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Youth Trainee Schoolship 'Pelican' Diverted for 36 Hours in Irish Ferryport During Stage 1 of Atlantic Voyage

21st October 2018

#Tallships - During stage 1 of a 7-month voyage of the Atlantic Ocean, a UK trainee tallship diverted off the Irish coast, having picked up a fishing bouy that could of compromised the barquentine's propellers, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As Afloat reported yesterday, the Pelican of London had departed Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Tuesday to begin the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean and to the Caribbean and return to Europe in April, 2019. The tallship operated by Adventure Under Sails is on charter to Ocean College, based in Berlin, Germany, following embarkation firstly in Dublin Port of youths aged between 15 and 20. They will learn nautical skills in addition to use of a school teaching core subjects.

Since the voyage began, Afloat had tracked the vessel and noted on Wednesday an anchorage call took place off Rosslare Harbour, and on the next day, Thursday a call was made to the Wexford ferryport. Further research has since revealed as to the reason for this unexpected call to the south-east port, as the ship's next scheduled destination is Vigo, Spain.

It transpires that a fishing buoy made contact with the hull, this forced a diversion to Rosslare Harbour to check that the propeller was not compromised, however divers gave the all clear. The incident between anchorage and port call totalled 36 hours, however this did not disrupt students taking seaskills classes. In addition the call also provided an opportunity for the students to take a trip to nearby Wexford during down time.

On Pelican of London's arrival due tomorrow to Vigo, this will mark the completion of the first passage of stage one of the 10 stop voyage of the Atlantic and back to Europe in the Spring of next year. The remaining legs of stage one are scheduled to feature calls to Lisbon, Portugal and Tenerife on the Canary Islands. 

The second stage of the voyage is across the Atlantic via Cape Verde and using the trade winds to reach St. Vincents and the Grenadines in the Caribbean, before continuing on to Costa Rica.

On the return journey to Europe, the ship will pass Cuba, Bermuda, the Azores before finally returning in April 2019. These are only the main destinations, as many more port visits will take place, depending on weather conditions.

The ocean voyage is to facilitate every chance for the pupils on the school trainee ship to realise their full potential. In addition Ocean College projects are also planned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals in mind. This is to see students carry out volunteer projects in various ports that are to focus on sustainable environmental and societal iniatives.

Published in Tall Ships
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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