|Fri 08-10-2021, 16:00Ullapool, Scotland||Sat 16-10-2021, 08:00Oban, Scotland||Tecla||8 Nights||TC-081021|
Ullapool is North of Skye so your route south could go either side of Skye and a stop in the Shiant islands is a possibility. The winds can be strong at this time of yea but the mountains and islands can create shelter and fast flat water blasting. Skye has over 400 miles of coast to explore with deep lochs on the West coast and the Kyles of Loch Alsh to the East. South is Loch Scavaig and the Small Isles of Canna, Rum, Muck and Eigg. Look out for eagles and otters and make the most of your outdoor day. Tuck into a snug anchorage for a great supper and perhaps a dram of whisky. The 2 person cabins all have hot radiators and a shower ensuite.
Beginners and keen sailors alike will find this Tecla voyage a gem. The likely route from this far North is down the Minches Channel where Tecla can hop between anchorages in Skye or the Outer Hebrides. A voyage with a sense of journeying and a good mix of sailing at a breezy time of year with stunning backdrops and autumn colours.
An Autumn Sail from Ullapool to Oban with seven days to explore. It is approximately 150 miles between Ullapool and Oban and all the route options provide spectacular mountain scenery and a mix of flat water in the lee of islands big and small, and more open seas like the Minch.
This sailing voyage leads to sparsely inhabited islands, tiny fishing villages, deep lochs and rugged cliffs that will be appealing to nature lovers looking for otters, sea and white tailed eagles, whales and other cetaceans. The hundreds of islands of the Hebrides have their own character, are very isolated and therefore entirely self-reliant. With the Tecla, a relatively small tall ship, we will visit unique places that cannot be reached by anything but boat or ship.
Whilst cruising these amazing sailing grounds you can help setting the big gaff sails on main and foremast. There re no square sails but she has proper ratlines so you can climb the mast and enjoy the view.
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.
The crew of Tecla were made very welcome by the local community in Ullapool in 2015, so the ship is back in the harbour in 2016 during the Spring for St Kilda and in September on her return from Iceland. Even further North than Eda Frandsen’s summer base in Mallaig. Ullapool is North of Skye, North of Torridon and level in latitude with the Shiant Islands.
The first navigational decision is whether to sail up the Kyles of Loch Alsh – the inside route – or chance the west coast of Skye, perhaps via Loch Harport or accross the Minch to harbours like Lochmaddy on Uist. These deep lochs with broad entrances have provided timeless storm havens than once sheltered Vikings and all sorts of traders and marauders.
The narrow straits between Loch Alsh and Loch Akin have strong tides upto 7 knots but beyond is Portree, and on the mainland are lochs like Torridon or Gairloch surrounded by mountain ranges like that get walkers and climbers very excited. Take an ordananace survey map with you and see if you can name the summits.
Tecla has already anchored off Loch Scavaig at the foot of the Cullins and her crews have walked up to Loch Coruisk and beyond for a great view down on to their ship at anchor.
Between Mull and Skye are the Small Isles, which include Muck, Eigg with its distinctive volcanic plug on the skyline, Rum and Canna. All are firm favourites with many of the Classic Sailing Fleet and Tecla is no exception. Whilst these islands have ferry quays, you will normally be anchoring in a bay and going ashore in the ships tender (rubber dinghy with powerful outboard) so wellies are a good idea. The island of Eigg was bought by the community and it is interesting to learn about their self sufficent electricity scheme using various sources of renewable energy. Rum has sea eagles and golden eagles and Canna has a huge range of birdlife.
If the weather is too wild to go around the outside of Mull then Tecla can sail past Loch Sunart and into the Sound of Mull – a narrow inlet with ever changing winds between the high mountains of Mull and the mainand. The colourful town of Tobermory is always worth a visit, but arriving on a Dutch ship gives it a slightly different twist if you have been to this lengendary waterfront town before. Look out for Sea Eagles on Mull and maybe you can anchor off Duart Castle for a short visit to this facinating real ancestral home.
In winds light winds or the absence of Atlantic swell then a wonderful sailing playground West of Mull opens up. Instead of the Sound of Mull Tecla could anchor off Iona and explore islands like Gometra or sit amongst the puffins on the Treshnish Islands or Lunga.
There is plenty of evidence of volcanic activity in this part of the world with basaltic columns in the cliffs at Staffa and other locations. If the weather is calm enough to put ashore on Staffa you can stride accross the hexagonal sea platform and enter the atmopsheric Fingals Cave. Violinists – start practicing your Mendelsson.
Tecla sailed around the world in 2012-13 with Europa and Oosterschelde. She crossed the South and North Atlantic, Indian Ocean, the wild seas of South Australia, raced in the Tasman Sea and sailed accross the Pacific to round Cape Horn. She is a fast ship that does well in tall ships races. Run by two Dutch families she likes to create unusual sailing programmes and her crews like to explore ashore with as much energy as they sail the ship.
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.
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.
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 NOT INCLUDED
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
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.
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.
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.
THIS IS TECLA standard voyage kit list. Specialist Antarctic kit list to follow shortly
There is limited storage space on Tecla so please pack all you belongings in a soft rucksack or bag.
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. Two voyages on Tecla Spring 2019
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 Fair Isle 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 sea sick 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. Food was excellent. I loved the spicy meat balls 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 2015
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, true sense of teamwork, great guidance and 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
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
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. In 8 days in Iceland I only saw one policeman very very briefly. Not at the airport but following us for about 30 seconds in a police car in Reykjavik. Was it cold in Iceland, Yes and No, on arrival there was no need for more than 2 layers on top and one below. But later when sailing and the wind picked up from the north it did require 5 top layers and 2 below but we were less than 30 miles from the Arctic Circle! Overall I really enjoyed the voyage and the wildlife. Adam Purser June 2018
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.
Greenock to Oban June 2021
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