(PRWEB) June 21, 2006 -- Joseph P. Ferry, 59, resident of Springfield, Delaware County, is making his third attempt in three years to sail from Philadelphia to Ireland. Ferry’s voyage began on May 25th, 2006 from Cape May, New Jersey. Ferry landed in the Azore Islands on June 17th. The Azores are about two-thirds of the way to Ireland. Ferry is expecting to land in Ireland around the 4th of July. If all goes as planned, he will be landing at the Magheroarty Pier on the Irish mainland, inside Tory Island Sound, and then guided by the tides to Falcarragh Pier on Ballyness Bay.
This is Ferry’s third attempt to cross the Atlantic to reach the place where his father was born. In July 2004, he tried to sail up the Northeastern coast of the US, but got caught in New York shipping lanes and his autopilot broke down, cutting his trip short. In the summer of 2005, Ferry tried a different route. This time he headed to Bermuda with his friend, Joe Gallagher (of Havertown, PA) on board as his shipmate. Again, the trip was cut short when the pair was caught in a ferocious storm, forcing them to stay inside the sailboat as it floated atop 20-foot swells.
This year, Ferry quietly left his family in May to once again make the trip across the ocean to Ireland. He spent the Fall and Winter plotting a new route – this time straight across the Atlantic Ocean, with a short stop in the Azore Islands to re-fuel. He enlisted the help of his childhood friend, Charles Mulholland. Mulholland retired from the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Philadelphia after a prior sailing career as navigator mostly on very large crude carriers, heavy lift freighters, and an oceanographic research vessel, all world service. Mulholland holds U.S. Coast Guard licenses for Ocean Master 3000 ITC, Second Mate, Oceans, Unlimited, and all the other required federal and International endorsements to sail under each. Every day, Mulholland checks the weather and the nautical coordinates and text messages any pertinent information to Ferry on his satellite phone.
Ferry’s father was born on a farm that fronts the Atlantic coast, outside the village of Falcarragh in Country Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. Joe Ferry and his wife, Kitty Gallagher Ferry, once owned a small farm in the Derryveagh Mountains of Donegal that overlook the sea.
Making a living in Ireland at that time proved to be a challenge, so Ferry and his wife moved back to Philadelphia where he became a parochial school
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teacher, then a social worker for the City of Philadelphia. They raised three children, Kathleen (32), Jody (30) and Danny (26). This year was special for Ferry, because two grandchildren were added to the Ferry clan – Madeline Kathleen Ferry (6 months) and Keiran Joseph McPoyle (4 months).
Ferry has been planning his trips across the Atlantic since 2002, charting his course, researching weather patterns, and studying the meanderings of the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift.
Some years ago, Ferry lived with Salmon fisherman on Inis Bo Finne, an island nears his Dad’s birthplace. The fisherman there expect Ferry to arrive by the Roarta Mor an Muire – the spring tides that fall on the feast of the Assumption. He is hoping they will guide him his last few miles of ocean, then over the bar of Ballyness Bay and to the Falcarragh’s pier.
For additional information or photos contact: Kathleen Ferry at 610.715.9009
Joseph P. Ferry currently teaches at Delaware County Community College, Chestnut Hill College and Widener University. Previously, he was the director of Internet learning programs for the Institute for Caregiver Education
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, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of Bethesda Project in Philadelphia, and a social worker for the City of Philadelphia. He is a long time member of Crescent Boat Club on Boathouse Row, and had been a delegate to the Schuylkill Navy. He was a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps from 1966-1968.
For further information and photos, please visit http://www.tenebrae.org/wanderings/voyage