Following a highly successful season in 2014 the Swan Trust is determined to have another active year in 2015. Rory Johnson, the young, enthusiastic skipper returns for another season and he will be joined again by Scott Sandison as mate.
In November Scott was awarded the Young Sail Trainer of the Year trophy at the annual conference of Sail Training International.
The season begins in April with preparing SWAN and the first trips will be undertaken before the end of the month. By May, it is hoped that the boat will be providing school students the opportunity to sail and find out what life was like on a herring drifter.
The first cruise of the season over mid-summer week-end results from an invitation to participate in a Sailing Trawler Festival in Arendal, Southern Norway and celebrate the returning to the water of the former Brixham sailing trawler, BOY LESLIE after a seven year restoration. This is followed by a trip to Hirtshals, Denmark to participate in Nordisk Sejlads, an annual event in the Skagerrak for traditional sailing vessels. This is a mini Tall Ships event with 20 - 25 vessels from Denmark, Sweden and Norway taking part. SWAN will again be the only UK vessel involved and her trainee crew of teenagers will have to be at their best to equal or better the boat’s success in last year’s races. The event will end with a raft-up of all participating vessels and crew barbeque.
SWAN remains in the Skagerrak for a cruise from Kristiansand, Norway which will visit the picturesque small harbours of Skagen, Denmark, Skärhamn, Sweden and Risør, Norway before returning to Kristiansand to take part in the Tall Ships’ Race from there to Aalborg, Denmark. This will be the first time SWAN has participated in Tall Ships’ Race since the fleet visited Lerwick in 2011.
As the result of a request from previous SWAN passengers, a cruise to sample the flavours of island malt distilleries which commence in Kirkwall, then sail south to Oban, then the islands of Islay, Jura, Mull and Skye before returning to Kirkwall. This trip will have SWAN sailing in some of the finest cruising waters in Europe.
Returning to Shetland waters there will be a Wildlife cruise in September which it is hoped will attract people from outside Shetland to come and experience the diverse wildlife of the islands and sea around Shetland. The final trip of the season will be a relaxing fishing weekend in Shetland waters.
Peter Campbell, Swan Trust secretary said,
We hope that the progamme we have planned will be attractive to the public and that those who participate will have an enjoyable experience both at home and abroad. As always, when in foreign ports SWAN will again be actively promoting Shetland.