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Some Little Known Gems

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Tue 03-09-2024, 14:00Oban, Scotland Mon 09-09-2024, 10:00Oban, Scotland Provident 6 NightsPV030924


Sailing out of Oban you’re greeted by some of the Hebrides’s most well known islands – the Isle of Mull ahead of you, Lismore to the North and heading South, you’ll find Jura and Islay, famous for their whiskey distilleries. There are however, some real lesser-known gems here, such as the Slate Islands, the Garvellachs and the Isle of Gigah. Join the stunning ship Provident and explore some of the hidden treasure the Hebrides has to offer on this fantastic late summer voyage.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel

Ideal Voyage for…

Regular visitors to Scotland who want to visit somewhere new

Those who want a holiday off the beaten tourist track

Late summer holiday-goers

Environmentally conscience travellers – Oban has excellent transport links without the need for air travel.

Highlights

  • Explore quiet, unspoilt islands
  • Islands steeped in Norse and Viking history
  • Access islands in style aboard the historic Ketch, Provident
  • Stunning views and abundant wild life – great for photographers

Provident

Vessel type / Rig Gaff Ketch
Guest Berths 8
Beam 18ft
Draft 9.2ft
Deck Length 70ft
Overall Length 92ft
Tonnage 85 tons
Year Built 1924
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description

Sailing to St Kilda with Classic Sailing
Traditional Island Dwellings

FULL VOYAGE DESCRIPTION

Join Provident and sail from Mallaig on a tour of the Hebridean islands – you may even reach St Kilda! – an extraordinary island, inhabited until the 1930’s.

Enjoy a tour of the Hebrides and if the weather allows you may even get to St Kilda – an extraordinary island and inhabited until 29th August 1930 when the 36 islanders were evacuated to the mainland.

The Outer Hebrides is an island chain of staggering wild beauty just waiting to be explored. These sailing voyages are adventurous expeditions leading to uninhabited islands, sparsely inhabited islands, tiny fishing villages, deep lochs and rugged cliffs that will be appealing to nature lovers and sailors alike.

Why we love St Kilda

Originally settled by humans between four and five thousand years ago, St Kilda’s distance from the rest of the Outer Hebrides allowed for the development of a unique style of self-sufficient island life, that remained much preserved until the archipelago’s eventual abandonment in 1930.

Tens of thousands of birds were caught every year, especially Auks, Northern Fulmars and Northern Gannets. For food they would make dangerous climbing expeditions to catch the birds and their eggs on the incredibly steep cliffs; especially on the island sea stacks of Boreray, Stack and Stack Armin.

One hundred and eighty people lived on the islands towards the end of the 17th century but they only had 16ft boats as transport. There was not enough timber to build their own larger craft so these tiny boats regularly crossed to the Outer Hebrides and on to the mainland – a passage of the eighty miles in an open boat.

In 1957 the National Trust for Scotland became the owner and made St. Kilda a nature reserve. In 1986 St. Kilda became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In recent years the National Trust for Scotland has restored some of the houses, the church and the school for accommodation and education on the life of St Kilda. Tourism has been encouraged in so far as it does not conflict with preserving the flora, fauna and wild life of the St Kilda Islands.

Living History

100 year old Provident is a Brixham Sailing Trawler and spent the majority of her working life fishing out of her home port of Brixham. Brixham has been an important fishing port for hundreds of years, and it continues to be so today. 

Provident’s story is even older than she is – the Provident you see today is in fact a copy of an earlier trawler of the same name. The original Provident was stuck and sunk by a U Boat in 1915. Today’s Provident was one of the last sailing trawlers to be built (1924). By the mid 1920’s, the heyday of trawling under sail was quickly fading out in favour of more modern motor vessels. In contrast, 50 years prior (in the 1880’s) there were  over 3,000 sailing trawlers registered around the UK.

After her life as a sailing trawler came to an end, Provident became a private yacht in America for some years. More recently she was a she returned to Brixham to work as a Sail Training vessel with Trinity Sailing Trust. 

Provident Morag crew smile steer
Provident

WINDS, WAVES & WEATHER

Mostly flat seas between the islands with some more exposed dashes or longer sails in open water to St Kilda and to the Outer Hebrides. Expect a real mixture of conditions, as things can change quickly, but the crew are incredibly knowledgeable and familiar with all the sheltered anchorages and hiding places around the islands. The itinerary is kept loose to make the most of the conditions at the time, and the focus is on enjoyment, rather than ticking off any particular destinations. 

A NOTE ON VOYAGE DESCRIPTIONS

On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best and safest sailing routes for the forecast. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described above, but when it comes to sailing, you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description provided is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or prior experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage. As such, the scheduled joining ports, routes, activities and/or destinations may be altered. Due to the complexities of weather systems, this may be at very short notice. 

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. Handling cargo adds an extra dimension – building teamwork and communication skills and leaving you with a great sense of achievement.

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.

Start & End Port

Oban, Scotland

For joining your vessel in Oban, the North Pier in the map shown below will be the best place to meet the crew. Your vessel will either be tied up alongside the wall, or out at anchor. Make sure you take a note of the ship’s number found in your confirmation in case of any problems on the day.

Oban: Gateway to the Highlands and Isles

 

Situated on the west coast of Scotland, Oban is a vibrant seaside town known as the “Gateway to the Highlands and Isles.” With its stunning landscapes, rich history, and renowned seafood, Oban offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage that attracts visitors from all over the world.

 

As you arrive in Oban, you’ll be greeted by the town’s iconic landmark, McCaig’s Tower, perched on a hilltop and offering panoramic views of the surrounding islands and mountains. Explore the charming streets lined with colourful buildings, browse the local shops for unique crafts and souvenirs, and indulge in the freshest seafood at one of the many excellent restaurants.

 

Oban is the perfect base for exploring the breathtaking Scottish Highlands. Take a scenic drive along the stunning coastal roads, visit the historic castles such as Dunollie Castle and Dunstaffnage Castle, or embark on a hiking adventure in Glen Coe, one of Scotland’s most dramatic and awe-inspiring glens.

 

Getting to Oban is convenient, with various transportation options available. From Scotland, you can travel by train on the West Highland Line, which offers a picturesque journey from Glasgow to Oban. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the stunning views of lochs, mountains, and charming villages along the way.

 

If you’re coming from southern England, you can reach Oban by car via the A82 and A85 roads. The drive takes you through breathtaking landscapes, including the enchanting Loch Lomond and the majestic Rannoch Moor.

 

For those preferring to fly, the nearest airports to Oban are Glasgow Airport and Edinburgh Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a train to complete your journey to Oban.

 

By selecting sustainable travel options and actively participating in carbon offset initiatives, you can make a positive impact while journeying to your voyage, where an unforgettable adventure awaits you.

Kit List

What to pack for a sailing holiday on Provident

What is Included:

  • Bedding
  • All meals and soft drinks aboard.
  • All safety equipment, including lifejackets
  • Fantastic sailing

What is Not Included:

  • Travel to and from your voyage
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Alcohol (although reasonably priced wine, beer and whisky will be available to purchase on board). Consumption of alcohol is always at the discretion of the skipper
  • Waterproofs - If this is your first voyage good walking waterproofs will be fine. We only recommend buying sailing waterproofs if you are frequent sailors.
    • You will find exploring ashore in walking gear much better than struggling around in sailing kit!

What to Bring

  • Enthusiasm!
  • Waterproofs - see above.
  • Your own towel.
  • Hats for sun and cold weather.
  • At least two sets of warm clothes - layers e.g. tracksuit bottoms, shirts, fleece jacket, wool jumpers, thick socks, and neck scarf. It can get cold at sea even in mid summer.
  • Swim suit, towel, and suntan lotion.
  • Flat shoes with a good grip e.g. trainers or sailing deck shoes. Sailing boots or wellies are also helpful.
  • (An alterative to boots in summer is to bring another pair of flat shoes with a good grip in case the first pair get wet).
  • All terrain type Sandals are great for dinghy trips ashore – but you do need shoes which protect your toes for sailing.
  • Camera, binoculars, sketchbook, a relaxing read.
  • Any medication, spare spectacles. Seasickness tablets or pressure-point wrist bands (talk to your pharmacist)
  • Your own logbook if you'd like to keep track of your sea miles
  • Tech chargers (USB sockets are available in all the cabins) and waterproof cases for anything valuable

N.B. BOATS HAVE LIMITED STORAGE SPACE SO PLEASE LIMIT YOURSELF TO ONE SOFT BAG OR RUCKSACK  (NOT SUITCASES)

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By Andrew Spenceley, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12963569

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