The following report was prepared by our Youth Forum co-ordinator Laura Carrick after another very successful week for our young people on the West Coast of Scotland…
Thanks to the generous funding of ” BIP Solutions Realising Dreams” able2sail’s Youth Forum enjoyed a week , sailing on the West Coast of Scotland.
The Youth Forum comprises a mixture of young people with disabilities together with able bodied young people who work alongside each other in sailing Able2Sail the charity’s 46 foot Bavaria sailing yacht.
It was arranged to have three separate crews of of young people with crew changeovers in Oban suitable for its good transport links with Glasgow.
The first youth crew from 1st July comprised Frank Jamie and Barry and Laura the Youth Forum Co Ordinator brought the boys to Oban by car. Ewan (Skipper) and Allan (chef) joined them in Oban.
Able2Sail was lying in Oban Marina on the Island of Kerrera and the crew together with provisions took the marina launch over to the Island. Able2Sail was waiting for us on a pontoon and Russel and his crew had left her for us in a very clean and tidy condition.
We stowed our gear and provisions on board . Ewan completed the crew briefing and we set off for Craobh Haven in Loch Melfort . On the way Ewan confirmed from the tidal atlas that the tide in the Cuan Sound was favourable so we shot through the Sound at over 9 Knots and took the inside track avoiding rocks off the point at the entrance to Loch Melfort. We radioed Graobh Marina and secured a visitors berth for the night and tied up around 6.30 pm.
After dinner aboard we visited the Lord Of The Isles Restaurant and the boys had a couple of games of pool. Everyone was tired from the journey and retired to bed at a reasonable time.
Next morning 2 July the tide was against us in Cuan Sound so we went round the south end of Shuna and luing and up the Sound of Luing throgh Fladda light wit 2 Knots of tide against us. Our intended destination was Tobermory in the north of Mull but the wind dropped and we had to rethink. We deployed the cruising chute and even with that very light sail made little progress . We started the engine and eventually reached Tobermory where we tied up and did some shopping. As we were due to change crew in Oban the next morning at 11.00 am we set off for Loch Aline where we spent the night some 2 hours from Oban which saved us an early start.
We left the Pontoons in Loch Aline around 8.15am and arrived back in Kerrera around 10.30 in plenty of time to take Jamie and Barry to Oban where Barrys mum Sylvia and sister Jessica met us and took the two boys back to Glasgow.
Darren and Bethany arrived and we all took the launch back to Kerrera for the next part of our trip.
After another crew briefing by the Skipper we set off around 1pm to circumnavigate the island of Lismore. The chart plotter in the cockpit started acting up and became unreadable so we altered our plan to round the north end of Lismore and instead carried on round Shuna (not the Shuna in Loch Melfort) . This gave us the opportunity to refuel in Linnh Marine behind Shuna in Dallens Bay and to experience the exciting channel through towards Port Appin. We arrived back at our berth in Kerrera and took the launch to Oban and enjoyed a meal on the ferry pier. It was a beautiful evening and none of us could believe that the overnight winds were forecast to exceed 40 Kts . The forecast was correct however and at least some of the crew had a sleepless night as Kerrera was battered by the wind.
The wind persisted all Saturday morning and when it eased after 12.00 noon we tentatively set off for Loch Aline . There we spent a good couple of hours in manouvering practice for Frank and Darren with Bethany becoming expert in slipping mooring lines. Both of the boys did really well springing off pontoons forward and aft and bringing the boat back onto the berth forward and in reverse. The watching boats were very impresseed with the skill both boys showed and probably equally impressed with the nerves of the adult crew giving instruction.
At 8.30am on 5th July we left Loch Aline for Kerrera arriving in our berth by 10.30am.
Skipper Ewan , Darren and Bethany left for home and Allan, Laura and Frank were joined by Katie and Sean who were brought to Oban by Gerry Campbell our Chair.
Allan gave the crew briefing and set off for the Sound of Mull calling at Innimore Bay and Artornish Bay before proceeding to Loch Aline pontoons for the night. WE arrived at 6.45pm and had a nice restfull evening aboard in settled weather.
The next morning 6 July we set off up the Sound of Mull and into Loch Sunnart We passed Loch Drumbuie and headed towards Salen Loch Sunnart before turning back towards Tobermory where we spent the night. The crew enjoyed a run ashore with some shopping in the Mull Chocolat shop before returning to the boat for dinner. As usual the pontoons at Tobermory were very busy and we were in a very tight berth inside the hammerhead .
The next morning Allan and Laura let the young crew sleep while they extracted the boat from its berth with some careful manouvering and use of warps and left around 7.30am.
It was typical Mull weather for the first hour but when the youngsters joined us on deck the weather moderated and we had a good sail from Tobermory down the Sound of Mull to Kerrera.
We gave the boat a good clean both inside and out and finished our trip feeling very pleased with our memorable West Coast Trip. All the young people really enjoyed their experience and had lots of fun whilst learning a huge amount about sailing during their time aboard.
To see lots of photos from the trip click here.