Adventure Over The Top
Sailing around and ‘Over the Top’ of Scotland is one of the great nautical adventures, complete with challenging conditions and breathtaking scenery.
This voyage is a fantastic opportunity to explore the beautiful Highlands and Islands that bejewel the coast of Scotland aboard one of our fantastic yachts.
We expect to sail well in excess of 1000nm and visit some of the most spectacular and remote scenery in Britain.
Join us on this exciting voyage ‘Over the Top’ of Scotland and we will visit as many Islands and sea Lochs that time and weather allow, such as: Skye, Jura, Islay, The Isle of Mull, The Outer Hebrides, Eigg, Muck, Rhum, St Kilda, The Orkney Isles, to mention just a few.
Starting and finishing at Fort William we will visit many other mainland Ports and Places such as Ullapool, Lochinver, Loch Scavaig, Loch Broom, Loch Carron, Inverness, The Caledonian Canal, Kinlochbervie. There are many other options too numerous to mention.
As mentioned the itinerary is very dynamic and we will fit as much as possible in as the time, tides and weather will dictate. One of the beauties of this adventure is that no two voyages will be the same!
This adventurous voyage is open to all. It is an ideal and exciting way to gain Nautical Miles (in excess of 1000). There is enough time to practise your passage planning, putting theory into practice, try your hand at being Skipper for a day and work towards gaining the highly respected RYA Yachtmaster™ qualification.
Arrive at Craobh Haven Marina (Transport available from Fort William to Marina) Embark onto our yacht for an evening meal and get to know you.
Boat familiarisation followed by a day of ‘drills and skills’ practising hoisting the sails and reeﬁng them, anchoring, sailing on to a mooring buoy, sailing back to a fender ﬂoating in the water etc. Whilst all this is happening we will be getting to know each other much better. We return to the Marina for a well deserved meal and maybe a ‘wee dram’ in front of the huge log ﬁre in the nearby pub!!
OFF WE GO!! We gently ease ourselves into this unique adventure, heading towards the Islands of Jura and Islay. It would be churlish of us not to stop and sample the ‘amber nectar’, so that’s just what we’ll do, anchoring in between the Little Isles on the East coast of Jura, we take the dinghy ashore to visit the distillery. The next day, we literally ‘go with the ﬂow’ studying the tides and prevailing weather, doing our best to make the most of the ‘liquid conveyor belt’ (Tide). Of course weather is important too and we will not be deliberately heading out into strong winds and sea. One of the many beauties of the West Coast of Scotland is, there will always be a place to be safe and sail in sheltered waters.
We continue our ‘voyage of discovery’. By now you will feel comfortable and more conﬁdent as we begin to sail further West and North. Visiting Tobermory on the Isle of Mull and Loch Sunart, one of the most beautiful Lochs, before heading further north to Skye.
To give an exact itinerary is inappropriate let alone impossible. Enough to say that we will do our best to visit the Outer Hebridean Islands and as many beautiful places as weather permits. Of course you may have places you would like to visit and everything will be done within the bounds of safety, to fulﬁl your wishes.
We are far North now and start to keep an even keener ‘weather eye’. This is when we need to look for our opportunity to go ‘Over the Top’ Using the small ﬁshing port of Kinlochbervie, high-up on the North West Coast as our departure point, we wait for the weather then set sail for the Orkney Islands. It is about a 90 mile voyage, so a long day. We would leave whilst still dark and plan to arrive in the Orkneys in daylight. There is one big consideration, tide. Fierce and fast tides dominate the Orkney Islands so our arrival must be planned in great detail so we run with the ‘conveyor belt”. The Orkney Islands are beautiful, steeped in history and the people are warm and generous. Enjoy this place for a few days because again, we now look for the opportunity to open up for us to sail towards Inverness.
Days 21 -28
The Pentland Firth awaits and we need to plan our departure carefully. The Firth itself is not huge, only really ten miles of exposed water however, the waves can be, shall we say spectacular, accentuated by whirlpools and overfalls, very exciting! There is always a ‘whoop’ of achievement and relief by the time we round the John o’Groats headland.
Depending on progress we may stop en route at Wick for a night before the ﬁnal leg to Inverness, the Highland Capital.
We spend a night at the Marina near Inverness before preparing to enter The Caledonian Canal, a most beautiful and diverse series of inland Lochs and canals. We all have to work together as we transit this amazing feat of engineering that connects the West and East coast of Scotland. Making its way through the Scottish mountains, the scenery will literally take your breath away.
The ﬁrst inland Loch is of course Loch Ness, famous for its very own monster. ( I have never seen it but I am sure it is there. Keep your eyes open!!) Nestled on the West of the Loch is the beautiful town of Fort Augustus with its many canal lock gates which we need to negotiate. Great fun. It is difﬁcult to describe the beauty of these days so I won’t even try, all I will say is that it your memories will last forever. (See link to the Canal)
Unfortunately the end of our trip draws ever closer but not before having a day in the shadow of the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. In its shadow is Fort William with its many bars, restaurants and outdoor shops. It is not called the ‘Adventure Capital’ of the UK for nothing. Everything you can imagine is available, from White Water Rafting, Skiing, Mountain Biking, Golf, taking the Gondola to the top of a mountain or just walking through the forests and glens. I recommend walking up Glen Nevis (or take a bus) where the opening scenes of Braveheart were ﬁlmed. Needless to say we have time to explore and enjoy before our last small voyage to where we left some four weeks before. On the way we clean the boat and sadly, pack our bags. The ﬁnal night in the Marina is a reﬂective time and we enjoy a last dinner together in the same pub where we spent the ﬁrst night.
Next morning we leave the boat, our ﬂoating chariot that has looked after us so well, gently rocking in her berth as we join the shuttle to return us to Fort William for your onward journey. A sad time to say farewell but now, with new friends, who have shared one of the most wonderful months together exploring this magniﬁcent part one the world.
Till next time!!
- All food whilst on board.
- Foul weather clothing.
- All safety equipment.
- Caledonian Canal transit fees.
- Transfer to/from Fort William to the Yacht.
- Meals ashore.
- Land-based excursions/activities.
- Travel to/from Fort William from your point of origin.
- Personal insurance.