50 years after the commencement of the voyage, The Voyage of The Aegre book launch in Lerwick, Shetland, took place in late July 2023 during the Tall Ships Festival.
The Shetland Islands were chosen, being the spiritual home of The Aegre, a Shetland model boat. The Lerwick library hosted the launch, organised by Karen Fraser and her library team.
Shetland ocean sailor and author Andrew Halcrow and I discussed the voyage and the book in front of a lively audience, a mixture of locals and Festival visitors. Karen Baxter from the Shetland Times Bookshop was on hand with copies of the book for sale. In the audience was The Aegre’s boatbuilder Tom Edwardson’s son-in-law, who told me Tom came from Unst, not Yell and shared a photo of Tom, (who has now passed away).
A visit to 60North Radio followed where commentator Tom Morton was hosting a daily Tall Ships Festival show, now to include an interview with me about the book. You can listen to our conversation. Then back to the Shetland Times bookshop to sign more books, where according to Karen Baxter sales were going well.
A visit to the Shetland museum at Hay’s Dock was next where Events Manager Ailish Goodlad had arranged for me to talk about the voyage in their boat shed using one of their Shetland boats, The Brothers, as a prop.
On our final day in Shetland, Tomoko and I made the three bus, two ferry pilgrimage to Unst, the northernmost island in Shetland, to visit the Unst Boat Haven, which has probably the most significant collection of Shetland boats in the islands. A must see, and worth the effort.
And then, as the rain settled in, and the fog came down, we headed for the airport and our flight to Inverness and a visit to Scourie, from where Julie and I had departed aboard The Aegre, all those years ago.
See the Book Launch gallery for more pictures from Lerwick.