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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2006, 09:13 GMT 10:13 UK
Culture festival to take to sea
Fishing boat the Swan (Picture by the Swan Trust)
The Swan was restored after it was salvaged from the bottom of Hartlepool dock
A flotilla of traditional Scottish boats is to help mark the Highland 2007 Year of Culture.

So far 20 boats have signed up to sail from Wick to Portsoy, with stop overs along the north coast and Moray Firth.

Vessels such as the Swan, once Shetland's largest fishing boat, will sail close to the beaches of Brora, Nairn and Burghead.

The flotilla's destination will be the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy on 1 July.

Crews will spend nights in Lybster, Helmsdale, Invergordon, Cromarty and Buckie and take part in traditional music and dance events.

'Living history'

Sinclair Young, director of the Moray Firth Partnership and organiser of the flotilla, said the project would put pieces of history on show.

He said: "Seeing them together sailing past the cliffs of Caithness and beaches of Moray will be like going back in time."

Fiona Hampton, director of Highland 2007, added: "The ports and coastal communities offering harbour to the flotilla on their journey will be able to join in the fun giving many people throughout the area the chance to participate in this exciting event and to experience living history."

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