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Scotland Sailing
Insights into Sailing in Scotland
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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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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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Clyde sailing action starts soon!

April 7th, 2009 alison

Oban to Mull ferry departing the Sound of Kerrera

We’ve made some changes to our Photo Album page so have a look to find more images from our recent trip up the Clyde, and some photos from last summer when the sun was shining!

The season is now off to a proper start, with the first charter over and the first courses leaving yesterday. We hope that the sun will shine for at least some of their week and that they return having had a great week with some excellent sailing conditions. (Let’s hope the instructors’ can remember how to sail after having the winter off!)

The Clyde yacht clubs will all be shortly starting their muster and race calendars too. The Fairlie Yacht Club evening race series should make for some interesting viewing while the crews get used to being back on the water and working together again. We’ll know after tomorrow, when the first races start outside of Kip, whether or not the front of the boat can remember what the back’s doing and vice versa! The races at Largs on Tuesday nights aren’t due to start for another week which means they will be able to take note of any serious errors made at Kip and make sure that they don’t do the same! Check back after Wednesday to find out if it all went alright on the night!

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