a local farm beside the distillery.

Master distiller from Bruichladdich distillery Jim McEwan said "we are delighted to be associated with Drogheda Port and the Irish Maritime Festival. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to ship our whisky in the old fashioned way, by sail."

Published in Tall Ships

#DublinPardeofSail – The Parade of Sail on the Bank Holiday Monday, marked the end of another Dublin Port Riverfest, as the varied fleet in terms of type and age transited the East Link bridge bound for Dublin Bay, writes Jehan Ashmore.

One of the smaller tallships, the Welsh Vilma headed the Parade of Sail, following a 'Battle of the Pirate Ships' complete with 'cannon' fire which was held within the Liffey's central city quays to the delight of onlookers.

The Beaumaris registered vessel had on another occasion called to Dublin  Bay to anchor in Scotsmens Bay during the MOD70 races in 2012.

Also participating in the capital, was the smartly kept ketch of the Irish Naval Service, the sail training vessel STV Creidne, the distinctive black and white strip hull of the Pelican of London and the largest visitor, Gulden Leeuw which represented the final departure.

Some of the tallships as soon as they passed through the almost thirty year-old bridge, berthed at the Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club.

The river berths of the marina soon saw a quartet of vessels berth in quick succession, one been the century-old Cornish based Ruth.

Should you have not seen the tallships gracing the capital quays, there's another opportunity to see the forest of masts as they call to the Irish Maritime Festival (14-15 June) along the quays of Drogheda Port.

Soteria and Beumaris

Soteria and Vilma

Pirate ships in battle -Vilma and Soteria

'Pirate ships' in battle -Vilma and Soteria

Gulden Leeuw largest tallship

Gulden Leeuw, the largest tall ship on the Liffey

The event likewise of the Riverfest is organised by a port authority in association with others, in this case the Drogheda Port Company. The Louth port will also welcome a non-Dublin caller, as previously reported the 110 year-old classic West Country trading ketch, Bessie Ellen to the Boyne. 

Making a debut to the second year of the festival is another classic vessel, in the form of the working hopper dredger, Hebble Sand, albeit more than half a century old herself.

Pelican of London departs Pelican of London departs Dublin Port

Published in Tall Ships

#TallshipsDublinRiverfest - Lining the Liffey quays are a flotilla of tall ships for Dublin Port's 'Riverfest', the second time the sailing and maritime festival has been held and where the public can board these beautiful vessels free of charge, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The bank holiday weekend held Riverfest (31 May-2 June) welcomed visiting tall ships which berthed today along North Wall Quay, from where the public will be able to thread timber decks and meet some pirates too! In addition to other events and activities held along the quays, for details visit the festival programme. 

Among the vessels previously reported, is veteran Ruth, a century-old gaff-rigged schooner built in Sweden to serve in the Baltic, now the Penzance based vessel offers sailing holidays. The Cornish vessel had anchored in Killiney Bay off Sorrento Point, Dalkey and from noon she met fellow tallships in Dublin Bay before heading in to the city-centre berths.

The flotilla was met by the Naval Service STV L.E. Creidne which led them into the the port channel and through the East-Link bridge.

Also making an appearance is L.E. Roisin (P51) the leadship of a class of Offshore Patrol Vessels in which the design of the new L.E. Samuel Beckett (P61) is based upon. Another grey hulled vessel on view will be a Revenue Commissioners custom cutter.

Not to be missed are tugs dancing!... yes that's right, as Dublin Port's pair of tugs get into the action too with an impressive display on the river. The starring tugs are the green hulled Beaufort and Shackleton.

Of the larger tall ships, they are the 70m Gulden Leeuw, the 45m Pelican of London which is take part in the Drogheda's Irish Maritime Festival in mid-June and 48m Morgenster. On board the trio were around 100 youngsters from the north and the rest of this island nation. The latter vessel having called to Belfast this week to announce the return of the Tall Ships Races to the city next year.

As for the Ruth, the schooner has company with counterparts, Irene, Soteria and Vilma adding to the sense of a traditional bygone era of sail. Plus our very own replica barque, Jeanie Johnston, again free tours telling the story of famine and emigration to the US.

Another Liffey ‘resident’ is the Dublin built TSMV Cill Airne, a rivetted hulled former Cobh liner tender now restaurant venue where an Admirals Ball is to be held on Sunday.

It is understood that the berths for the tallships are moored alongside new pontoons which will remain permanent following the Riverfest's finale when on Monday there will be a 'Parade of Sail'.

 

Published in Tall Ships

#TallShipsDublin2014 – It's that time of year again, as the second Dublin Port 'Riverfest' gets underway over this June Bank Holiday weekend (31 May-2 June), and already in port are a flotilla of almost ten tallships lining the Liffey quays, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The host organisers of the riverside, sailing and maritime festival, Dublin Port Company welcomed a majestic array of tallships that arrived from noon onwards today to berth along the capitals historic North Wall Quay.

One of the visiting vessels is the 100 year-old Ruth, which had been at anchorage in Killiney Bay, off Sorrento Point in Dalkey, having sailed from Milford Docks in Pembrokeshire. She is operated by First Rate Sail, a family-run sailing holiday business based in Penzance, Cornwall.

The Swedish built gaff-rigged schooner traded in the Baltic Sea and these days she offers sailing voyages in Irish waters, Cornwall, Isle of Scilly, Brittany and Seine Bay off Normandy.

As previously reported the Riverfest festival programme will include the tallships, among them our very own the Jeanie Johnston, the replica barque will be open free of charge.

The River Liffey will take centre stage, as the three day festival is expected to be one of the biggest family-friendly events this weekend, attracting thousands of Dubliners and visitors to enjoy a wide range of quayside seafaring events and activities.

Two pirate ships featuring pirate re-enactments will be held, while Dublin Port will put on a show of their own with tug boat "dance" demonstrations performed by sisters Beaufort and Shackleton. Watch the skill of the tug-boat crew's within the confines of the Liffey.

In addition to river kayaking and most importantly is the sailing spectacle which is to culminate in a 'Parade of Sail' on Monday.

Fingers crossed that the winds will pick up in Dublin Bay to fill those white canvas sails while we bid them fare sailing!

Published in Maritime Festivals

#tallships – The Drogheda Port Company in conjunction with Sail Training Ireland confirm the 'Spirit of Oysterhaven' will be joining the parade of classic ships at this years fun packed Maritime Festival. The 70ft–classic schooner is Ireland's only 'non-naval' Sail training vessel.

This June she will be home to the adventurous local youths selected through the 'Drogheda Tall Ships Bursary Scheme' kindly supported by local businesses. 'The scheme is now in its second year and it is providing young people with a truly unique experience of self discovery and growth, while teaching them all the elements involved in sailing' said Nessa Lally of Drogheda Port.

This year there are two voyages confirmed. The first group of aspiring sailors will leave Cork on the 9th of June and sail into Drogheda with the 2014 classic ship fleet on the 13th of June, when all this years maritime festivities will kick off. The second voyage will mark the end of the festival weekend, on the 16th of June parents will be waving their teenagers goodbye from Drogheda Port as they set sail on their thrilling 5 day adventure.

Published in Tall Ships
Tagged under

#StenaTALLship – Stavros S. Niarchos a brig operating for Tall Ships Youth Trust which visited Dublin Port earlier this month has returned again and as of this afternoon she departed on a passage bound for Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel, writes Jehan Ashmore.

At 197ft long the brig was the largest built in Britain for over a century when launched in 2000 from the then owned Appledore Shipbuilders yard in Bidna, which lies downriver of Bideford in North Devon.

The brig flies the Stena Group houseflag as she is one of more than 130 vessels managed by a subsidiary of the Swedish shipping giant through the Clydebank based Northern Marine Management.

Recently the former Celtic Link operated ro-pax which was taken over by Stena Line has been renamed Stena Horizon (2006/27,522grt) and she becomes under the NMM operated fleet. The 940 passenger capacity vessel continues to serve to the thrice weekly round-trip sailing schedule of the Rosslare-Cherbourg route.

The Italian flagged Stena Horizon is currently berthed in Rosslare Harbour this evening as is her fleetmate, Stena Europe which sails on the company's established service to Fishguard. The St. Georges Channel route commenced in 1906 and originaly operated by railway companies from both sides of the Irish Sea.

The present-day service to Wales offers an alternative 'landbridge' service to the continent via the UK from where the operator's only ferry service to Europe is Harwich-Hook van Holland.

Ironically, the 1981 built Stena Europe previously served on the UK-Dutch route between 1997 until she was transferred to the Wexford-Pembrokeshire link in 2002.

 

Published in Tall Ships

#PilotCutter - The Royal St George Yacht Club gives word that a crew is needed to sail the Bristol Channel pilot cutter Dolphin on a return trip to Greenland via Iceland this summer.

It promises to be a challenging adventure only for the experienced sailor, with cramped conditions on board and bad weather expected.

But there will also be plenty of opportunity for climbing and walking, as well as creature watching from polar bears to muskoxen and arctic foxes.

The classic boat in question – a 1909 Bristol Channel pilot cutter with 39ft on deck - aims to leave Swansea in late June for return in mid September, with planned stops for crew changes in Reykjavik and Issaford in Northern Iceland (mid July and end of August).

While in Greenland, Dolphin will return to Kangerlussuaq, if possible, and propose to spend two to three weeks in or toward the mountains beyond Kraemer Island at the edge of the icecap, subject to the ice.

The Royal St George has more on the voyage HERE.

Published in Tall Ships

#tallships – While lathes are turning in Washington State, dozens of riggers have begun working on the standing rigging that will faithfully support the three masts of SSV Oliver Hazard Perry. The 200-foot square-rigged Tall Ship is Rhode Island's official Sailing Education Vessel, the largest of its kind to have been built in this country in the last 100 years. The ship's hull is at Senesco Marine in Quonset, Rhode Island; its wooden spars are being turned and shaped at The Spar Shop at Grays Harbor Historical Seaport in Aberdeen, Washington; and the rigging is taking shape in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, where many of the state's renowned marine trades companies are headquartered. And although these vital components are spread about in different locations at the moment, this Spring they will come together in Portsmouth, R.I. to comprise one very large, very impressive and exceptionally appointed Class A Tall Ship.

"The Perry is a modern, steel-hulled ocean-going civilian sail training vessel, with a 13 ½ story rig and 20 sails (made by Hood Sails in Middletown, R.I.) with 14,000 sq. ft. of sail area," says the ship's Captain Richard Bailey, a Wellfleet, Mass. native greatly respected for his previous Tall Ship commands and his knowledge of maritime traditions, education and their combined relevance in the modern world. "Her design is based on centuries-old tradition, but her equipment is anything but antiquated."

In addition to her three decks, modern galley and Great Cabin (where captains, in days of yore, entertained), the Perry sports, among other things, high-end navigation and communication systems, a state-of-the-art science lab (designed under the guidance of the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography), and wheelchair accessibility (including accessible below deck staterooms, heads and a wheelchair lift). The Great Cabin will be used less for entertaining and more for education in its capacity as a classroom outfitted with monitors displaying real-time navigation and meteorological data. The other classroom space will house laptop computers (donated by Intel), interactive SMART boards (donated by Shanix Technologies, Inc.) and a well-stocked library.

"Belowdecks, she is really not like any other Tall Ship that is sailing out there today," says Bailey, who notably ran "HMS" Rose for 20 years before it was bought by Hollywood producers for the movie Master and Commander. "Above deck, however, she is a completely traditional Tall Ship, and in that respect there are many artisans who will have had a hand in contributing to her character."

(Left) The SSV Oliver Hazard Perry's lower masts (shown from below decks as they were temporarily stepped last July) are made of steel, as is its hull; however, her three top masts and 16 additional yards, booms and gaffs will be of Douglas fir and made by The Spar Shop at Grays Harbor Seaport . 

Among those are Alan Richrod and his crew at The Spar Shop, which is said to have the largest spar lathe in North America, if not the world. By press time they will have completed 11 of the 19 spars ordered by OHPRI, including the mizzen, main mast and royals for each; fore top mast and gallant; mizzen gaff; boom; and jib boom.

According to Richrod, the jib boom required the largest piece of wood in terms of board feet (53 feet long and 16 ½ inches in diameter before shaping), and the largest of the yards being made is the main course yard (lowest on the main mast); it is currently 12,000 pounds (weight before water evaporation) and was cut from a 65 foot log that only weeks ago was a tree standing in a forest.

"In all, the spars we are making for the ship weigh more than 35 and 1/2 tons and total 25,182 board feet—that's enough to build a house of over 3700 square feet!" said Richrod.

Richrod explained that, in keeping with the Perry's commitment to reducing its ecological footprint, The Spar Shop's wood comes from a private tree farm in Rainier, Ore. where, rather than harvesting by clear-cutting the trees, the owner (whose great grandfather bought the property in 1918) only thins and replants.

"He cuts what we need with his son and one other guy," said Richrod, who has been a woodworker since he was a child. "This is a neat project, and we're excited about being a part of it. It's in keeping with our own maritime tradition and the education component here at Grays Harbor Historical Seaport."

Richrod estimates the masts and yards will be delivered cross-country to Newport in late April.

Riggers have come in from all over the country to work on SSV Oliver Hazard Perry's six miles of traditional rigging for this modern ship. Currently, the team of 18 is in the pre-assembly stage, working out of New England Boatworks to put the wire rigging through the "worm, parcel and serve" process, which is used in traditional style rigging to waterproof and prevent rusting over time. Once the mast is ready, the team of riggers will step it and rig the lower terminals so that the mast can be held in place while the yards are added and the rigging is completed. The process for this stage of the rigging will take approximately six weeks.

Clean and Green

By the nature of sailing itself, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will be energy efficient, powered by the wind whenever possible. To reduce its energy footprint further, the ship's diesel engines and generators will run on biodiesel (supplied by Newport BioDiesel), and ultra-high capability Ensolve separators will cleanse oily waste water down to 2-15 ppm using naturally occurring microbes. On board, the focus will be on sustainable living: conserving water, minimizing trash and reducing food waste. Trash will be separated and all plastics taken ashore for recycling, while black water will be treated in an onboard waste water treatment plant.

"It is expected that with all these ecologically responsible practices in place, along with first-hand experiences of the fragility of ocean life, a sense of pride, stewardship and passion for the marine environment will be instilled in our shipmates," said Richard Bailey, the Captain of the ship.

First Season Close to Home
Though it is to be certified by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry 49 people on overnight voyages anywhere in the world, SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will spend its first summer close to home. After an annual fundraising gala on July 5 in Newport, R.I., the ship plans to join the Cape Cod Canal Centennial Celebrations July 28-30, and in August, she will travel along the coast of New England, visiting the historically rich ports of Nantucket, Boston, Portsmouth, N.H. and Greenport, N.Y. during her one-week camp sessions for teens. In September, the ship will journey to Baltimore for Bicentennial Celebrations of the Star Spangled Banner and then to Bermuda and Portland during one-week voyages featuring Celestial Navigation and Meteorology Courses in partnership with Ocean Navigator Magazine.

Published in Tall Ships

#SailBessie – A fantastic opportunity to sail on a voyage to Drogheda to coincide with the maritime festival, is to see the 1904 built West Country trading ketch, Bessie Ellen set forth from Scotland on 7 June, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 110 year-old lady, Bessie Ellen, will take in a seven-day voyage involving stunning scenery and famous landmarks along the way between the embarkation port in Oban and the mountains of Mull, Jura and Islay.

There may even be an en-route port of call to Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man, which could include a visit to a quirky port and an anchorage offshore to a secluded place you may not have heard of.

Bessie Ellen will then head for the second Drogheda Maritime Festival (13,14 and 15 June) as previously reported and where in total five tall ships are expected to gather.

If this whets your appetite to take a classic journey under sail and a chance to realise an ambition to step back in time on board a timber-built trading vessel then the Bessie Ellen is for you. She is only one of three surviving West Country ketches from more than 600 built as cargo-carrying vessels trading in the Irish Sea and northern Europe.

Interestingly, in recent years she has carried commercial wine-cargoes as she still holds a licence for present day small cargo-handling.

For example the French-owned Fair Wind Wine had chartered the vessel Bessie Ellen during the final Dublin Docklands Maritime Festival in 2010 for public wine-tasting! See below photo of the ketch during that festive occasion.

Also attending the what would become the final Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) organised festival was the French 'gabre' or trading vessel, Notre Dame de Romengol, a somewhat trawler-like looking craft.

So if you are interested in traditional sailing vessels offering sailing holiday voyages for 12 people and you have a zest for 'hands on' adventure why not become a crew member of Bessie Ellen.

Bessie Ellen

West Country ketch Bessie Ellen during the final DDDA Docklands Maritime Festival in 2010. Photo Jehan Ashmore

With that in mind, the final leg will be from the mouth of the Boyne and heading upriver to be greeted at the Louth port as part of the Drogheda Maritime Festival. For further details and on prices, visit Classic Sailing's website HERE and above to hear her owner, Nikki Alford talk about her sailing holidays.

In addition to further updates on the Maritime Festival posted on Drogheda Port Company website.

 

Published in Tall Ships

#StenaTALLshipStavros S. Niarchos a brig operating for Tall Ships Youth Trust departed Dublin Port this afternoon, having berthed at Sir John Rogersons Quay, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 197ft brig which was the largest built in Britain for over a century was launched in 2000 from the Appledore Shipyard in North Devon.

She arrived to Dublin Port having made a passage on 30 March from Liverpool from where she spent a winter lay-up in the Canning Half Tide Dock.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, she is one of more than 130 vessels managed by Clydebank based Northern Marine Management, a part of the Stena Group.

Over the years she has visited Irish ports to where she is not the only vessel in port to fly the Stena houseflag, notably at ferryports such as Dun Laoghaire Harbour with its fast-craft HSS Stena Explorer operating to Holyhead which is to resume service on 9 April.

In the meantime, tonight marks Stena Line's first ever direct Ireland-continental sailing as the former Celtic Link Ferries ro-pax, Celtic Horizon sets sail this evening at 21.30 on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route.

It is understood that the 940 passenger capacity ferry will be renamed next week the Stena Horizon.

 

Published in Tall Ships
Page 11 of 24

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