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The Jeanie Johnston Chronicle

Jeanie Johnston arrives
in West Palm Beach, Florida

17th April, 2003
Jeanie Johnston Chronicle homepage
Jeanie Johnston sailing into West Palm Beach
Jeanie sailing into West Palm Beach
accompanied by a flotilla of small boats

    The Jeanie Johnston made her long awaited landfall in the US on Tuesday morning, 15th April. She sailed into West Palm Beach, Florida, and moored at Peanut Island Maritime Museum, where she will be opened to the public from Saturday 19th to Sunday 27th April. Find further information and location maps for getting to the Maritime Museum.

Read an eyewitness report of the ship's arrival
Jeanie will be opened for guided tours around the ship, including a visit to the tween deck where history comes alive with life size models of the original famine era passengers, from 10am to 4pm daily. Prices are $10 for adults, $4 for children and $8 for students and pensioners. There will be an authentic Irish pub on Peanut Island, where Irish beer and food will be served, and boat rides around the bay can also be enjoyed. Jeanie Johnston sailing into  Florida
Another view of the ship sailing into West Palm Beach
Jeanie Johnston tied up at Peanut Island, West Palm Beach
Jeanie moored at Peanut Island
On Monday 28th April, Jeanie will leave Peanut Island and make a three day voyage to Savannah, Georgia, arriving on Friday 2nd May, where she will be open to the public from Saturday 3rd May to Sunday 11th May.

Would you like to be a sail trainee aboard the Jeanie for one of her short US port to port voyages?
Kathleen Calhoun and her husband David, who live near Palm Beach, kindly sent the photos on this page, and here's Kathleen's report of Jeanie's arrival:

"The Jeanie Johnston arrived safely on the morning of April 15, 2003. It was a beautiful day with winds blowing out of the ENE at approximately 15-18 knots and the air temperature was a balmy 75F (23C)in West Palm Beach Florida. A grand way for Mother Nature to welcome the ship and crew to their first port of call in the United States. We could not have hoped for a more perfect day.

Jeanie made her way gracefully through the sparkling blue waters of the Atlantic, off of the coast of Palm Beach. As she approached the mouth of the inlet, helicopters buzzed overhead, Coast Guard vessels, media vessels and private vessels all joined in the flotilla which welcomed her to the United States. Locals lined the jetty of the inlet, others paddled nearby in their kayaks and others, such as myself watched Jeanie make her way through the inlet from Peanut Island.

Jeanie sails past the West Palm Beach power station
Jeanie sails past the West Palm Beach powerstation.

The green and gold colors of the Kerry flag billowed in the breeze as she approached our shores. The 3 masted barque made a grand entrance. The figurehead looked colorful and bright as I'm sure it did on the day she left Ireland. She seemed to be beckoning anyone within site to come see the beautiful masterpiece that so many had labored over for so many years.

I watched as she passed Peanut Island on her way to a berth at the Port of Palm Beach. Clearing customs is a must, so this had to be taken care of before she would be allowed to go to Peanut Island. After watching her from Peanut Island I went to the Port of Palm Beach, which is just west of Peanut Island, to see if I might be able to get another look at her. At the gated entrance where Jeanie was docked, several people were proudly flying the colors of Ireland. I'm sure they had loved ones onboard ship and were anxiously waiting for the moment they could hug them once again.

As media and loved ones waited for a chance to get closer to the ship and crew, I met a woman by the name of Victoria Breglio, who works for Conventures out of Boston, Massachusetts. She is involved with media relations for North America. She advised me to go to an area in front of the main administration building where some of the crew might be. To my surprise an interview was being conducted between Dr. Tom McCormack and RTE, the Irish media company. Also in the vicinity were Denis McKeown from Blackrock, Co.Louth, Eddie Plunkett from Co.Cork , Corrie Corrigan and Paul Dolan. (Please pardon me if I have spelling or locations incorrect for these people I was trying my best to take in the moment yet get all the information correct). All were kind enough to allow me to take a picture of them before they departed to land destinations unknown - local pub would you guess?

RTE crew interviewing Dr. Tom MacCormack
RTE crew interviewing Dr. Tom MacCormack

Read the local media coverage in Florida - from the Palm Beach Post and Herald Tribune
Paul Dolan, Dr. MacCormack and other crew members
Paul Dolan, Dr. MacCormack and other crew members

Back at the security gate, after a check of our belongings by Port Authorities, we were able to go to the ship. I was thrilled to be able to take photos and see some more of the crew. I was hoping to speak with Tom Kindre, being the oldest member, yet one of the youngest at heart, unfortunately, I was only able to snap a quick picture of him before Port Authorities asked us to leave so that the Jeanie could make preparations to go to Peanut Island.

Listen to the RTE radio interview, broadcast on Morning Ireland on 16th April. Download the RealPlayer.

My husband David and I were fortunate to have seen the Jeanie from the pier in Fenit, back in August of 2002, when we stayed with our most gracious hosts Dan, Madeline and Bryan O'Keefe at their West End Bar. We have since followed the journey via this website and have enjoyed all the stories from the Captain and crew. We hope to see Jeanie off in the near future when she sets sail from Florida on her journey to other ports of call.

I am grateful for having the chance to see Jeanie in all her glory, coming in from the ocean, and the opportunity to meet with a few of the crew members.

Best Wishes for smooth sailing ahead! Kathleen and David"

Kathleen also sent these thoughts:
One can not help but to be moved by the sheer beauty she possesses in contrast to the raw recollection of the journey's challenges so many emigrants endured. It reminds me of the "Parable of Immortality" by Henry van Dyke -

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch her until she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says: "There! She's gone!"
Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her; and just at the moment when someone at my side says, "There! She's gone", there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the shout, "There she comes!"

This says it all, She has arrived!
Jeanie Johnston in full sail crossing the Atlantic
This photo sent by Paul Dolan whilst crossing the Atlantic. They used the emergency dinghy to row away from the ship to take this shot, some 1500 miles off the US coast.

If you would like to be part of the Jeanie Johnston experience, there are opportunities
to sail onboard between ports in the US, as a sail trainee.

Visitors touring the Jeanie Johnston whilst moored up at Peanut Island
Visitors touring the ship whilst moored at Peanut Island, West Palm Beach. Photo by Catherine Kershaw, Florida resident. 19th April.
Paul Dolan re-united with his wife ond son after the Ireland to US voyage
Crew member and film maker Paul Dolan (right) with his wife Mary and son Tommy who travelled specially to Florida to greet him on arrival.

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Jeanie sails from Ireland for the US
16th February, 2003

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