Nov 15 2007 By Clair Fullarton
TEENAGER Katie Barclay is counting down the days to her oceanic adventure of a lifetime.
Katie, 13, leaves for a month-long trip to South America on Sunday, leaving behind her mum and dad and younger brother and sister Andrew and Kirsten.
The intrepid Grange Academy pupil is one of eight youngsters chosen to take part in CBBC’s Serious Ocean programme.
It is a massive achievement for the 13-year-old, as over 16,000 kids applied to take part in the series.
But after a lengthy audition process, which included a phone interview, film tests and an ‘adventure’ weekend, Katie landed a coveted place.
Katie said: “I have watched all the other Serious Adventure shows and I was really keen to be a part of this one.
“I saw an article on the internet asking for applications and I just decided to give it a go. I almost missed the deadline as our internet at home was down for a month, so I used a friend’s PC and hoped for the best.”
Katie filled in a questionnaire and wrote about her abseiling experience two years ago.
“I explained how scary it had been, but how proud I was to have done it afterwards,” said Katie.
This led to the phone interview, then an audition in Bristol and finally the adventure weekend, when the last 16 were whittled down to eight.
Katie added: “I haven’t been told a lot about what we’ll be doing, but I do know that we’ll be sailing round Cape Horn, climbing the world’s most southerly glacier and checking out various animals, including penguins, seals and dolphins.”
The group, led by experienced instructors, will also sail along the Chilean fjords and explore remote South American islands, documenting the wildlife as they go — and all the while the cameras will be following their progress.
Dad Grant said: “This is an amazing opportunity for Katie and she is really excited about it.
“Of course we are a bit apprehensive about her going and we’ll miss her, but it will be a life-changing experience for Katie and she’ll see and do things I’ll never get to see and do in my life.”
Katie added: “I will miss my family, but this is a great chance for me and it is something I’ll never ever forget.”
The Serious Ocean series will be aired on BBC One next summer.