So, exciting, my first ITN blog. So, hello, my name is Benji Edwards, I am fourteen years old and I am attempting to circumnavigate the north pole in one season. If successful we will be the first British boat to do so and I will be the youngest in the world and only British person to do the entire journey. We set off in our forty nine foot aluminium sailing yacht, Northabout, two weeks ago from Bristol. I am now in Lerwick and we plan to leave tomorrow for Norway, then to Murmansk, Alaska, Greenland and finally Bristol again. I am doing this for two charities, one, ACT, the Cambridge University Hospital, I am raising money for research into inflammatory bowel disease, which I have a mild form of that put me in hospital for two weeks two years ago. The other is called Wicked Weather Watch, it is an educational charity that interacts with schools to teach children about climate change. It is NOT a campaigning group. All it does is gives children the data. I am a youth ambassador for WWW and will hopefully be doing stuff with schools to do with it.
With only one night to go before I leave essentially familiar waters, I feel a surprising lack of nervousness. I am not generally a nervous character but I would have expected a few nerves on the embarking of what is, truth be told, a dangerous enterprise. I am of course looking forward to it and feel a non-negligible measure of excitement, but I find I hold the opinion of, if worrying doesn’t help, why would I do it? The journey up has been largely peaceful, the weather has not always been ideal but I feel that at no point were things spiralling out of our control.
Although it is the first day on July, here in Shetland, it is more like an autumn in the lakes. The sun sets late though it brights little in the way of real warmth. The air is clear and it is peaceful to an extent. I have been here before and been in many place like it, geographically, but I think Shetland is a place I need to spend more time in in the future.
It will take us five days to reach Tromsø and as this is the last day in British waters it feels as an important occasion as leaving Bristol. I am stepping out of my comfort zone. I have been asked to write these blogs occasionally and I hope to do another one in two days time, then one in Tromsø as well. I will see you soon.