Sail Training Shetland, the local organisation set up to encourage young people’s interest in sailing, held a celebratory evening at the Lerwick Boating Club last night.
As well as the trainees, their families, committee members and volunteers from the Swan Trust and sponsors were in attendance.
There were refreshments, fancies and nibbles, short films of this year’s two trips aboard Shetland’s iconic restored Fifie and even shanty singing.
Twenty trainees were on two visits this year to Scandinavia on the Swan where they experienced the pleasure and rigours of a life at sea on two-week trips.
Katie Leask from Bigton, who has just completed her fifth year and is going to Shetland College, took part in Nordic Sail 2015 and said she “enjoyed” the experience and would do it again.
She wasn’t seasick, had a good laugh, made lots of friends and met folk from other boats. She thought she had come out of herself and the whole experience had given her more confidence. She heard about the Swan experience by word of mouth with a recommendation from her sister’s pal.
Sixteen-year-old Sam Malcolmson thought his trip was “absolutely brilliant” and met a lot of folk and made friends. He was especially taken by the Norwegian girls.
He enjoyed the sailing experience, but there was also the cooking, cleaning and taking care of the vessel. He thinks it is a good introduction for anyone contemplating a career in the Merchant Navy which he is at the moment.
Meanwhile the Swan Trust will be losing its skipper Rory Johnson at the end of this month. He has skippered the Fifie with considerable success over the last two years.
More on the Sail Training Shetland event and the Swan in next Friday’s Shetland Times.