The unique Tall Ship Pelican of London visited Greencastle on the 3rd June, with local man Michael Cunningham at the helm. Pelican of London is a sail training ship based in Weymouth, UK. Built in 1948, she served as an Arctic trawler and coastal trading vessel until 1995. She was virtually completely rebuilt and converted to her current form and re-launched in 2007. She cruises under sail at 10+ knots and her unique Mainmast Barquentine (Xebec/Polacre) sail plan enables her to sail to windward much better than other similar ships.
In autumn of 2012, Pelican become the first sailing ship in a century to make a trans-Atlantic voyage from Liverpool with fare-paying passengers. As of 2012, Pelican is operated as a sail training vessel for young people, by the charity Adventure Under Sail. Sail Training International ranks it is a Class A tall ship. It was for sale for about 2.5 million pounds in 2012, and was sold by 2013.
Between the 26th May and the 6th June the ship is being used as a project to unite young people from the UK and Ireland “Irish Sea Exchange 2014”. The Irish Sea Exchange 2014 project is aimed at promoting intercultural relations and increased cross-community understanding. While on board the young people take part in workshops about life on the Irish Sea, including marine life and maritime traffic, the history of the Irish Sea and its uses and relevance today, the geography and pollution in the region, and the use of sustainable energy.
Approximately 32 young people between the age of 16 and 25 have signed up as trainee members of the crew to sail the Tall Ship from Belfast to Dublin and then onto Liverpool. The ship departed Belfast on the 27th May, made a visit to Peel in the Isle of Man before arriving in Dublin to be part of the River Liffey Maritime Festival on the 1st and 2nd June. On the 3rd June having departed Dublin at 16.49 on the 2nd the Pelican arrived in Greencastle at 13.53.
The overall Length of the Boat is 45m with a deck length of 34.6m, beam 7.03m and Draft: 3.95m. The ship will depart Greencastle on the 4th and sail across the Irish Sea to Liverpool, ready for the young people to disembark on 6th June.