THE BIG VOYAGE

 

Creating an aqua spiritual song line in the form of a sea pilgrimage of song that links Ulva Ferry and Fingal’s cave on Staffa Island, (in the area of Isle of Mull, Scotland) with the shrines of the Bab and Baha’u’llah in the Holy land of Israel.

 

The background: This journey has been inspired by two things. Firstly the Baha’i vision; the essence of which was generated by the lives and teaching of the Bab and Baha’u’llah. In this understanding humanity has now entered a new phase of development. In this phase all the forces of life will transform our present war torn and ugly world into a world characterised by beauty.

 

Humanity slowly grows the maturity and insights to become beautiful: beautiful as individuals, beautiful as working interlocking communities and beautiful in ways of collectively living harmoniously with our natural world.

 

The second thing is ownership of a beautiful and venerable old craft: Winefreda of Greenisland. This boat has had many uses, and has sailed many seas, but she has never as far as Israel. It would be a crowning moment in her nautical life!

 

The Mission: For Winny’s crew the challenge will be twofold. Firstly to safely sail the boat to the Holy Land. Secondly to share formal and informal musical interpretations of the big Baha’i vision with people met during the voyage.

 

The Boat : Winny 32 feet of double diagonal teak on oak was built by master Irish craftsmen towards the end of the Nineteenth Centuary. Since then she has gone through many incarnations. Originally she was a naval ship used for carrying gun powder to the fleet in Cork harbour. Then she was used by Irish ‘freedom fighters’ to ship arms to aid the Irish 1916 uprising. For the last 96 years she has been lovingly maintained under the stewardship of our family. Firstly as a commercial lobster fishing boat, then as a rough and ready yacht. In the 1960s She had a big refit and became an improved family yacht. In this phase she cruised the waters of Scandinavia, the Mediterranean and the Hebrides. In her latter years she has been used to give people with learning difficulties sailing adventures in the inner Hebrides. Her most recent voyages have been linked with music.

 

Music: In recent years the good ship Winny has been used to make musical voyages through the Islands in the Hebrides. Musical crews have gathered and sung songs inspired by the spirit of the Baha’i vision: one planet and one beautifully diverse people and a world destined to live in a dynamic and positive harmony. The current voyage is an ambitious extension of those recent voyages.

Capacity. Winny has been well maintained and remains in fine sea fettle.

 

The Voyage.

The proposed voyage plans to follow (in part) the route which Winny took in 1968 when she carried my Mother and others to mark the 100 anniversary of Baha’u’llahs arrival in the Holy Land. Then its destination was the Oceanic Conference in Palermo Sicily. This time it will, in a sense, complete that voyage by continuing the passage to the Holy Land and the harbours near the holy shrines of the Bab, Baha’u’llah and his family.

 

The song line and sharing element of the voyage:

In this adventure the journey is of equal importance with the arrival. The voyage will include visiting ports en route. These visits will be used as occasions to make music and sing the unity of the world. This will happen either through impromptu musical exchanges with people met, or through more formal concerts organised by prearrangement with the local Baha’i communities.

 

The voyage will thus create a necklace of sonic ‘remembrances’ which will link the Isle of Mull with the Holy thresholds of the Bab and Baha’u’llah.

 

The Beginning: It is proposed that the musical voyage will start with a gathering of musicians in Fingals cave. All musical people who plan to be part of that journey (and well wishers) will be invited to participate in this musical happening. We will seek blessing as we make the first sound of the voyage. If blessed, our song-line will end with a devotional thanksgiving in the Gardens of Bahji that surround the shrine of Baha’u’llah near Acca in Israel.

 

The Crew: The crews will need to consist of a blend or qualities., some will have nautical skills and some with musical ability and a taste for the sweetness of devotional music and are happy to touch people and audiences met on the way with the musical interpretations of the Baha’i vision. The voyage itself will have different phases. The more challenging waters are likely to be the Irish sea and the passage across the Bay of Biscay. The less challenging part of the voyage is likely to be in the Mediterranean. The caveat in this is that life always full of paradox and surprise!), Other than myself and Paddy the crews are likely to change according to nautical challenge (like the crossing of Biscay where a preponderance of competent sailors will be required ) and availability.

 

Recording the voyage:The voyage will be recorded in three main ways: audio,visual, audio visual and written. The intention will be to use the voyage as a basis for a film, a CD and a book. We will bring sound equipment to capture the musical aspects of the voyage and video cameras to capture the audio visual nature of the voyage. A written log of the voyage will be kept, and members of the crew will be encouraged to keep their own diaries and inspirational thoughts. My aspiration is to weave the account of this voyage either as a stand alone book or as part of a longer book which tells the story of Winny’s extraordinary history. Way point of the voyage and the approximate Timings. ( that is Subject to wind and weather!)

 

This is how the voyage will look

 

Phase 1: Mid May 2012 to Mid June) will take us form Mull to Cornwall. From: via Iona, Crinnan Canal, Holy island (Arran) Ballycastle, (North Ireland,) Carnlough Bangor, Isle of Man, Bangor (North Wales) Dunleoigh( Eire) Wexford Waterford Cork, Cross Haven, Cardiff Bristol, South West Cornwall.

 

Phase 2: (For experienced sailors) (Mid June - July) Will take us from Cornwall, across the Bay of Biscay to Gibralta via North Spain, Portugal and Southern Spain (including Cadiz) and Gibraltar.

 

Phase 3: ( July -Mid July) will take us from Gibraltar Spanish southern coast Mediterranean, Ibitha Minorca Minorca.

 

Phase 4: (mid July- Early August) Minorca to Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta

 

Phase 5: (Early August- mid August) Malta, Italy Ionian islands (Greece) Corinth Canal Islands in the Cyclades Turkey (Boudram)

 

Phase 6: (Mid august -end of August) South Turkey coast. Maumarice, Cyprus.

 

Phase7: (Early Sep)Cyprus Haifa (Israel) Acca Haifa

 

Phase8: From Mid Sep to late Sep) Haifa to a place to safe harbour to winter the boat.

Participation and cost of participation for crew members:

 

It is expected that the crews will share the cost of food, marina birthing and fuel. This will change according to wind appetite and country and currency fluctuations!

 

It is envisaged that few will be able to complete the whole voyage, but some will be able to participate in some parts of the voyage.

 

Step one will be finding out who is generally interested and phase two will be to agree who will come and when.

 

Expressions of interest:If the prospects of the above adventure attracts you (nautically or musically) get in touch with me and I will see how you can be spliced into this nautical song line!

 

Gvs38@hotmail.com or 01434 345 359 or 07785102484