Don being Capt Bligh again with with Cabin Boy Chris prior to the Queen arriving.
Don Chatting to S.I.F patron's Julie & Nick Palmer, Nick has Motor Nuerone Disease.
You can read all about it at the end of this blog but yes!! SITranS is now open and I met the Queen and his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. The Queen was quite interested in the expedition and impressed with pictures of the boat. His Royal Highness, being a sailor thought we were crazy I think, but had a laugh about me being “Bligh” with the crew. We chatted for a few minutes. I bowed and shook hands with both…it was an amazing experience to feel that Royal “presence” which is simply too hard to describe. I was caught up in it. Everyone there that day was feeding off the Queen’s energy and you felt the real warmth and giving from her. I wore my kilt with a dagger in my sock?? as you do, but the very tight security did not mind…I was a low risk obviously.
The Duke of Devonshire was also there with many local dignitaries, all the patrons and supporters of SIF along with the all important researchers who now reside permanently in the most amazing facility. It is a modern, open building which simply feels right. It is state of the art everything. All involved with it’s creation can feel justifiably proud. I am not a scientist, but you can sense that the work environment will be conducive to creativity. We will surely see some big things come from here in the future.
When it was all done that morning, a few select people ( me too) got to have lunch with the Queen. This was a whole new experience in a grand hall straight out of Harry Potter. About then I really did have to pinch myself, as it was very surreal. No pictures were allowed, but I got to keep the invitations to remember a very special day.
Tomorrow I fly back to China where I hope to hide till Xmas and start writing the book!! I managed to spend an afternoon working on the James Caird yesterday which is all progressing well. There is plenty of info about SIF on this web site, so check it out and if you wanted to donate $ to SIF, you can do it through the “Just Giving” links here too.