Gail McGarva, traditional wooden boat builder, has brought her beautiful boat, Intégrité, to Trill Farm where the barn is her new workshop as she undertakes the loving restoration of this very special vessel.
Lyme Regis has become the new home port and custodian of Intégrité, the 38ft Bantry Bay gig, which represents Great Britain internationally in the 'Atlantic Challenge' movement. 'Atlantic Challenge' is an experiential, educational organisation operating in many nations. The project promotes the skills of the sea including boat building, sailing, rowing and seamanship. Its activities bring young people together with the intent of fostering cultural and global understanding.
The Bantry Bay gigs are elegant wooden replicas of the late 18th century longboats and are modelled on an existing original gig left behind in Bantry Bay, Ireland by the invading French fleet of 1796. They are propelled by both oar and sail with a crew of 13. The 'Atlantic Challenge' movement actively promotes that at least half of the crew are aged between 16-25. The next international gathering of young people with Intégrité representing Great Britain will be in Roskilde, Denmark 2016.
Gail explains a little about her ethos as a boat builder;
'I am a traditional wooden boat builder with a passion for working boats. My specialist area is the building of replicas or, as I prefer to call them, 'daughterboats' of these vessels of heritage. I see my work as breathing life into a new generation of these traditional boats. I am not making museum pieces but expressions of living history, which encourage a sense of belonging and connection to the sea. Each boat has its own story to tell about our communities and our shores'.