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Scotland Sailing
Insights into Sailing in Scotland
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My week as a sailing instructor, by John

June 10th, 2009 alison

Hi Folks,

Just completed an RYA course as Instructor for Charter For You finishing on the 5th June. Had a mixed bunch comprising of Coastal Skipper Day Skipper and Competent Crew.

We were lucky to have a great bunch of guys on the yacht and enjoyed a week of fabulous sailing weather in the Firth of Clyde in Scotland.

Monday saw us leaving Kip Marina and setting off under power, after a couple of hours pontoon bashing, towards Lamlash on the Isle of Arran.

We used the time to practice various sailing manoeuvres under power as the winds were very light, which proved to be what we had for the most of the week with no rain at all, and spent some time spotting the seals and porpoises on the way.

Lamlash Bay, Arran

Lamlash Bay, Isle of Arran

We arrived at Lamlash on the Monday evening and had our first meal on board, in sight of Holy Isle.

The Waverley at Campbeltown

The Waverley at Campbeltown

Tuesday, with the sun once again splitting the sky, saw us set off South round Pladda Lighthouse on the South of Arran towards Sanda Island at the bottom of the Mull of Kintyre. Our Coastal Skipper produced a passage plan which allowed us to circumnavigate Sanda ensuring that we arrived at the optimum time of the tide to assist us through the tidal race and after poking our nose into the small anchorage we set off for a short stay at Campbeltown before our night sail back to Lamlash.

Having set off on the Tuesday night the forecast wind from the North veered round to the East straight on the nose and picked up. Made for great night sailing which took us right through to sunrise before we anchored off the Holy Isle in Lamlash Bay.

Wednesday was a leisurely start and we were treated to a group of about 10 dolphins swimming round the yacht as we left Lamlash Bay, making our way North towards East Loch Tarbert in Loch Fyne we spent some time practising MOB techniques and checking the boat distance log as we sailed past the measured mile markers on Arran. Another beautiful day finished off by a fine meal in the Anchor Hotel in Tarbert (excellent seafood).

Thursday was pontoon bashing again and we practised setting up tow lines with one of the other Sailing Schools who were also out enjoying Scotland at its best. Thursday afternoon found us making our way through the beautiful Kyles of Bute towards Rothesay with some more anchoring practice on the way, before mooring at the pontoons in Rothesay Harbour and a visit to the renowned Victorian Toilets (honestly)!

After a night ashore Friday seemed to have arrived all too soon as we set off towards Kip Marina. Some last practice at sailing onto moorings passed the morning before we arrived at Inverkip for a debrief, final boat clean and the award of those all important certificates to the deserving students.

The crew!

The crew!

Sailing in Scotland on the Clyde, where else would you want to go?

For some additional pictures from this weeks sailing click here OR to book your sailing course click here for information.

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Sometimes the sun does shine!!…

March 23rd, 2009 alison
Blue skies, whispy clouds, sunshine!

Blue skies, whispy clouds, sunshine!

Wax on, wax off

Wax on, wax off!

…And on Thursday it was doing just that! So we took advantage of the nice weather and started to get all the yachts topsides cleaned and polished ready for the first proper charter of the season at the end of this week. We weren’t the only people making use of the better weather - the marina were stepping masts, boat sales were setting up open weekends, and boat owners were preparing their yachts and motor cruisers for the sailing they’ve been thinking about all winter. Everybody was noticeably happier as the sun had turned their minds to what new places they might explore on their summer cruise round the West Coast of Scotland, and made their winter daydreams seem closer to becoming a reality. Be it a brisk  sail up the Sound of Mull, a circumnavigation of Arran in lighter airs or some serious racing action, there was expectation in the air. Hope that the summer was going to bring good sailing, new places, new challenges and perhaps some new friends along the way.

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