For several years I have had families join me on the boat for a holiday and this is an area that seems to be expanding.
It is fairly obvious that the west of Scotland has a lot to offer in scenery and grand sailing but is it the place for a family to holiday? I would say it most certainly is if you have a family with a bent for the outdoors and a liking for nature. The magic of it is that the experience can take you to places that you would not otherwise be able to visit; some of Scotland’s treasures, off the beaten track and at the same time a bit of a mystery tour.
We are best to, in part, let the weather determine where we go and build into the plan some interest in the itinerary. This may be sailing a particular route to get close to wildlife or to reach a remote place to explore or enjoy a good walk or beach comb.
Life aboard may well be a very new experience, and children seem to revel in the concept of a floating mobile home; slipping over the seas one minute and tranquil in an anchorage the next. We also need to learn about how the boat is handled and the day to day running of events, be it navigation or understanding the tidal pattern of the day.
It can also be a time to relax, I take the responsibility on my shoulders which is a very different experience from chartering on your own. I have an intimate knowledge of the area so can get the best out of where we go ensuring that your week will be a big adventure.
Every trip is different so it would be a good thing to discuss the potential of doing this type of cruise holiday by giving me a ring so I can learn about your expectations and we can talk over the options to ensure you have a unique summer trip.
What a Wonderful Family Holiday on the West Coast
“As an active family, we’ve had some adventurous holidays, but we voted this to be the best ever.
Under full sails and bright sunshine we cruised through the Sound of Mull on our way to the Small Isles. The week ahead would lead into discrete coves to explore new islands and find us eating by driftwood fires on remote beaches.
Throughout the holiday we learnt so much about sailing. A natural teacher, Robert engaged us all with lessons from navigation and knots to plotting the best course for the conditions. Under his calm supervision we soon became a tidy crew preparing the boat to slip anchor, hoisting the sails, taking turns at the helm and charting our progress. Aquila is the most sea-worthy boat, so even when we sliced through high waters on exhilarating crossings, it never once felt unsafe.
And we certainly made the most of every day – whatever the wind direction or state of tide. Informed by his considerable knowledge of the area, Robert knew the best places to visit and had an impressive ability to accommodate our diverse agendas. In this way, some of us would be dropped ashore to run across the island, while a landing-party would take the remainder round to meet them at a deserted beach.
Whatever we ended up doing it was always fun and the food was delicious – continental breakfasts on deck; sumptuous picnics to accompany our varied expeditions; and wholesome evening meals before we climbed into our berths to enjoy the peaceful sleep of weather-beaten dreams.
Our holiday was brilliant, but it was the wildlife of the Scottish west coast that provided the enduring memories. Watching an otter fishing off rocks. Cruising past dawdling basking-sharks. Jumping from the boat to swim with seals in the early morning. Travelling alongside sleek, inquisitive, dolphins. What fantastic experiences.”