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Scotland Sailing
Insights into Sailing in Scotland
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2010 so far…

September 13th, 2010 alison

The 2010 season at Charter For You has been a busy one with not much blogging time, but the changing weather which suggests that the sailing season may not have long left this year has produced a lull and the chance to look back at the season so far.

Our Bavaria 44 “Pamina” had enjoyed a winter sojourn in Lanzarote and made her way back to the Clyde during April. A trip via Madiera, Portugal, France and Ireland,  saw her arriving back at the end of the month with only a few weeks left before she was due out on her first charters. An erupting volcano couldn’t stop her making it back on time! Meanwhile the first RYA courses and bareboat charters of the season were underway.

“Pamina” had an exciting start to her season with a multi-boat stag party to take care of and then a trip to Scottish Series as mother ship to one of the racing boats, along with her usual daysails and family holidays where she got to tour her familiar waters of the Clyde. The other charter boats were also cruising the west coast in style. “Iona” took a few trips up and down the west coast to Badachro, Gairloch, and “Rotozaza” did some milebuilders from Inverkip to Oban so that she could enjoy some West Coast cruising with her owners before going on to do a long West Coast charter with some visitors from Germany. “Clan” also had been taken on a few trips around the Mull and back through the Crinan Canal.

“Blue” the Moody 54 was also doing some long distance cruising this year, after a weeks charter in the Clyde she took a trip up the West Coast and out to the Outer Hebrides for the Clyde Cruising Club’s centenary cruise. She partook in their sunflower of yachts in Loch Drambuie, before dropping her guests in Oban and heading back down to Kip Marina for the rest of the season.

Later “Pamina” was out again on a multi-yacht party and could be seen tearing her way down the Clyde to Lamlash on one of the windiest weekends of the year so far.

Pamina en route to Arran

Pamina en route to Arran

Although it’s raining now, the weather has really been quite kind to us this season. There has been plenty of breeze to provide fantastic sailing and really it is hard to beat sailing up the west coast, round villages and towns… (thank you Deacon Blue). Most of the charterers have experienced wind and sunshine with the odd rain shower, and, hopefully this will continue. Rainy it may be, but it is still warm and with the weather set to improve as the week goes on we hope that the rest of the charters and courses this year will get the weather they are wanting to make their holiday something special.

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The great “Dileas” adventure…

September 10th, 2009 alison

Departure day of the great “Dileas” adventure dawned with rainy weather on the horizon, and we hoped it would improve. We loaded all our kit and food onto the boat between the showers and eventually left Kip (3 hours later than planned!). Thankfully by that time the rain had stopped and we headed for Portavadie. With the wind on the nose and our late departure we decided we would break ourselves gently into our holiday and just motor towards the Kyles of Bute. We passed Toward and Rothesay and headed towards the East Kyle. As we passed Ardmaleish Cardinal the wind was at a better angle for sailing but it was quite light and, as we had to be at Portavadie before the entrance shut at 9pm, we kept motoring. We waved as we passed the Maids of Bute to make sure they would see us safely on the rest of our journey, and we took note of their apparel to forecast the weather for the rest of our holiday. With one dressed in a polka-dot sundress and the other in a macintosh and sowester hat it appeared that they were hedging their bets. Little did we know they were actually deadly accurate and for the rest of our trip it rained every second day. Thankfully on the other days there was usually glorious sunshine which gave us the chance to dry out!

We continued our journey passing Tighnabruaich and Kames before rounding Ardlamont Point and heading for Sgat Mor. The island never seemed to get any closer, but eventually we passed it and made it into Portavadie with 10 minutes to go before the entrance closed. After a late dinner on board we settled for the night in preparation for our canal trip the next day.

Friday began with some sunshine. We left our berth in Portavadie after making use of the showers, hairdryers and hairstraighteners!!, and headed for the Crinan Canal. The wind was from the south so we pulled out the headsail and surfed our way up Loch Fyne to Ardrishaig, and made it into the sealock two hours later. The forecast weather which had stopped us going round the Mull of Kintyre was starting to make an appearance, and as the sealock rose we measured 40kts of wind frequently gusting. Some of the boats in the West Highland Week feeder race from Inverkip to Ardrishaig were surfing their way up the loch as we entered the canal, and we were glad we had made it in before them when we saw how overpowered some of them looked, and some of the extreme berthing manouevres which were going on at the pontoon before the lock.

We managed to work our way through the whole canal, past Cairnbaan, Oakfield Bridge and Bellanoch before arriving at Crinan about 7pm and tying up before the lock which led into the basin. Unfortunately the rain had come on just as we arrived at the canal and it stayed on for the rest of the day. We had never been quite so wet and decided that as the forecast for the next day was still quite windy and wet we would possibly stay in the canal for a day and watch all the boats going through.

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