The cover shot shows “Jeanie Johnston” off the Hook, participating in the parade of sail before the Waterford/Cherbourg tall ships race 2005. The fog eventually lifted and the wind arrived the following day. The race was eventually started about fifty miles south of the Hook light house. Below she is motoring along the river Suir, towards the city of Waterford and the tall ships regatta.

Tall Ships Regatta Waterford, 2005
Tall ships regatta Waterford, 2005

“The Jeanie Johnson is a replica ship launched 6 May 2000, she enjoyed an illustrious sailing career from 2002 to 2008, retracing the Famine-era voyages from Blennerville to Qubec. She has sailed all around Ireland and Europe, as well as visiting several American ports like Washington DC, New York, Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia and has even taken part in the Tall Ships Race in 2005. She has been moored at Custom House Quay since 2008”

“Between 1848 and 1855, the original ship made 16 voyages to North America, sailing to Quebec, Baltimore, and New York. On average, the length of the transatlantic journey was 47 days. The most passengers she ever carried was 254, from Tralee to Quebec on 17 April 1852. To put this number in perspective, the replica ship is only licensed to carry 40 people including crew.

Despite the number of passengers, and the long voyage, no crew or passenger lives were ever lost on board the Jeanie Johnston. This is generally attributed to the captain, James Attridge, not overloading the ship, and the presence of a qualified doctor, Richard Blennerhassett, on board for the passengers. On the maiden voyage from Tralee to Quebec in April 1848, a boy was born aboard the ship. To mark the unusual surroundings of his birth, the parents, Daniel and Margaret Reilly, named the baby Nicholas (after the co-owner of the vessel Nicholas Donovan) Johnston (after the ship) so Nicholas Johnston Reilly was added to the passenger list”


Port of registration
Tralee, Ireland

Rig: 3 Masted barque
LOA: 47m
Beam: 8m
Height: 28m
Depth: 4.6m
Sail Area: 645sqm


Richard Sibley

Photographer with a passion for photographing tall ships and traditional sailing boats

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