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Sail Tecla in Scotland

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2 berth cabin ensuite -pp under 26yrs

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Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Wed 05-05-2021, 18:00Harlingen, The Netherlands Thu 20-05-2021, 10:00Ullapool, Scotland Tecla 15 NightsTC060521

A voyage of contrasts beginning in the Waddensea of the Netherlands with its sandbanks and fast tides and ending near the Torridon mountain range in Scotland. Tecla sets sail from Harlingen for the top of Scotland and one of her favourite cruising grounds. May is perfect for wildlife but still quite unpredictable for weather. The Orkney Isles protect an inner sailing area and numerous anchorages. Apart from being great walking and full of archaeological sites, it allows Tecla a breather before sailing past Cape Wrath to the Outer Hebrides. If there is time in this two week journey she may even sail to Shetland Isles before arriving in Loch Broom, Ullapool.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel

Tecla – Holland to Ullapool via Orkney Isles

IDEAL VOYAGE FOR…

Best for intrepid and experienced sailors, or hardy wildlife lovers who like a bit of ocean spray and the feel of a moving deck beneath their feet. You need to be reasonable agile for this voyage but Tecla is a tough ocean going sailing ship with comfortable two person cabins with hot showers and radiators. The warm saloon and galley area has comfy seating and a library and is the heart of the ship. It you are interested in archeology and how vikings, picts, stone and bronze aged men and women lived then you are in for a treat in Orkney and the Outer Hebrides. 

Tecla

Vessel type / Rig Gaff Ketch
Guest Berths 12
Beam 22ft
Draft 8.9ft
Deck Length 90ft
Overall Length 124ft
Tonnage 92 tons
Year Built 1915
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description

IDEAL VOYAGE FOR…

Best for intrepid and experienced sailors, or hardy wildlife lovers who like a bit of ocean spray and the feel of a moving deck beneath their feet. You need to be reasonable agile for this voyage but Tecla is a tough ocean going sailing ship with comfortable two person cabins with hot showers and radiators. The warm saloon and galley area has comfy seating and a library and is the heart of the ship. It you are interested in archeology and how vikings, picts, stone and bronze aged men and women lived then you are in for a treat in Orkney and the Outer Hebrides. 

VOYAGE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sail Around Cape Wrath
  • Explore the Archeological sites of Orkney
  • Wild beaches and crystal clear waters on Orkney
  • Seals, bird life and mountain backdrops
  • Mix of Offshore sailing and between the islands
  • Snow on the mountain tops
Tecla in Orkney
Tecla in Orkney

FULL VOYAGE DESCRIPTION

May Voyages in Scotland can be pretty fresh with snow still on the mountain tops but also you can enjoy sunshine and bird song on calm high pressure weather days too. The North Sea crossing is only a few days of rough and potentially challenging sailing and then the soft green hills and red sandstone cliffs of Orkney will greet you. These landscapes are ancient and Tecla’s captains are well voiced in the folklore and tales from bronze age to vikings and Orcadian polar explorers. Birdwatchers will be in heaven.

On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described below, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.

Tecla – Going Over the Top

Tecla is a Dutch tall ship so her first voyage of the year starts in Holland. The North Sea can be rough at this time of year but Tecla has sailed around the world so  this is no big deal to Tecla, but will give the guest crew some proper offshore sailing, night and day watch keeping and the challenge of living and eating at sea for a few days. 

You will need good waterproofs and warm clothes for this trip. The cabins all have radiators so drying your clothes between watches is not too hard.

Tecla sailing in Scapa Flow, Orkney
Tecla sailing in Scapa Flow, Orkney

Orkney Islands

There will be time to go ashore in Stromness or Kirkwall and explore some of the Orkney Islands ancient buildings from the bronze age and earlier. Standing in the door way of a building over 4000 years old at looking at the sea view that has not changed in all that time is truly memorable.

The Orkney Islanders are great mariners and have a keen eye for a gracious ship, Tecla is becoming a regular visitor to the Orkneys and her crew are getting to know the locals. Debbie in the Classic Sailing Office spent a bit more time in the Orkneys on Tecla during the longer voyage to Iceland. The Isle of Hoy is not far from Stromness with a beautiful walk along the red sandstone cliffs to the Old Man of Hoy.

You can see more of her photos on our Orkney Destination pages or talk to her in the office on 01872 580022.

Red cliffs on Hoy, Orkney
Red cliffs on Hoy, Orkney

Scapa Flow and John O’Groats

In the middle of the Orkneys is Scapa Flow where the German First World War Naval Fleet was scuttled. The anchorages can be wonderfully tranquil after the open North Sea.  Pick your weather window to continue around the top of Scotland. On a clear day you can see the mountains of Northern Scotland from the Orkneys.  
 

Did you know that Cape Wrath is so named because the Vikings on heading back to Scandinavia got this far north and then turned right for home Wrath being a derivation of there word for right.

Standing stones of Callanish
Standing stones of Callanish on Lewis

The Hebrides

Soon you will be entering the waters of the Minches and on one hand you will see the Outer Hebrides of Lewis, Harris, Uist North and South, Benbecula and Barra. In front of you may see the Isle of Skye where Ellen McArthur has built her home. On the port side you will see stretches of the Scottish mainland and the mountains of Torridon.

The is so much to choose from in this exciting area that your Captain will have a hard time deciding where to take Tecla. Eventually the ship sails into Loch Broom and docks in Ullapool for the start of another Outer Hebrides and St Kilda Season.

Tecla with safety nets up on an offshore passage
Tecla with safety nets up on an offshore passage

Qualifying Passages 

If you are after offshore passages towards your qualifying experience before going for a RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore Exam then this voyage has plenty of miles and a mix of conditions andexperience.

Whatever your experience, this is a great training voyage at a decent time of year for those wanting to learn some coastal navigation or get some watch keeping experience as there are many fishing boats to avoid and tidal streams to help work out.

 

However distant the idea of doing a RYA Yachtmaster Offshore exam might seem, you will need 2500 tidal miles logged and 5 passages over 60 miles from port to port before you can apply for an RYA /MCA Yachtmaster exam.  This voyage would give you 2-4 coastal passages over 60 miles and plenty of night hours towards that goal.

 

Keen Novice, Competent Crew or Day Skipper?

Even if you have only just started on your sailing ‘career’ you can still notch up some valuable experience that you can log in your internationally recognised RYA Cruising Logbook (Logbooks available from Classic Sailing)

WINDS, WAVES & WEATHER

Expect a few days continuous sailing to cross the North Sea. There is nowhere to hide until you reach Orkney, so you may experience rough seas of an ocean nature. Within the Orkney Isles or Hebrides you may find some flat patches but this is not a trip for those prone to seasickness.

HANDS ON HOLIDAYS

Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.

SAILING STYLE & LIFE ON BOARD

We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.

tall ship Tecla - sailing expeditions in Orkney, Shetland and Iceland in Iceland
tall ship Tecla – sailing expeditions in Orkney, Shetland and Iceland in Iceland

AGILITY & FITNESS

Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application. If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office on 01872 58 00 22 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Skipper & professional crew
  • Personal Safety Equipment
  • Sailing Instruction
  • All meals, snacks and refreshments
  • Port and landing fees
  • Linen and duvets
  • Third Party liability insurance

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Travel to Joining Port
  • Travel from end port
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Towels
  • Waterproofs

 

 

Start & End Port

Harlingen, The Netherlands

The ships exact location in port is often controlled by the port authorities and they will only allocate a docking position a few days before. You will be informed as soon as possible of their exact joining location.

Any changes will be communicated to you before your voyage start date. Make sure you make a note of the ship’s number found in your confirmation email in case of any problems on the day.

Joining Morgenster in August 2018- She will be berthed at the “Nieuwe Wilhelmskade” at the Cruisepontoon. Just next to the main stage.

Ullapool, Scotland

For Joining any vessel, head to the harbour where your ship will more than likely be the only sailing vessel. Address: The Pier, Ullapool IV26 2UH

Ullapool – The Port

As a base for starting a sailing holiday, Ullapool rewards those who take the trouble to travel this far North. On the entrance to Loch Broom are the Summer Isles and if you head out West you come to the Shiant Islands before your reach Harris and Lewis. From here, it is a relatively short hop to St Kilda, or the Flannan Isles. The sailing grounds are virtually empty and in June it feels like the sun hardly sets. At nearly N 58 degrees latitude Ullapool is further North than Moscow. Its a long way up from Edinburgh, but not as difficult to get to as you might think.

Ullapool is nestled on the shores of Loch Broom. Whatever the weather, you are immediately struck by Ullapool’s whiteness and by its regularity of design and layout. This is a legacy of the town’s origins, being designed and built in 1788 by Thomas Telford and the British Fisheries Society to exploit a boom in herring fishing at the time.

The town is also the main terminus for the car and passenger ferry to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. The ferry operates seven days per week so all the public transport to Ullapool is good and there are plenty of accommodation options in the town.

Ullapool Town Facilities

As a base for exploring the north west of Scotland, Ullapool is ideal. It has accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets, including one of the best (and best located) campsites in this part of Scotland. And since the upgrading of most of the roads further north it is within reasonable reach of many parts of the region that twenty-five years ago would have needed a major expedition to reach.

Ullapool offers some very nice pubs, including the Ferry Boat Inn. It also has a range of shops from the smallest right up to a well-stocked supermarket: anyone on a self catering holiday is sure to be visiting the latter at some point during their stay.

For those wanting to know more about the area the excellent Ullapool Museum & Visitor Centre on West Argyle Street can be highly recommended. This is in the old parish church, and tells the story of the people of Loch Broom and the history of Ullapool.

Kit List

Kit List for Tecla 

THIS IS TECLA standard voyage kit list. Specialist Antarctic kit list to follow shortly

Included

  • Sailing instruction 
  • Safety Equipment (Life jackets and harnesses)
  • All meals to including refreshments throughout the day.
  • Bed linen, duvet, pillows and towels. 

What's Not Included

  • Travel to and from the start and end port. 
  • Optional trips or tours taken ashore
  • Meals ashore
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Personal towels

 

What to bring

There is limited storage space on Tecla so please pack all you belongings in a soft rucksack or bag.

  • Footwear: Shoes with a good grip e.g. trainers or sailing deck shoes. (Sandals are great for beaches but you do need toe protection for sailing). Tecla has steel decks so waterproof walking boots are fine at sea in moderate winds and dry conditions and great for voyages where you might do some rough terrain walking like Iceland and Scotland. 
  • Rubber Boots or second pair of shoes for wet weather or getting in/out of dinghies. 
  • Swim suit & beach towel
  • Suntan lotion & sunglasses
  • Sun hat / warm hat, scarves, gloves
  • Clothes that dry quickly like fleeces and thermals. Mix of warm, waterproof & windproof layers. Wool jumpers are warm, even when wet, but can take a while to dry. Merino wool type shirts are good for under layers.
  • Small rucksack for going ashore
  • Travel insurance documents/any travel tickets
  • Personal medicines/ spectacles/ seasick tablets –check which brand if you suffer from asthma or are on regular medication.
  • Camera/binoculars etc
  • Modest quantity of alcohol for evening meals
  • You are welcome to bring musical instruments

 

Review

What did you enjoy the most?
Very difficult to separate out the various events but certainly the fjord voyage was better due to the increased variety of the programme.
What was the worst bit?
A shore-to-ship rib transfer in rough and windy conditions.
Why do you sail?
Freedom, adventure, commonality of purpose.
Summary of the voyage.
Any initial doubts as to the number and experience of the crew were very quickly dispelled and we were impressed with the knowledge and the handling skills of the skipper and the 2 mates. Every opportunity was taken to enhance our enjoyment on both voyages and at every stage we were made to feel relaxed and under no obligation to crew the ship under sometimes testing (but enjoyable) conditions. As an observation, we must congratulate the skipper for her culinary skills under difficult conditions..........the food was perfect for the voyage.

Geoff R 2018

This was a great voyage.  
A great mix of sailing in Scottish waters, some super hikes and an opportunity to see some of the immensely important historical sites in the Orkneys and Sheltands.  
Mooring alongside in the Fair Isles was a great privilege.  
The ocean passage to the Faroes was quiet but as a result we were blessed with clear skies whilst slinking in and out of the islands and some of the best coastal views one could hope to see anywhere.  
The ocean passage to Iceland was a bit of a bimble until we were 60 miles off and then it got exciting.  Thanks to a great skipper and permanent crew we snuggled into a fjord whilst the cruise ship ran aground in Reykjavik harbour.  A good holiday, an adventure and fun.

K Barker, Tecla Ullapool to Reykjavik, May 2018

What was the best bit?
Sailing under the Skye Bridge on a windy, sunny morning. ..
What was the worst bit?
Being seasick on the first day, but I can't blame the boat or the crew for that - just the stormy weather.
Why do you sail?
I have never sailed before, this was a 'give it a try' holiday - it hasn't put me off doing it again sometime.
Any other comments?
An enjoyable week in less than ideal weather conditions. The crew was competent and friendly, the catering excellent - I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a voyage on Tecla."

Jonathan E. Sailing in Scotland

Brilliant
I would do it again tomorrow. And good value too. The food was excellent. I loved the spicy meatballs and my wife loved the fresh langoustines.

Steve.

The voyage was a delight.
A competent and engaging professional crew, an interesting voyage with some challenges and some great rewards. Good companions to make the log spin around.

Mike

What aspects did you enjoy most? 
The sailing from Faroes isles to Iceland in perfect weather.
What aspects did you enjoy least? 
Cannot answer this question as enjoyed every single moment.  
If you could sum up the trip?
It was my first voyage. I just thought I like being out, I like being active, and I like the sea, so I will have a look at sailing.  After that marvellous experience I will certainly continue."

Annon feedback form  May 2018

Amazing
Sailed on Tecla to St Kilda in June - amazing crew (Gijs, Janet, Barbara) and great company.
I loved everything about the trip and strongly recommend to join the Tecla folks.
Most enjoyable classic sailing with great food, a true sense of teamwork, great guidance and a good sense of humour. Can't get any better." 

Cheers, Thomas M.

"Best Experience Ever (5 stars for sailing, crew and food) " 

David on TC28/04/14

Excellent
I sailed aboard Tecla from Oban to the Scillies in very early May. It was cold, wet and mostly pretty windy. It was thoroughly excellent.
 The Tecla is a great little ship, but it was the skipper and crew (paid and "trainees") that made it for me. Great job, thanks guys. I plan to come again.

Steve W

Double first
I‘d never been sailing in Iceland or on Tecla so this was a double first for me.
What I like about remote places is that the people you meet are welcoming and pleased to see you. They seem to be secure in their communities and proud of where they live.
Cold
Was it cold in Iceland, Yes and No, on arrival, there was no need for more than 2 layers on top and trousers. But later when sailing and the wind picked up from the north it did require 5 top layers and trousers with thermal leggings beneath. BUT we were less than 30 miles from the Arctic Circle! 
Long Days
This far north the summer days are so long you can go for a good hike after supper!
Overall I really enjoyed the voyage and the wildlife.

Adam Purser June 2018

Vessel Gallery

Globe trotting Tall Ship Tecla in action and images. This historic gaff ketch is our Iceland Specialist and also has Greenland Sailing Expeditions. Photos from Classic Sailing customers, ships crew and professional photographers. We hope it gives a flavour of her sailing, life on board, the people that come, her beautiful sailing grounds and what it is like to live below decks.

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