Cen­tury-old wooden sail­boat vis­its Pla­cen­tia

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY TOM O’KEEFE SPE­CIAL TO THE COM­PASS editor@CBN­com­pass.ca

A 45-foot wooden sail­boat, Leenan Head, from France, via the Caribbean, re­cently vis­ited Pla­cen­tia for a cou­ple of days.

The Leenan Headis a Zulu style boat built in Scot­land in 1906. It spent about 80 years on the west coast of Ire­land and is said to have as­sisted the Ir­ish Repub­li­can Army at times.

Herve Drouet, a French sea- man, has owned and skip­pered the boat for the past 15 or 16 years.

He had to re­build the craft when he first got it.

The boat of­ten plays a so­cial role when loaned or hired to in­di­vid­u­als who need a boat but can­not af­ford the larger or more mod­ern ones.

It some­times car­ries a small group of trou­bled youth who in France have an op­por­tu­nity to prove they have changed in­stead of be­ing put in prison for the first time.

In the Caribbean, where it has been for sev­eral months, the sail­boat was of­ten used to carry small amounts of freight be­tween the is­lands.

The boat stopped in Pla­cen­tia on June 18 be­cause the skip­per was aware of the town’s French her­itage, but he said that was not too pop­u­lar in France be­cause it did not re­sult in a war they had won.

The Leenan Head has a crew of six who have been with it for sev­eral months. One of them is jour­nal­ist Laeti­tia Mal­tese who writes for OCEAN71 Mag­a­zine. She has been a mem­ber of the crew for two years. She ben­e­fited from her visit be­cause of the chance to visit the port­side Phillips Café and use the in­ter­net while hav­ing lunch.

Other crew mem­bers vis­ited The Three Sis­ters Pub and Res­tau­rant, and man­ager Jane Whe­lan Hynes turned up at the wharf the next morn­ing to present some of them with Screechin cer­tifi­cates.

Late morn­ing on June 20, the sail­boat passed un­der the Pla­cen­tia lift bridge and left Pla­cen­tia Bay for a stop at St. John’s and then on to France.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports they thor­oughly en­joy the visit to the An­cient French Cap­i­tal.


A wooden ship from France called Leenan Head, built in 1906, re­cently docked in Pla­cen­tia for a few days.

Jane Whe­lan Hynes presents a Leenan Head crewmem­ber with a Screeh-In cer­tifi­cate.

A view of the Leenan Head at the wharf in Jersey­side.

Leenan Head skip­per Herve Drouet looks out to­wards the Pla­cen­tia Lift Bridge.

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