Jeanie being built at Blennerville
Built at Blennerville
Jeanie at Fenit pier
Fitting at Fenit Pier
Jeanie's sea trials
Jeanie's Sea Trials
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The Jeanie Johnston Chronicle

Jeanie's trans-Atlantic voyage
postponed for this year

27th June, 2001
Jeanie Johnston
    Jeanie Johnston's trans-Atlantic voyage, scheduled for this Summer, was yesterday officially postponed until 2002. The announcement was made by Frank Fahey, Minister for the Marine, who said that he delivered the news "with regret". Minister Fahey said that the ship was still not quite completed, and with 30 days minimum required for sea trials and crew training to be undertaken before she could sail to the US, and then at least 30 days voyage, the window of opportunity had been missed for this year, as it would be too late in the year for Jeanie to arrive in the US in September. He also called for a review of the project.

    Minister Fahey and David Ervine, Leader of the North's Progressive Unionist party, both spoke about the project to David Hanly, presenter of RTE Radio's Morning Ireland programme, this morning. 28k Real Audio streams of these conversations are available from the RTE website (download the Real Player first). Mr. Ervine told of his continuing support and enthusiasm for the project and Minister Fahey spoke of the complexities of the project and the financial over-run, stating that "we want to see it through".Click to go to download page for free Real Player.
Click to
download the
Real Player

    The present situation is that Jeanie should be finished by the end of July and then sailed out around Tralee Bay for sea trials and crew training. A trip to Cobh and Cork will also be undertaken and possibly further port visits around Ireland. We will post any further news and dates for Jeanie's schedule of sea trials and Irish visits as soon as they are released.

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May 2001 visit onboard the Jeanie Johnston
    May 2001 sees Jeanie nearing completion and almost ready to undertake her sea trials. I was kindly invited onboard last week to take some pictures for this website, and was given a tour of the ship to see the progress for myself by Ann Martin, spokesperson for the project. (pictures below)

     The Department of the Marine is aiming for Jeanie to go "live" over this weekend, 5/6th May, and fire up the electrics and engines before she heads off on sea trials. Jeanie has received a new coat of paint, and it is hoped to open the ship to visitors over the Bank Holiday weekend, and give guided tours. The Visitor Centre on Fenit pier is now open to visitors and has a selection of souvenirs of the project on sale. It is also intended to sell Jeanie Johnston momentos and merchandise online, from the project website, including tee-shirts, jewellery and ship's plans. Work also continues on writing the genealogical database in a computer readable format, so that it can be accessed on the Internet from a database - it has over 1,000,000 names on it at present.

    Once the ship has gone live, Jeanie can undertake sea trials in Tralee Bay, and then travel to Cork and Cobh for a hull inspection, which will be carried out by the Department of the Marine. Jeanie will travel under sail but the engines will also be tested. Sea trials and testing are expected to take about 10 days. Whilst in Cork, she will sail into the city centre, and also dock in the Queenstown Heritage Centre in Cobh, and she will be opened to visitors at both venues. Once her brief visits have finished and she has been tested and Certified, Jeanie can then set off on her long awaited trans-Atlantic voyage.

Visit to the Jeanie Johnston
1st May 01

This is the view from the top of the gangplank, looking down onto the deck. I was struck first by the sheer amount of rope involved in the rigging, and the excellent workmanship of the carpenters and fitters who have created a most beautiful ship.
the view from the top of the gangplank
The view from the top of the gangplank.
looking back to Jeanie's stern from the top of the ganplank
Looking back towards Jeanie's stern
from the gangplank.
Down the centre of the ship are the deck houses, which have been shrouded in tarpaulins during the Winter to protect the workers from the worst of the Kerry weather. Now that the covers have been removed, you can see the aft deck houses and the galley, now stained and varnished, with brass portholes gleaming.
A view of the deck houses from the other side of the deck to the one above, with the galley in the foreground. Further back is one of the lifeboat davits and the wheel house. Jeanie's deckhouses, with the galley in the foreground
Jeanie's deckhouses, with the galley in the foreground.
Jeanie's wheel is a present from the people of Quebec
Jeanie's wheel is a present from the people of Quebec
At the stern of the deck sits the magnificent ship's wheel. It has a brass plaque inscribed in French, Irish and English, which reads "a gift from the people of Quebec to the people of Ireland".
    Below deck, down a steep staircase, you step into the centre of the ship, an open space running three-quarters the length of the ship. This is the heart of the ship, with an oak table running its entire length, flanked on both sides by rows of bunks which will double as sleeping quarters whilst at sea, and as display units for the historical figures when Jeanie is in museum mode when in port. the radio room now has its equipment installed
The radio room now has all its equipment installed
    Unfortunately, my pictures below deck did not develop well due to the low light conditions, and there was a lot of wiring still hanging down which hampered the view, so I only have a picture of the radio room, which is next to the Captain's Great Cabin. I can imagine though, that when the final touches are finished, that Jeanie will make a memorable and impressive venue for corporate functions, a real experience for the invited guests.
    If you would like to be part of the Jeanie Johnston experience, you can do so by volunteering to help out in the US or Canada, sponsoring a mile to be sailed in your name, or sailing onboard as a crew or passenger.
This entry will be updated during June, as Jeanie progresses, so please bookmark this page (click Favorites>Add to (IE4+) or Ctrl+D on Netscape)and check back with us frequently, or type your e-mail address in the box below, click on "yes, notify me" and we'll let you know when new pages or updated information is added.

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The route, schedule and itinerary for the voyage will be published here
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