Friday, 17 July 2009

Caledonian Canal

I’ve been so busy since my last blog, so sorry for not updating more often!!

The Ellen MacArthur Trust Skandia Round Britain voyage has now passed its most Northerly point and is heading South again! I’ve been giving talks to people about the Trust, my life and the importance of sustainable living at our key stopover ports along the way, who have all been so welcoming to Scarlet and her crew.

Scarlet Oyster is now nearing the end of the Caledonian Canal. This leg of the voyage has been slightly different because instead of a crew of young people who have sailed with us before, there have been two crews from Scottish Hospitals sailing with the Trust for the first time. At this time of year a hospital group from Scotland usually comes down to the IOW for our summer sailing trips, but this year as Scarlet was in the area, and after discussions with Clic Sargent Scotland we decided it would be great if they could join the boat nearer to home. The Caledonian Canal is a beautiful stretch of water, and pretty sheltered, which makes it the ideal spot for giving sailing a go for the first time. I remember making the hard decision to take this route during my sail Round Britain as the weather wasn’t looking promising and if I’d taken the longer route North in my little boat Iduna I probably would have had to stop altogether. It took me a week to sail down and I spent my Nineteenth birthday alone in Kentallen Bay eating Haggis, a dish the Scottish girls on board Scarlet recently cooked during their voyage too! The crew have had a great time negotiating all the lochs and taking in the amazing scenery in that area. Shadabs blog summed up her trip on her last night, writing ‘Its sad we are coming to a end and leaving tomorrow but has been a experience I will never forget. It was a great opportunity just to forget the world and all the stresses of cancer the long term side effects and just be in peace away from cars, streets and roads to be around trees, mountains and water, Shadab.’

Meanwhile on the IOW the summer trips are also over halfway, and over 70 young people from hospitals in Cambridge, Cornwall, Oxford, London, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Northern Ireland, Bristol and Cardiff have converged onto the Isle of Wight for four days of fun, sailing and waterfights!!

The Ellen MacArthur Trust Skandia Round Britain will continue until September 13th with seven stopovers left and my talks in Glasgow (on 27th July at The Institute of Engineering and Technology), Liverpool, Cardiff, Torquay and Cowes still to come, so continue to keep an eye out for us as we head down the West coast.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ellen

    I came to your talk at Glasgow last night and really enjoyed it.

    It was great to hear about your sailing career and what you have been doing since.

    I found the information on sustainable energy very challenging and eye opening. I think it is a really importance message you have to share and I'm sure you will find the ways to do it.

    I hope the rest of the trip goes well.

    John Kynaston