Thank you

Leg 4 / Day 6

Aaron says . . .I would just like to say what a great time I’ve had on board the Duet and would like to say a huge thank you to thoses that are involved in the up keeping and planning within the trust it has been an amazing trip worth all the pukeing in the beginning. So will be recomending to all and would go again if I could. I would also like to say a huge great thanks to Dawn (Skipper) and Gavin (1st Mate) who have help us along through thick and thin and made us learn lots about ourselfs as sailours and as young adult!

All presentationed up with our wishes in a letter for the group in leg 5..."pull together guys!!"


Looking forward to home

Leg 4 / Day 5

Completing the RYA Competent Crew qualification

Having proved themselves at sea the hardy sailors complete the RYA Competent Crew qualification

Jack . . . Starting to get a bit homesick now, but managed to have a good laugh last night on the Dinghy! Didn’t sleep much last night though, as the bed above nearly landed on me!

Looking forward to seeing my family, friends and getting into my own bed!

Oscar . . .Great afternoon nap! Loving the weather, fairly good nights sleep. Looking forward to going to Hackney next weekend, it’s my cousins wedding, which unfortunately, I can’t go to, but will be looking forward to hearing about it from my mum and brother.

Can taste the Malt Whisky and cigar waiting for me……..

Chloe . . .I’m going home tomorrow!! Looking forward to a nice hot bath! Great time on board – well worth the sickness at the beginning!

Cory . . .Dinghy sailing failed! Crashed into a boat and drifted off! We had a good laugh though. I’m looking forward to going home and heading off to Kelburn next weekend.

Aaron . . .Dinghy sailing was good, until we had to carry it back!! Eventually found the valve to stop the air from coming out! Tea was good, courtesy of Chloe – Roast dinner and veggies! Weathers nice & sunny and had a good sleep last night, although struggled to get up a bit this morning. Really looking forward to my double bed and a long lie-in!

Scot . . .Felt much more refreshed after my shower, walk and little fishing trip on the Dinghy with Cory! Looking forward to seeing my family again tomorrow when I get home.

Susie . . .Last full day on ‘Duet’ started off with bacon & egg rolls – Mmm Mmm Mmm!

Work was soon started on cleaning the boat, I, in the meantime, managed to sneak off for a shower and re-discover Mascara – What a treat!! Slightly cloudy this morning, bit of blue sky peeking through with an odd ray of sunshine. Dinghy still up from Scot, Aaron, Cory and Jacks Dinghy expedition last night, which ended in them having to pull the Dingy back in, let it down and carry it back, as their oars (2 dustpans) let them down slightly – never the less, they had a ball!

Oscar called in to ‘Generate Radio’ this morning, live on air. This is Oscar’s place of work and our local radio station – thank you to Kyle Wilson, who is working hard on his own this morning!

A huge thank you to Charlie Anderson from the sailing trust, who came on board this morning and presented leg 4 certificates to the crew. Lovely to meet you and a privilege for us to have you visiting us.

We have been able to read the comments on the blog, which have been a great inspiration to the crew, many thanks to everyone, much appreciated.

Last and definitely not least, what I am looking forward to. A huge hug from my lovely hubby and 3 fabulous kids – love you all very, very much and can’t wait to see you tomorrow xxx


Smooth seas and dolphins

Leg 4 / Day 4

Locking in at Inverness

Locking in at Inverness

Oscar . . . Got up for 3am to leave the oil capital of Europe and started our journey to Inverness. I saw the sun rise over the sea for the fist time in my life, the sky was clearish the water was calm. It was laid back sailing all day, but I didn’t get much sleep because of having to clean a lot.

Chloe . . . We left Aberdeenat 2.30 am so we were with the tide.

As grumpy as I was for being up so early in the morning, the view was amazing we travelled by motor for most of the day because there was no wind and the sea was too calm. Even though I still managed to chunder thankfully not as much, HA!!

We had some lovely traditional haggis, neeps and tatties was goooood. Then off for a couple hours’ kip before starting another of my 4 hour shifts. Another good day.

Aaron . . .We were up very early around 2:30 feeling very awake and alert, unlike the rest who were still dull. We then set the boat up ready for a 36 hour sail to Inverness. I felt good apart from a sore head and kept waking everyone up by singing “Good Morning” I continued helping with the tacking of the boat and being a helmsman, also making tea and coffee for the other group. Also felt a bit pissed off due certain people not pulling their weight. Our watch also practised man over board procedures on a dead bird floating in the sea. Me, Susie, Scot and Chloe also enjoyed our chocolate orange face masks!

Cory . . . Left Aberdeen harbour get up and saw the sun rise went down under deck and slept for sometime I don’t know how log for but it was good the shifts were pretty easy going.

Scot . . .Set off to Inverness  at first light. Very calm seas. Got so calm went fishing caught nothing, went straight through the night.

Jack . . . Sailing went really well not great bumps so no spewing gutted we only have two days left but I am looking forward to meeting our champion tomorrow

Susie . . . We set sail this morning at 3am. It was clear and all decided to watch the sun rise before starting back on shifts. We were planning to arrive around 5 pmish in Inverness on Wednesday 20th June

Sailing was very calm through the day, with a few showers on Scot, Aaron and Jack’s shifts, but lovely and clear on Chloe, Oscar and Cory’s shift’s!

Oscar and Cory were on tea, Haggis neeps and Tatties! Everyone wolfed it down !!

Both shifts were lucky enough to have between 3 and 5 dolphins alongside the boat – Daphnie, Flynn, Jerry and Derek!! (Named by Cory, Susie, Chloe and Oscar), it was beautiful and clear lovely to see all of the costal towns.

Spirits rising high. Lots of team work, supporting each other and hilarity within the group. Lots of praise given by me, very well deserved!

Just a wee message to all the parents- your kids are doing you proud and I shouldn’t really be calling them kids – your young men and young lady as they have grown up so much in the last week.

Dolphins in Moray Firth


Refreshed and revitalised

Leg 3 / Day 4

Oscar . . .More relaxed day today still knackered though. Finally got a lighter! Had a good Chinese! Ate 5 platefuls and a bowl of ice cream, also tried sushi for the first time – really liked it. Went through theory of the competent crew and I’m finally confident I can do it!

Got some messages of support through the blog from people I don’t even know, it was nice to even know people are interested in our wee quest to the capital of the highlands and it gave me a boost of energy to go on. Maybe I’m self conscious that people will be observing us.

Chloe . . .Woke up felling very refreshed after a good nights sleep on “Duet” and went for a nice relaxing swim, just for another wash, was great. We got a bit shopping and a Starbucks, it was yummy!  At this point though I was getting really excited for our Chinese though. So we ventured down to the beach front and had a little wonder and look at the beach, all to be amused by a seagull eating a fish. Then ate far too much in the Chinese and almost exploded was a great day.

Aaron . . .Woke up feeling great very happy. I knew it was going to be a good day due to us getting to go swimming. We went to bed early as we had to get up for3 am to start sailing to Inverness, we also went for a Chinese buffet which was brilliant and cheered Dawn up as she hadn’t had a Chinese in ages. I was disappointed at the Chinese as it had no fried sea weed!



Great with Marmite

Leg 4 / Day 3

We had a chocolate sponge cake made for us by Jonny Johnsons wife which was “Damn fine” & now the staple for this idyllic sail

‘Southerly 4 at Rattray Head,Sunny & warm’ is a gift from D.O.Andy from Aberdeen…”Morning rolls for fishermen” he said. We said, “Great with Marmite!”

…”I’m Scottish & I never heard of them!! Very buttery,& great for a fuller figure!!!”

Thank you all.

Eating in the cockpit


Compare and contrast the first two days of Leg 4

Leg 4 / Day 1 & 2

Do you think we should have told Dawn about this ship coming up behind!

Aaron . . . Day 1 Felt very ill, tired, lonely, soaking wet, depressed, lonely shifts, felt very long. Day 2 Arrived in Aberdeen– great! Got to go swimming, got the boat cleaned up, started to enjoy my food. Energy came back, knackered at tea time, as I made tea, but really enjoyed it. Sleep was great – dry!

Oscar . . . Day 1 Mixed feelings – stressed, angry & exhausted. Able to cope but under pressure with being asked by many people to do so many different things. Day 2 Had to drag myself up and decided I was going to stay. Felt cleansed after the swim at the pool, food was brilliant – exactly what I needed, great sleep!

Chloe . . .Day 1 Felt and was so sick – enjoyed doing the shifts – didn’t enjoy the swell & soaking & freezing cold. Day 2 Arrived in Aberdeen, pleased to be here. Very tired – over the moon to get a shower. Loved tea – bangers, mash, roasted veg & gravy. Slept like a baby.

Cory . . .Day 1 Fun for the first couple of hours, then on second shift got really dripping wet, then got waterproofs on, got really moist at the waist. Was funny watching everyone throwing up – was like a zombie movie. Was sick myself and felt de-hydrated. Day 2 . . . Annoyed when I woke up, played my guitar, sang to myself! Swimming pool, steam room an’ ting was great. Felt moist after my swim! Didn’t really enjoy tea.

Scot . . . Day 1 Felt like I wanted to die, faint, no strength, very negative & scared, cold, wet & very sick, went out on all my shifts but didn’t complete it. Wanted to go home. Day 2 Started to feel better, from then on really started to enjoy it, food is really nice, toilet/heads are too small!

Jack . . . Day 1  Felt dodgy, didn’t think I was gonna be sick, but ended up being sick all night, kept bumping myself with the boat swaying. I only managed one hour on shift all night, felt absolutely horrible, just wanted to go home. Day 2 Early on still felt ill and wanted to go home, but as the day went on started to feel better and after a shower I didn’t want to go home. Really enjoyed tea, didn’t sleep well, looking forward to Chinese tomorrow.

Susie . . .Day 1 After a very happy meet up on ‘Duet’, we set sail around 2:30pm. It was raining & the sea was very choppy. It wasn’t long before we were all soaking, cold & very seasick (apart from Oscar). We split into two groups and started four hour shifts. Everyone was feeling down more and more as the night went on. The weather didn’t start getting any better until around 1:00am, most of us had managed to stop being sick by this stage, but we were still soaking wet & so cold.

Day 2  We arrived in Aberdeen with Scot, Cory & Jack certain they were going home, but after cleaning up the boat and deciding on going for a swim, spirits started to rise again. We had lunch then headed to the pool. Everyone was much happier after this and we headed back to the boat, where we had a much appreciated home-cooked tea! We played ‘spoons’ – Dawn was not happy that she didn’t win! Bed was calling around10pm, so after getting tidied up, we all got to a very well deserved bed.

The young people have been so supportive of each other. They are now starting to have a giggle about the experience of the first night and enjoying themselves. They are working amazingly well together as a team and I am both proud and honoured to be supporting this amazing group of young people. There are so many things we are going to be taking away from this trip, something none of us are ever going to forget.


Wet passage

Leg 4 / Day 1

Connect crew on deck with guitarFollowing a wet passage to Aberdeen the group from Aberdeen could only manage a few words. They were:

Jack . . . relieved

Oscar…that was an experience

Aaron….the spewing has finished!!!



Susie…my boss has got a lot to answer for!

Duet can be so close to nature that everything has nature in it…everything is wet & airing, even the guitar had to be emptied!!

Leg 4 group on deck in foul weather gear



Top shinty player to Champion Leg 4

The renowned shinty player Ronald Ross MBE is to be the Champion for the young people who will crew Leg 4 of the Voyage to Success.

As Duet sails on the Scottish part of her odyssey, it is fitting that the Champion for this leg is a player of this popular celtic sport. Ronald Ross is the only player to have scored more than 1000 goals as a Forward for the top teams.

The group of young people who are due to join Duet on Saturday come from the Connect youth services in the Scottish Boarders.

Wishing them well on their voyage Ronald said ““I know the young people will face some tough new challenges as they sail in the Voyage to Success but I would encourage them to dig deep. Nothing in life that is worth having ever comes easily. By the time they reach Inverness they will realise that we can all achieve much more than we think we can. I hope they will enjoy the experience and I look forward to meeting them in Inverness.”