Century-old wooden sailboat visits Placentia
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.