Sailing on the Caledonian Canal

Berwickshire youngsters joined the crew of 'Faramir' to sail the Caledonian Canal.
Berwickshire youngsters joined the crew of 'Faramir' to sail the Caledonian Canal.

Four Berwickshire youngsters spent a week of their summer holidays sailing from Oban to Aberdeen on the Cirdan Sailing Trust ketch ‘Faramir’.

Youngsters from across the district, Cory Jefferson, Alex Clough, Daniel McCann and Jack Sanderson from Connect Berwickshire Youth Trust were accompanied by youth worker Susie Hopewell on the sailing adventure.

Cirdan Sailing Trust specialises in enabling groups of young people to experience the challenge and adventure of life at sea on large sailing vessels, developing their self-confidence, sense of achievement, team building skills, tolerance and sense of responsibility.

As part of the crew of 12, that also included youngsters from other Scottish youth trusts, they sailed out of Oban to pass through the 27 gates of the Caledonian Canal; the youngsters gaining their competent crew qualification at the end of the voyage, as did the youth workers.

Their first stop was Cuil bay, followed by Gairlochy, the stunning Fort Augustus, through Loch Ness, on to Inverness, through the Murray Forth and watches throughout the night to Aberdeen.

Connect youth worker Susie Hopewell said: “From day one the young people from Girvan, Connect and Atlantis built new friendships which continued to grow as the week went on despite some wet weather early on in the week and feelings of seasickness.

“I saw excellent team work, from working together on ropes, sails, cooking and cleaning as well as good leadership from each young person.

“The young people sat down as a group to work out daily rotas and watches and relationships between the youth projects grew stronger and stronger as the young people supported each other.

“In between sailing there were times when the young people could get off the boat and explore the area and it was great to see how well they mixed off the boat too.

“The feedback from the young people since returning is that they are desperate to get together again as soon as they can.

“Our volunteer group here at Connect are keen to be involved with Girvan Youth Trust and Atlantis Leisure to keep the relationship between the two youth projects going and continue to develop this bond since the huge success of the sailing week.”