Nancy Blackett bound out for Holland

Nancy Blackett, the classic yacht once owned by Arthur Ransome, is to recreate the dramatic voyage described in We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea.

In the book, four children, finding themseves adrift, sail the Goblin, the fictional boat which Ransome based on Nancy Blackett, across the North Sea to Holland.

Last year, for the first time since Ransome himself sailed there in 1936, Nancy retraced the route of the Goblin, from Pin Mill on the Orwell to Flushing. The crew however consisted entirely of adults.

This year, children will make up half the crew for the voyage.

“The books are a source of inspiration for children to get sailing, and we want to recapture and extend that inspiration aboard Nancy,” explains Bill Wallace-King of Redgrave, Suffolk, skipper for the voyage, and a trustee of the Nancy Blackett Trust, which owns and preserves the historic boat.

“But,” adds Bill, ” we obviously need to do it within the realms of reality and safety, so the crew will consist of two adults and two children.” The junior crew consists of Bill’s daughter Sabina (14) and her friend Susie Martin (15) from South Lopham, Norfolk. Both have been sailing since an early age. Shipping as mate is Ken Randall, who, as the Trust’s sailing secretary co-ordinates members’ sailing on Nancy.