This week sees the first of 31 journeys and how apt that the first journey will be on the Thames Sailing Barge the "The thistle". The kick off event in February took place at the Thistle Gallery in Glasgow's West End due to the tremendous support of its owner Carol Dunbar. The Thistle is the only Thames barge built in Scotland on the Clyde at Port Glasgow in 1895. I feel particularly feel privileged to be sailing on here first voyage of her 120th year.
This journey is particularly special since the Sir Andrew Motion, Poet laureate until 2009 has agreed to contribute to the Shipping Forecast project with this beautiful verse.
What bending sea-grass knows
and the herring gull shouts aloud
is the same word the wind blows
and the sunlight dissolving cloud.
© Andrew Motion.
I am due to travel down to London tomorrow night via Glasgow and with the kind support of First Group (Essex) and National Express I will hope to be in the atmospheric port of Maldon Thursday afternoon. With only 3 of us on board we are due to sail on the 0430 tide to Ipswich Port.
I due to leave London for Glasgow on Friday evening, so with all everything running smoothly I hope to back on the Ayrshire coast early Saturday morning. After 3 nights of not sleeping in a bed I suspect I will be ready for a lie down in my own bed.
Like all journeys the excitement is tinged a little with the apprehension of the unknown, but this is the first of many journeys and it will be good to be on board a boat after so many years on Terra firma.
With sketch book, pencils, camera I look forward to posting the first of many visual records of this first of many adventures around the Shipping Forecast.
Signing off with lots of pictures to come.
Troon, Ayrshire coast. Scotland.