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Tallship’s 'Bottom' Call to Dun Laoghaire Brings Up Pre-Bicentenary Harbour History

8th June 2017
Almost tucked into the corner of the Old Harbour, the innermost within Dun Laoghaire Harbour was the tallship Phoenix that called in briefly for repairs to the brig's bottom timbers. The sight of such a vessel at this location was a surprise no doubt to onlookers and DART commuters alike. Almost tucked into the corner of the Old Harbour, the innermost within Dun Laoghaire Harbour was the tallship Phoenix that called in briefly for repairs to the brig's bottom timbers. The sight of such a vessel at this location was a surprise no doubt to onlookers and DART commuters alike.

#BottomsUp - In a follow-up to Square Sail, the film production operator of Phoenix that called to Dun Laoghaire for repairs was made all the more intriguing given as to where the brig berthed, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 34m long two-masted Phoenix which has made numerous film and TV screen credits, among them as a privateer in the TV series ‘Frenchman’s Creek’ set in Cornwall is also where Square Sail are based. The call to Dun Laoghaire of the almost 80 gross tonnage brig led to a berth most unusally located in the harbour's innermost Old Harbour.

The particular berth in front of the Irish National Sailing School (INSS) was almost tucked into the corner of where the harbourside road leads up to the foot of the West Pier. As for the reason of the call to the INSS as previously reported on Afloat was because the Phoenix required repairs to the hull's ‘bottom’ timbers.

Previously, Phoenix participated at the Dublin Riverfest on the Liffey last weekend. The work at neighbouring Dun Laoghaire was chosen because of the tides that allowed the brig drawing 2.6m to settle on the muddy bottom within the harbour. Such an exercise could not have taken place on the Liffey nor at the capital's last dry-dock having recently closed.

This alternative 'open' dry-docking involved the hull of the Phoenix to lean against the quay wall of the West Pier. As pictured above at low tide is a boat and personnal alongside the bottom timbers.

The 1929 Danish built schooner now brig has a rig based from the period 1760. The year is somewhat apt as the Old Harbour’s Pier was constructed in 1767. Those in the clubhouse of the nearby Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC) have elavated views across this harbour to the pier that this year celebrates its 250th anniversary.

Well that’s something new to learn of and all thanks to the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company’s Walks Map, for a PDF download click here. So do get out and enjoy celebrating the magnificence of the harbour both old and the new!...  in this Bicentenary year.

For those taking a stroll along the West Pier, driving past on related road and of the DART line parallel, the sight of a tallship Phoenix was no doubt a surprise to many.

Otherwise the scene here is normally of yachts belonging to the DMYC and a plethora of small sailing craft rafted together from the INSS. As previously reported the INSS had a relationship 20 years ago with Square Sail during the making of D–Day beach scenes for the film 'Saving Private Ryan' at Curracloe Beach, Wexford.

The last relatively large vessel in the Old Harbour based from personal recollection was an abandoned trawler that had lain for years. The trawler was at the far corner next to the public slipway. Adjoining this amenity is now an area for car-parking that encroached into the harbour, however it is useful for small leisure craft activity.

Work to repair Phoenix was completed yesterday and with that the tallship departed last night. This involved passing the outer Coal Harbour with its Traders Wharf. At the end of this pier is the popular Fish Shop along with eager seals always on the look out for a free meal!

Beyond the shop within the former BIM ice-plant facility are the marina breakwaters that lead out into the open expanse of the harbour. Having passed the commanding yet graceful West and East pierheads the brig headed into Dublin Bay to anchor last night.

Twelve hours later Phoenix and her crew set off this morning bound for Drogheda.

The Co Louth port is to welcome tommorrow morning Phoenix as part of 'Parade of Sail' when heading up the Boyne. This in advance of the weekend’s wonderful gathering of tallships at the Irish Maritime Festival, for much more click here.

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1 comment

  • Comment Link Phoenixs old Bosun 9th June 2017 posted by Phoenixs old Bosun

    Just a wee correction for you, Phoenix is a brigantine not a brig. Only a small difference but a difference all the same.

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