I've been reading quite a bit about a man called Hugh Miller in the last few weeks.
He was a geologist and storyteller and had a fascinating life.
Now you have a chance to sail through the Scottish Highlands on a voyage of discovery...
The voyage is being organised by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.
The Geological Societies of Glasgow and Edinburgh are offering unique opportunity for young Earth scientists to follow the journey of Hugh Miller in "The Cruise of the Betsey".
On 6 September 2014 Leader, a wonderful old Brixham Trawler built in 1892 (www.trinitysailing.org/vessels/leader/), will set sail from Oban heading north for the Small Isles in a one-week voyage in homage to Hugh Miller and his Hebridean tours, described in his classic book "The Cruise of the Betsey". The boat sleeps 19 people including 4 crew members, and will be filled with an inter-generational mix of geologists, geographers, artists, writers, ecologists, storytellers and historians (including a Gaelic speaker). The voyage will take the form of a mobile conference during which each participant will apply their own talents and interests in celebration of the achievements of Hugh Miller, and the landscapes, seascapes and cultural history of the Hebrides. The reward for the successful applicants will be to broaden and deepen their appreciation of Hebridean geodiversity, but also to gain new and probably unexpected perspectives on the geology, landscape and people of this beautiful sea-bound realm.
The Geological Societies of Glasgow and Edinburgh will fund up to four berths on the boat for young people (aged 16-30) studying Earth science, who have a research interest in the area or in a subject related to Hugh Miller, and a passion for sharing and communicating geology, landscape and/or Hebridean culture to a diverse audience.
Dates: Saturday 6 to Friday 12 September 2014; you will need to be in Oban ready for embarkation on the morning of Saturday 6th.
Costs: £500 per berth (including all food during the voyage) plus travel costs to/from Oban.
Grants from the two Geological Societies will meet most of these costs but you may be expected to make a modest contribution.
How to apply: Email Simon Cuthbert, Honorary Secretary, Geological Society of Glasgow for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 March 2014.