#Tallships - A UK tall ship that embarked youth trainees in Dublin Port this week followed by a call to Dun Laoghaire Harbour is from where a 7 month charter voyage started of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The tall ship, Pelican of London is owned by Adventure Under Sail, which until recently was based in Sharpness (on the River Severn) England, but now relocated to Weymouth, Dorset. They are a charity organization which has worked with youngsters for many years.
In the chartering of Pelican of London to Ocean College, based in Berlin, Germany, the vessel will be used for their winter 2018/2019 sailing programme from this mid-October until next year in mid-April. Students on board the voyage will age from 15 and for gap year students, not more than 20.
The voyage across the Atlantic involves a 10 stop sailing programme from Europe to the Caribbean Sea including Costa Rica, central America before returning to Europe.
Ocean College aims to bring high school students and graduates through educating them in nautical skills – from sailing, navigating, cooking etc. In addition, the sail trainees on board the 45m ship will also have a school on board teaching core subjects.
Pelican of London is a 70-year-old ship dating to 1948 and was built by Chantiers et Ateliers Augustin Normand, Le Havre. The former Arctic trawler and coastal trading cargo ship was in 2007 converted to sailing and is the only Mainmast Barquentine in the world. The veteran vessel according to Ocean College website has just undergone comprehensive renovations.
Prior to the Atlantic Ocean voyage, Afloat monitored Pelican of London depart Dublin Port on Monday to make the short passage across Dublin Bay to Dun Laoghaire Harbour. On the evening of that day, the ship returned to the bay so to introduce the trainees in the basics of handling sails, steering and keeping a look-out and at this early stage. This involved those brave enough to climb aloft of the rigging.
The repositioning sailing across Dublin Bay was to enable the tall ship's trainees to make a much clearer exit and quicker departure of Dun Laoghaire Harbour for the start of the voyage bound for Vigo. This compared to Dublin Port where the vessel would have to make a transit of the Tom Clarke (East Link) toll-lift bridge and then through the rest of the nation's busiest port.
On Tuesday, Pelican of London set sail to start part of stage one of the ocean voyage when bound for the north-western Spanish port.
Today, the trainee tall ship is well underway in the Bay of Biscay with an arrival to Vigo expected next Monday. This will be followed by calls to Lisbon, Portugal and Tenerife on the Canary Islands.
The second stage is across the Atlantic via Cape Verde and using the trade winds to reach St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. On the return journey, the ship will pass Cuba, Bermuda, the Azores before finally returning to Europe next Spring. These are only the main destinations, as many more port visits will take place, depending on weather conditions.
The Ocean College is to facilitate every chance for the pupils on the school traineeship to realise their full potential.
In addition, the college has projects planned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals in mind. During the seven months, students will carry out volunteering in some of the places visited through several local projects with environmental and social objectives.