As winter really sets in I am glad I have managed to get most of La Girafe’s external jobs done already. All she needs now is a quick polish and a coat of antifouling. There are only a few internal jobs this year. The engine has already had a service: always better done as she comes out the water and then winterised ready for the coming season. Theoretically all we need to do is a quick test before she is launched.
It is at this time of year that bookings for the coming season start to increase, which sets me thinking about the great sailing I have to look forward to and the acquaintances renewed and those to be made. We have a full itinerary planned.
April we will spend sailing the superb sheltered water of the Clyde Estuary. Great possibilities: Arran and Lamlash or Lochranza, The Kyles of Bute, Loch Fyne and Tarbert or Otter Ferry, Cumbrae, Bute, the Upper Clyde. There will be RYA courses and a training weekend for this year’s Scottish Islands Three Peaks Race.
May sees us making out first foray of the season round the Mull of Kintyre to the Scottish West Coast and its unforgettable Islands. A Milebuilder from Ardrossan to Oban is first up. We are likely to visit Islay, Jura, Iona, Staffa and Mull. The Three Peaks Race starts in Oban on the 15th. First stop Mull and a run up Ben More, then on to Jura and the Paps and finally back round the Mull of Kintyre to Arran and Goat Fell before the sprint across to the finish in Troon. A quick turn around and then a Whisky Distillery tour, Troon to Badachro over 11 days. We will be sailing some of the most spectacular waters on the West Coast of Scotland, anchoring in beautiful and remote anchorages whilst visiting some of the West Coast distilleries on Arran, Islay, Jura and Skye, before finally mooring La Girafe in Badachro Bay, where she will operate for the rest of the Summer.
June is taken up with RYA courses sailing locally around The Minch where we will regularly be seen in Rona, Portee, Plockton Kyle of Lochalsh, Loch Duich, Oransay and Mallaig.
Sailing The Outer Hebrides
July is a big month and starts with La Girafe competing in the Round Mull Race, the first time this boat has been entered. We will hopefully be making good use of our enormous pink asymmetric spinnaker! From there a quick trip back to Badachro for the start of our St Kilda and Outer Hebrides cruise. This takes in some of the remotest and most stunning parts of the Outer West Coast.
August and September are dedicated to RYA courses, apart from a seven day cruise taking in a circumnavigation of Skye and the East Coast of Lewis. On this one we will be visiting The Shiants before heading down The Minch towards Barra, then East towards Muck, Rumm, Coll and Eigg. Turning North through the Sound of Sleat and the big tide race at Kyle Rhea we will head for Badachro. On the way visiting some incredible anchorages, including Loch Scavaig nestled right under the Cuillins of Skye.
October will arrive far too quickly and we will be heading South to Ardrossan for the winter. This affords a fantastic opportunity to those who want the challenge of a Milebuilder over seven days covering roughly 230 miles of the beautiful West Coast of Scotland. This trip is a blank canvas with many routing options with tidal gates and infamous headlands to round making for some spectacular sailing.
There are several key features of all our trips. Whether they be RYA courses or Skippered Cruises we can guarantee:
- Our staff will ensure your objectives are met in a fun and supportive environment on board
- The food on board will be of a high standard
- The restaurants we visit will showcase the best of Scotland’s food and drink
- You will see some of the best scenery and marine wildlife that the west Coast of Scotland has to offer.
Over the season we will be running 8 RYA courses, 3 Themed Cruises and 2 Milebuilders. We also have room for private charter for those who wish to dictate their own itinerary. We hope this has whetted your appetite for the coming season and look forward to sailing with you.