I’m pleased to announce that we’ll be running a tidal sailing trip to the picturesque west coast of Scotland next Spring. This will follow a similar route to our successful trip last year.
As previously, we’ll sail with two yachts for two weeks and you can join us for either one or both weeks. Each yacht will have an RYA Yachtmaster as skipper and up to six crew. You can see George’s account of the 2012 Highland Adventure here. There are also photographs to show you what to expect.
Dates & Where You’ll Go
The trip will start at Largs, at the mouth of the River Clyde on Saturday 31 May. The first week you’ll sail to Oban, known as the “Gateway to the Highlands”, stopping at pretty and interesting places on the way. The first week’s journey will include a passage through the Crinan Canal, which provides an attractive short-cut to the islands off the west coast. You’ll have an opportunity to visit one of the famous distilleries on either Islay or Jura, plus visiting Coll, one of the remotest islands at the edge of the Atlantic.
The second week starts from Oban on Saturday 7 June and concludes on Saturday 14 June at Badachro, deep in the Scottish Highlands. In my opinion, the further north you travel the more spectacular and dramatic the scenery becomes. During the second week you’ll visit well-known islands such as Mull and Skye and we hope to repeat our evening at the remotest pub in Britain, the Old Forge in Inverie.
We’ve chosen to visit Scotland at this time of year as the spring flowers are at their best – the landscape is brilliant with rhodedendrons, azaleas and other flowering plants. May and June typically have less rain than at other times of year (although we can’t guarantee this!) and it’s too early to be plagued with midges, the small insect that can be a nuisance in the warmer months.
For this trip we’ve chosen two boats owned by Peter Henderson of Spirit of June Charters, the same company we used in 2012. One is a Bavaria 44 cruiser and comes complete with bowthruster, radar, and autopilot, and the other is a Dufour Gibsea 43, identical to the yacht, Spirit of June, that we used in 2012. Both have four cabins, including one with bunk beds.
Price & What’s Included
We offer this trip on a similar basis to our milebuilders in Greece, including food during the day but not evening meals. Each evening you will eat ashore at local pubs or restaurants. Last year one of the delights was the fresh seafood and venison – and several people tried haggis! As the climate is cooler you’ll use sleeping bags rather than blankets. You can either bring your own or they are available to hire per week.
The price per person for one week, sharing a cabin is £880 / 986€ and for two weeks, it is £1600 / 1792€ per person sharing a cabin. We can take a limited number of people with single occupancy of a cabin but, unfortunately, we need to make a 30% surcharge for this.
Members of the Aegean Crew Club are entitled to a 5% discount making it £836 / 936€ per person for one week or £1520 / 1702€ for 2 weeks, sharing a cabin.
You’ll need a 50% deposit to secure your place and the balance will be due by the end of April 2014. You can pay us by Visa or Mastercard as well as by bank transfer.
What You’ll See, Do, and Learn
Each week will include a distillery visit (with tasting!), an evening in a Scottish bar with live musicians, plenty of wonderful meals with fresh local produce (salmon, scallops, prawns, venison, beef, lamb …), and a chance to see romantic castles, misty mountains, and an abundance of wild-life.
Although we’re running this as a mile-builder rather than a sailing course, you’ll get plenty of practice and tution if required. You’ll experience for yourself the strong tides that flow around this area, where the tidal stream can reach 7 knots and the range can be as much as 4 metres.
George, our Principal, and I spent over 30 years living in Scotland, much of this in the Highlands, so we know the area well and can take you to secret places only known to those with local knowledge.
Who’s the Trip Suitable For?
This trip is intended for those who already have either an RYA Competent Crew or RYA Day Skipper certificate but we can take one or two complete novices. Last year the yachts covered more than 200 miles each week. You can enter these into your Logbook.
This is particularly relevant for those who want to sit an RYA Yachtmaster examination in the future. For Yachtmaster Coastal you’ll need at least 400 tidal miles so this trip would give you all that.
It may be possible to do an RYA Coastal Skipper on board – please contact me if you are interested in this.
Tidal Conversion Course
If you already have an RYA Day Skipper Non-Tidal Practical certificate you can take sufficient instruction while on board to convert this to a RYA Day Skipper Tidal certificate, useful if you want to charter in countries that have tides. You’ll first need to complete an RYA Day Skipper Shorebased course to ensure that your tidal theory is up to scratch – I can give you details of how to do this online.
How to Get There
At the beginning of your adventure, you’ll need to get to Glasgow or Edinburgh, either by air or train. We can send you information on how to get from either of these cities to the start locations in Largs or Oban. At the end of the second week we arrange transport from Badachro to Inverness, from where you can catch a plane or train. We’ll give you plenty of help with arranging transport. Last year several people decided to travel a little more in Scotland either before or after their sailing trip.
How to Book
We already have several people interested in sailing in Scotland next year so, if you want to join us, get in touch as soon as you can. If you are from a non-EU country we can help you with an application for a UK VIsa. This can take many weeks so please let me know as soon as possible.
We’ll take payment for the trip in 3 stages. An initial 30% deposit will reserve your place. Another 30% will be due by the end of February and the final installment by the end of April.
We can accept payment by Visa, Mastercard, bank transfer, or Paypal.
Contact me for a Booking Form and start to look forward to your Highland Adventure!