Saturday, 10 July 2010

Sail and Oar Maritime Celebration

At GalGael we're gearing up for one of the highlights of the Dorna Project. Together with Cumbrae Community Development company, GalGael are hosting a Sail and Oar Festival in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae. The event aims to be a celebration of Dorna activity so far as well as an opportunity to look at what it might achieve in the months leading up to March 2011, when the project comes to an end. Beyond this the project will be a celebration of traditional boats and boat building in the partner regions.
Not only will GalGael be there en masse with all the crew & crafts we can muster but we'll be joined by crews from Causeway Coast, N.I. in their curragh, and Galicia and the Basque Country with some of their traditional boats, music & food! Expect usual GalGael presence, boat races (the Basques reckon the will thrash us which is probably true!), crafts, ceilidh, Albannach stompin' and more. I'd like to add sunshine but this is the west coast! For more details, we'll be posting them on

Thursday, 8 July 2010

GalGael & Dorna go down a storm at Portsoy 2010

Early on Friday 25 June, about 20 men and women packed up a luton van, a pick up, 18-seater minibus and various other vehicles and travelled the long road from Govan to Portsoy on the Moray Coast. A few hundred miles and a couple of stops to tighten straps later and we pulled into the historic old harbour.

We unloaded all our kit into the marquee and weren't sure we'd be able to fill the marquee. But as banners were unfurled, boat building demonstrations set up and baskets laid out our display quickly took shape.

By the time the first visitors started to wander by we'd turned a little bit of Portsoy Traditional Boat Festival into a GalGael workshop. Four workbenches gave hordes of visitors an opportunity to try their hand at wood carving. Working with one of the school boys involved in the St Ayles skiff project - the puffin sailing dinghy took shape over the weekend event.

At the other end of the marquee people could pick up a bit of basket weaving, spinning and felting or attempt green woodturning on the pole lathes. The First Minister, Alec Salmond and Mike Russell MSP were just some of the visitors passing by.

This was the second year, GalGael had taken Dorna Scotland to the Portsoy Traditional Boat Festival with one big addition - Dorna being a sponsor for this years event. Throughout the weekend, we were able to talk to people about what Dorna is trying to achieve and encourage folks to map traditional boats and yards on a giant map of Scotland.

All in all in was a big success and we even got time to go for a row in one of our yawls. Our hard work paid off in some great feedback and invitations to return again next year...