Sean Boland, one of Ireland’s most sought after solo vocalists, is swapping his three-piece suit for a Voyager IP polo shirt when he becomes a Watch Leader supporting a volunteer crew of mixed abilities from Spinal Injuries Ireland on a fundraising ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ voyage of a lifetime. The charity’s Caribbean Tall Ships Accessible Adventure takes place aboard the SV Tenacious, which embarks from Falmouth Harbour in Antigua on 4 March, and returns to port a week later. Voyager IP is sponsoring the cost of Sean’s travel expenses to support the charity.
Mark Elliott, managing director of Voyager IP, said “We’ve known Sean for a couple of years now, he’s been involved in a couple of corporate events on our behalf, so we’re very pleased to support him in such a worthwhile and exciting, marine-themed fundraiser for Spinal Injuries Ireland.”
The SV Tenacious, chartered by Spinal Injuries Ireland for the voyage, is a 65m, 586-ton 3 mast tall ship, built in 2000 specifically to allow people of mixed abilities to experience the hands-on adventure of sailing on such a vessel. It is the only seagoing ship of its kind in the world. There are no passengers, everyone on board is expected to assist, according to their ability. Under the supervision of a full-time captain and crew and Watch Leaders like Sean, 35 volunteers from Spinal Injuries, some able bodied and others in wheelchairs assisted by carers, become ‘voyage crew’ for the duration of their trip. They will assist with cooking, cleaning, mess duty, standing watch, helm steerage, rope work and other duties in a rota made up of 4-hour watches. “It’s round the clock so you could be up at 3.30 am to have your team ready to take 4 to 8 am watch”, said Sean.
The role of Watch Leader is a responsible one, chosen by the ship’s captain and his regular crew. It was based on their positive experience of Sean last year, on his first fundraising trip with the charity. As Watch Leaders ‘work’ for the ship, they can also be asked by the captain to support other non-profit organisations looking to charter the vessel.
Sean will also be bringing his music and microphone to boost crew morale with a few sea shanties, so his silky-smooth voice will be heard across waters once home to some legendary pirate kings and queens. “When I was here last year, the most popular song was ‘Rock the Boat’,” quipped Sean. “Huge thanks to Mark Elliott, the managing director of Voyager IP, for the company’s sponsorship. I’ll documenting my trip from start to finish, and we’ll be sharing photos and videos on Voyager IP’s socials as well as my own.”