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Scotland Sailing
Insights into Sailing in Scotland
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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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A trip on the Waverley (Part Three): Rothesay to Tighnabruaich

August 9th, 2009 alison

Approaching the Kyles of Bute

Approaching the Kyles of Bute

We're steaming past all the traffic

We’re steaming past all the traffic

Almost in a straight line

Almost in  a straight line!

He's back.

He’s back…

Moored up the Kyles

Moored up the Kyles

a fantastic day out, on a fantastic ship, supporting a fantastic cause!

A fantastic day out, on a fantastic ship, supporting a fantastic cause!

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A trip on the Waverley (Part One): Dunoon to Rothesay

July 31st, 2009 alison

Waverley Glasgow

Its the Glasgow Fair, our day begins at Dunoon. We’ve left the sailing boat tied up and taken to the paddles.

Who's at the helm?

Who’s driving? It’s OK, the captain is steering from upstairs. The big black drum seems to be a steam-driven winch.

Some passengers

It’s Glasgow holiday season, which might explain why the Waverley was full of passengers in fancy dress, as cavemen.  These two seem almost normal.

Toward lighthouse

Toward lighthouse, now unmanned, with the disused foghorn in the foreground.

All dressed up

Waverley had dressed up for the holidays.

Rothesay Bay - a fine sight

Rothesay Bay - a fine sight!

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Sunny weather and summer holidays

July 15th, 2009 alison

The recent spell of gloriously sunny weather looked set to end this week on the Clyde, but so far at Kip the rain has not managed to make a lasting appearance. Good news for the two sailing courses out! One course was out over the weekend and arrived back in this afternoon having had some rain, but also enough time to dry out before having to pack away their things and head home. The second course departed yesterday after some berthing practise. The weather forecast showed numerous low pressure systems heading their way and it seemed like they were doomed to a damp week, but it turns out that if the weather holds as it has done the last couple of days they may only get rained on in the mornings!

Looking out at Kip Marina at the moment the sun is beating down on the boats, but many of the berths are empty as people have gone on their summer cruises. This weekend the Clyde Cruising Club holds its annual Tobermory Race, a race popular with members who want to go sailing around the west coast for their holidays.  With options to sail Round the Mull to Crinan on the 17th July, or to go from Rothesay to Ardrishaig on the 18th, heading west through the Crinan Canal, to join up with the boats which have gone Round the Mull for the second part of the race from Loch Craignish to Tobermory on the 19th July. This year the tides appear to have been kind to the competitors with a 9am start rather than the 4am start it often can be.

The last Fairlie Yacht Club event was the Holy Loch Race on the 4th July. Light winds meant the racing took most of the day, but the fleet managed to avoid most of the rain showers which were gracing our shores that day. The next Fairlie event is not until the 15th August with a crew race from Largs to Ardlamont, and a muster at Portavadie marina that evening.

With so many boats away, or about to head off on their cruising adventures, the marina is quite quiet, but there was some excitment as the marina’s resident swans hatched their eggs and 4 new signets are now learning to swim in the peaceful waters of Kip.

Proud parents

Proud parents with the new additions to the Kip family

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Mylne Classic Regatta 2009

July 6th, 2009 alison
Fyfe 18

Some Fyfe Yachts racing during the 2008 Fyfe Regatta

Starting on Sunday 12th July is the Mylne Classic Regatta. In an event that may be reminiscent to some of the Fyfe Regatta last summer, these Alfred Mylne designed yachts will compete in numerous races, from Helensburgh to Rothesay, Round Bute, To Cumbrae and back from Rothesay to Rhu, meaning there will be plenty to see over the week. Let’s hope the good weather we’ve been having holds so we can see some of these yachts in their full glory! There will also be opportunities for the public to visit the yachts at each stopover.

Sure to be a sight from the land, why not get out and look at them from the water? With daysail spaces available from Kip on Saturday 18th July 2009 take the opportunity to sail the Firth of Clyde, enjoy the scenery and wildlife, and perhaps see some of these yachts as they make their way home from the regatta.

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Life on the oceanwave…

June 22nd, 2009 alison

Saturday’s sail on board “Blue”, our Moody 54, went down a storm…

At the wheel..

At the wheel..

Itinerary: Kip - Rothesay - Dunoon - Kip

Chilling at the stern..

Chilling at the stern..

Max. boat speed 7.5 knots…

Max. wind speed 39.5 knots…

Cutting through the waves...

Cutting through the waves...

Other daysails available on Saturday 27th June, Friday 24th July and Saturday 29th August. Contact Charter For You for details.

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Scotland Sailing Update

May 19th, 2009 alison
The East Kyle from Rothesay Bay

The East Kyle from Rothesay Bay

Some pictures from the Fairlie Yacht Club opening muster have been added to the photo page - the weather, which was forecast to be wet and windy, stayed dry and windy instead and allowed a good race from Kip to Wreck Bay. The course was from Kip to Toward Point, round Mountstuart buoy, back to Bogany Point near Rothesay and finally up the East Kyle, finishing just at Colintraive in time for the muster in Wreck Bay.

There was a good breeze and many started with reefs in the main and small headsails. The fleet tacked towards Toward and after rounding Toward Buoy headed downwind to the Mountstuart safewater mark. After that it was back to beating to make the mark at Bogany Point and, for some, a sail change was called for as the winds lightened. With all reefs shaken out the fleet headed up the East Kyle, with the winds flukey, but most managing to make it to the finish in one tack. Those towards the back of the fleet found themselves waiting for wind to fill in to make it to the finish, but it seems that it was just the hills of the Kyles providing shelter from the wind as coming up to the finish the wind filled in again properly and the yachts were able to sail through the narrows at the Burnt Isles, drop the sails and prepare to drop anchor in Wreck Bay for the evenings muster.

The rain stayed away, except for the odd shower which was quickly blown away by the wind, and everyone ventured onto the beach for the evenings festivities. Wreck Bay stayed calm until everyone returned to their yachts - chased by a downpouring of rain, but better weather could not have been asked for as the breeze kept away the midges which always seem to find where the party is.

The rain disappeared by the next morning which allowed a leisurely start, and despite the odd shower throughout the day, the fantastic sailing weather continued. Those who made an early departure from Wreck Bay got to enjoy a downwind sail towards Rothesay and as long as you were on a port tack the sun was shining! The breeze meant that Rothesay was a good stop for a long lunch and a seat in the sun, with the entertainment provided by the local yacht club racing a variety of dinghys. The Rothesay Jazz Festival provided entertainment for those who went ashore, as did the usual array of pubs, and Zavaroni’s fish and chips!

After lunch a brisk sail back to Kip was had. The 20 - 25kts of breeze allowed for a speedy sail under headsail alone, and some record breaking journey times were recorded. Those who stayed out for the Monday holiday were not so fortunate with their weather for returning home. The winds stayed, but unfortunately the rain closed in and Monday proved to be a blustery day. We hope the weather for the next May weekend and the Scottish Series Racing stays a bit drier for all 3 days!

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