March 7, 2021

Ship ahoy! Greystones teenagers return home after a month at sea

Three Wicklow teenagers were among a group of eight who landed back in Ireland yesterday after a months at sea with having to grapple with Covid-19.

The transition year students sailed across the Atlantic on the wooden boat, the Jubilee Sailing Training ship, SV Tenacious  after leaving the Caribbean on March 11.

The three from Greystones were twins Conor and Jack Galligan (16), and Robbie Byrne, knew little of the lockdown before they landed.

“We received some updates on it – we heard when Boris Johnson got it and we were doing all the safety procedures like washing our hands but we weren’t sure what the death rate was and the infection rate was,” he said.

“We stopped in the Azores about a week ago and we were able to get a wifi connection and we got all the news and realised then how bad it was getting but then we left again so we didn’t hear much more.

“It was a big shock coming back to Ireland today and seeing people wearing masks and everyone being told keep their distance and of course driving home, the roads were empty, there was no one out.”

The Tenacious landed in Cobh  where some of the lads were met by their parents.

“When we got on Tenacious at the start, nobody was stressing Covid-19 too much but after two weeks we realised nobody on board had it so life aboard the ship was pretty normal really for the duration of the voyage,” Conor told the Irish Times.

“We didn’t hear much about what was happening worldwide but once a week the captain would come out and telling us what was happening – we didn’t really know very much about it until we reached the Azores about a week ago.

“It was a bit weird seeing all these people wearing masks when they delivered food to the ship – Ireland is a bit weird too with everyone doing the social distancing but I thought it would be worse, more like a ghost town.”

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