The waters of Fishguard have played host to the magnificent tall ship 'The Pelican of London', which is the only Mainmast Barquentine in the world.

The three-masted vessel sailed in to Fishguard yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) from Dublin, as she continues her summer journey under the auspices of Sail Training Ireland.

Earlier this year the Pelican was sailed in a similar capacity by Ocean College which operates worldwide travel for young people over the age of 15 who choose to swap their regular classroom studies for academic and nautical training.

Her rig is based on the ancient Xebec, which was the most successful Mediterranean ship used by the Barbary pirates for two hundred years. And as a result of her rigging, the Pelican can sail over 20 degrees nearer to the wind than any square rigger at sea.

Today, she is owned and run by the charity organization Seasyourfuture, which has worked with youngsters for many years.

Every October, Ocean College departs from Europe for a year abroad combining academic tuition with the rigours of sailing on the high seas. From Europe the ship heads to into the Caribbean with stops along the way to explore projects at specific destinations.

Graduates often chose to use the sailing trip as a gap year, however the voyage is open to all students over the age of 15.

And in April, Sail Training Ireland take over the helm for the summer voyage.

Western Telegraph: The Pelican of London off Fishguard yesterday afternoonThe Pelican of London off Fishguard yesterday afternoon (Image: Karl Everall)

The Pelican has enjoyed a colourful life, not always for the right reasons, it has to be said.

Built in France in 1948 to work as a fishing trawler in the Arctic for 20 years, the Pelican of London was sold to Norway and converted to a coaster and renamed Kadett. In 1993 she was arrested for trafficking a whole cargo of vodka from Finland, and subsequently became an excise sale, while her owner went to prison.

The ship remained in Norway until 1995, when she was purchased by Retired Commander Graham Neilson for a complete restoration.

Twelve years later, all shiny and new, the Pelican of London commenced her maiden voyage for Seas your Future who operate the Ocean College.