Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum to host European Premier of Voyage of the Southern Sun – The film and book, Voyage of the Southern Sun, features Mr Smith’s 83 flights, stopping in 25 different countries, over a seven month period in 2015.
Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum to host European Premier of Voyage of the Southern Sun
The Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum, Limerick will host the European premiere of Voyage of the Southern Sun this Sunday, November 26, 2017, at 3 pm.
Australian Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year, Michael Smith, will attend the European Premiere of his film, documenting his record-breaking solo trip around the world in a single engine flying boat. He will also launch his book, of the same name, on the day.
The film and book, Voyage of the Southern Sun, features Mr Smith’s 83 flights, stopping in 25 different countries, over a seven month period in 2015.
The story begins when he left Melbourne in a Searey Amphibious aeroplane called “Southern Sun” to loosely follow the Qantas Empire Flying Boat Route of 1938 from Sydney to London.
However, on reaching Foynes in Co Limerick, Michael decided to continue flying across the North Atlantic, North America, the North Pacific and upon arrival in Longreach on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, became the first person to solo navigate the world using a single-engine flying boat.
With limited flying experience, no support team and only basic instruments in his tiny flying boat, Michael risked his life to make modern aviation history.
At a leisurely 80 knots, taking his time flying from cities to forests; deserts and rivers; over mountains and volcanoes; coral reefs, vast stretches of oceans, ice flows and glaciers, Michael’s journey captured the geographic splendour of the world and he learnt a little about humankind and himself along the way.
He also met plenty of adventure and made new friends along the way – including enormous racoon-sized rats on the uninhabited Aleutian island of Attu, some surprised members of the Special Branch on his arrival in the UK, had a near-death experience while leaving Greenland, and made a wondrous stop off at Foynes in west Limerick.
For many pilots and airmen/women, Foynes is the home of the flying boat and the Golden Era of Aviation. It is also home to some of the most coveted artefacts of the Golden Era of Hollywood, as its late patron Maureen O’Hara bequeathed her memorabilia to the west Limerick Museum.
Michael was therefore delighted when Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum agreed to host the European premiere of the film and the official launch of his book
Michael said, “I visited the Foynes museum during my few days in Ireland, it was the greatest testament to the golden era of Flying Boats I’ve seen anywhere. Furthermore, not only was Ireland the greenest place I visited but by the far the friendliest. I’m really looking forward to returning to launch the book and film in Ireland.”
Manager and Director of the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum Margaret O’Shaughnessy said, “I am of course delighted that Michael has chosen to premiere his film here. I know he has a great story to tell and believe there will be a lot of interest in it.”
“We have had some difficult days here in Foynes following the recent flooding, but the show must go on, and what better show to lift all our spirits than the European Premiere of a film documenting Michael’s epic journey around the world.”
Tickets to the premiere of Voyage of the Southern Sun are available from the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum, but early booking is advisable as places are limited.
To visit the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum website click here
To read more Foynes stories on I Love Limerick click here