Galway Hooker Sailing Club’s Loveen sets sail for the Netherlands
Galway Stories//Good News

Galway Hooker Sailing Club’s Loveen sets sail for the Netherlands

On August 6th, Loveen, one of the Galway Hookers with Galway Hooker Sailing Club will make history as she leaves Galway and travels over land & sea to meet up with 7,000 scouts in the Netherlands.

The Loveen story captivated the community during her 2 year long restoration carried out by the crew of Galway Hooker Sailing Club. The restoration started in September 2019 and throughout the pandemic work slowly continued, when it was possible, to the launch in October 2021 at Spanish Arch, Galway city.

It is a story of how a crew of Galway Hooker enthusiasts teamed up with the local Port of Galway Sea Scouts to bring a boat back to its former glory and sail it on Galway’s waterways for the community to enjoy. The story generated huge interest both locally and online as it connected so many people to Galway. It was a magical experience that saw the crew striving to keep Galway’s history and heritage alive by restoring this 97 year old Galway Hooker (a gleoiteog). Now, less than a year after it’s launch it is going international by heading east to the Netherlands to join Scouts from all over the world.

A boat’s natural home is on the water but in this case Loveen will embark on a journey of her lifetime! Along with 40 Galway Sea Scouts, their leaders and families she will travel via road and ferry to represent Irish traditional nautical heritage at NaWaKa, the Scout International National Water Kamp that's held every 4 years in the Netherlands with over 7,000 participants from all over the world.

Scouting Ireland is the largest youth-based organisation in Ireland, with 45,000 members. Once a youth member joins scout groups, they will join over one billion other scouts. Port of Galway Sea Scouts (24th Galway) is a vibrant, energetic scouting group that has youth members ranging from 6 years to 18 years. They follow an exciting programme based on the national adventure skills framework, including sailing, paddling, hillwalking, pioneering, backwoods and camping.

At the heart of scouting is youth empowerment. At the heart of this story is Loveen, a gleoiteog originally built in Galway in 1925 and gifted by the Dolan family in 2011 to become a sail training vessel for the Port of Galway Sea Scouts. But the sea scouts needed help to make her seaworthy and so the Galway Hooker Sailing Club and it’s numerous volunteers came together to bring back Loveen to her former glory. In October 2021 she was launched and today you can often catch a glimpse of her sailing in the Claddagh and on Galway Bay.

Next month, Loveen will join a flotilla of other national sailing vessels during Nawaka, between the 8th and 17th August. During Nawaka, Sea Scouts from all around Europe will gather in Landgoed Zeewolde (40 Km east of Amsterdam) in the Netherlands. Nawaka is a fantastic event because of the large number of participants and the scouting ‘vibe’ throughout. The activities in which the groups can participate make the camp an unforgettable experience.

Sea Scout groups are encouraged to bring their own national sailing vessel to the 10-day festival, so it can be part of the water-based programme, a shared learning experience & a vibrant cultural exchange for all participants. Port of Galway Sea Scouts are bringing 40 children and the Galway Hooker Loveen. 10 support crew from the Galway Hooker Sailing Club, will also attend to assist the scouts, and also use this trip as an opportunity to showcase and promote Galway's marine culture and heritage in Europe.

Follow along on the story of Loveen's voyage at Galway Hooker Sailing Club's Facebook or the website here

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