20 February 2006

Ellen MacArthur Trust Gipsy Moth IV crew undertake final training

20th February 06

Hey everybody,

A bit about us: We are Maria 18 from Saintfield just outside Belfast, Barbara 17 from Dungannon which is 40 miles from Belfast and Laura 20 from Belfast. We are members of Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for children and young adults and have been chosen to represent the Ellen MacArthur Trust on Leg 9 of the Gipsy Moth Voyage from Balboa to Galapagos.

We decided to call ourselves the Gipsy butterflies (we’ll tell you a bit more about this later) we’d like to report on our final training weekend at UKSA.

We have had a tough weekend out on the yacht. We sailed from Cowes to Newtown nature reserve on (Saturday) and stayed the night, the next morning (Sunday) we sailed back toward Cowes via the Solent it was very cold and windy so the yacht was moving and leaning toward the water this proved to be scary but educational.

We learned a lot about the actual practicality of sailing a yacht in stormy conditions. The sailing that we under took this weekend has really set us up for the long and hard journey ahead.

On Monday we came ashore and had training on sea survival and operating all the comm gear on Gipsy Moth IV.

A big thanks to Richard, Anna and all at UKSA for making us feel so welcome and David Green for this fantastic opportunity.

We are on our way home now before setting off on Friday to join Gipsy Moth - you will be able to follow our trip here and on http://www.gipsymoth.org