Quiet Skye Investigates : 1

Here’s the first in a series of blogs about things to do on Skye, aimed at visitors who want to get a view of the island from a fresh perspective. So in this post I’m going to be finding out about how to get on the water…

How easy is it to go SAILING?

Zarene on the Round Raasay race
Big boat sailing with spinnaker in the Sound of Raasay

Getting on the water when you are holidaying on an island shouldn’t be a problem but not every island destination  in the Highlands can cater for those interested in sailing. For years intrepid yachties have cruised these waters, often venturing north from the Clyde but increasingly from far flung home ports on the continent. After all, the west coast of Scotland provides some of the most challenging and most beautiful sailing in the world.

But for visitors on a land-based holiday, what kind of access is there?

Depends what kind of sailing you’d like to try; Skye has dinghy sailing, yacht charter and sail experiences to offer throughout the season. Read on to find out more about each…

What about Yacht Charter?

Isle of Skye Yachts based in Ardvasar offer both bareboat and skippered charter with a fleet of seven boats. Prices vary across the season, with offers available at quieter times. They are a long established and reputable company and well placed being close to the ferry and train services in Mallaig.

Sunset en route to Eigg by quietskye.com
Sunset heading across the water from Armadale to Eigg.

Armadale, where the fleet are on moorings, is an excellent starting point for a cruising holiday, perfect for any level of challenge with the Small Isles close by, Knoydart, Mallaig and the Sound of Sleat. Or jump across to Barra and explore the Outer Isles or head south to Mull, Coll & Tiree. There is a wide breadth of choice of cruising ground with bolt-holes if needed.

Want to try dinghy sailing?

Skye Sailing Club, based in the island capital, Portree, is an award winning, ambitious club with a varied fleet for its size. If you are new to sailing you can try a Taster session for the price of a donation or book a half/full day hands-on session with an instructor to get confident on the water.

Cadet with SSC
SSC Cadet decides to paddle back to the clubhouse!

If you’ve had some experience before, bring your RYA certificate along and take a boat out during a sailing session  – which take place during week nights at the club and sometimes extra sessions happen at weekends, weather willing. Costs and details available via the Skye Sailing Club website or drop them an email via their contact form to check.

Or, for a unique fishing and sailing trip, you can go aboard the ‘Oigh Niseach’, traditional Hebridean lugger, based at Raasay House , you could be fishing for mackerel and pollock or hauling up creels to check for prawn and lobster while learning traditional sailing techniques in the Sound of Raasay.

How about a Sail Experience?

In Portree Bay sits a modern cruising yacht, Brise. The skipper Jasper, is a fully qualified RYA Cruising Instructor and operates out of the bay, sailing into the Sound of Raasay and beyond for an introduction to big boat sailing. Find out more about how to get out on board Brise through the Viewfield House website.

Alternatively…

Skye Sailing Club also offer the RYA Powerboat training, if you’re interested in skilling up and learning to pilot a RIB, this 2 day course is full of practical training and enough theory to make you safe on the water. Required and useful for jobs within tourism, marine industry and fish-farming or simply  because you want to be safer in your boat.

Human-Power

Skye is famous for its’ beautiful sea-lochs and coastline and there are various kayak clubs in the north and south but if you’d like to book a day either as a novice or with experience try contacting Skyak. They are based in Breakish in the south of Skye, have a full breadth of knowledge and equipment and they put together an exciting day for all. Or alternatively try Sea Kayak Plockton , who frequently take kayakers out around Skye & Lochalsh.

A few options for getting out on the waters around Skye!

You’re welcome.

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