|Wed 04-09-2024, 14:00Oban, Scotland||Mon 09-09-2024, 11:00Troon, Scotland||Grayhound||5 Nights||GR040924|
Oban is a perfect gateway to sail North up the Sound of Mull to Tobermory and then around the Northern shores of Mull to Treshnish Isles and Staffa. Alternatively Grayhound could sail from Oban out West to Iona and the abbey or visit Fingals Cave from a different approach. Either way the landscape and mountains of Mull are dramatic and a great place to spot sea eagles. If the weather is right the NW corner of Mull is full of secluded bays and hidden inlets. A perfect place for Grayhound to anchor and explore with her rowing boat.
Southwards from here you have time to get all the sails up, bound for the island of Colonsay or her more mountainous neighbours of Islay and Jura. The Sound of Mull is the classic route, but if there is a chance to explore the wild west side of Islay, who could resist. Port Ellen for a last wee dram of the peaty stuff and then it is around the Mull of Kyntire for the mainland port of Troon.
GRAYHOUND is one of the largest sailing luggers in the world today. She was built in Cornwall in 2012 and has a 20m long hull, is 33m overall and a canvas area of 470 square meters. The original plans were those of a three masted lugger from 1776. Luggers from that time were built for speed and swiftness ideal for privateering, smuggling…or for hunting the latter! “Pirate hand-break turns” and cannon firing are always on the menu on Grayhound!
As voyage crew you do not have to have any prior sailing experience or knowledge to join on Grayhound. A positive attitude and a wish for adventure is all! Our experienced crew will make sure that you comfortably and eagerly hoist the sails, make fast the ropes, participate in the manoeuvres, steer the ship and ready the anchor. It is all hands-on and you will be a crucial part of getting to our desired destination. You will learn fast while enjoying the feeling of freedom the ship offers as you get humbled by the sea.
From Oban, you’ll sail up the Sound of Mull past Duart Castle, perched like an eagle above the Sound. Your first stop will likely be the 19th Century fishing capital, Tobermory. From here, there is plenty to explore along the Northwest coast of Mull. Numerous inlets and secluded bays make for magical sailing and beautiful anchorages. The perfect sailing grounds to get to grips with Grayhound.
Then you’re off, past the Treshnish Isles, on course for the remote island of Staffa and Fingal’s Cave. Named after Finn, the 3rd Century Irish hero, this extraordinary cave of basalt columns was rediscovered in 1772 (just four years before the original Grayhound was built). In 1829 the German composer Mendelssohn joined a group of wealthy tourists and visited the cave. Despite being seasick, he was inspired to write his famous overture ‘Fingal’s Cave’. The basalt columns create a beautiful acoustic, and if conditions allow a row ashore you can discover why it’s known as the ‘Singing Cave’.
From Staffa you’ll head South past Colonsay towards Jura. If you’ve never visited before be prepared to fall in love! Jura is a jewel of the sea, and a night at anchor there will hopefully offer the chance to explore ashore and bask in the scenery.
Depending on the wind, you’ll either pass down the Sound of Islay, or sail round Islay to the West. Either way, the goal is to reach Port Ellen for a shore run in the most famous whisky harbour in the world, home to Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg.
Rounding the 1788 Mull of Kintyre lighthouse marks the start of the Firth of Clyde. On your final day’s sailing you’ll pass the Isle of Arran (‘Scotland in Miniature’) before finally setting ashore in Troon, with its magnificent views.
This is an expedition of the friendliest kind. You will take part in every way, amid camaraderie that is second to none. The hearty food will fuel your exertions and the scenery will feed your soul!
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. This is a passage-making voyage, however, so there will be a need to make up the miles, and that can mean sailing in slightly stiffer conditions than on a round trip. The West Coast of Scotland can get a little punchy, but this is less so in the summer months, and there are lots of nooks and crannies around the islands in which to shelter!
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, if yours is a cargo voyage – building teamwork and communication skills and leaving you with a great sense of achievement.
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.
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.
Overlooking the Firth of Clyde and the Isle of Arran, Troon is a small seaside town in Ayrshire with a bustling port.
Troon has a small railway station (Barassie), and is only 45 minutes from Glasgow Central. Prestwick airport is within stiff walking distance (or a short cab ride) to the South, so travel arrangements are nice and easy.
It’s worth taking some time to explore this little gem of a place before you leave, though. Troon has stunning sandy beaches and magnificent views, as well as a wealth of independent shops and cafes and a fantastic fish market which serves the whole of Ayrshire.
Thank you so much to all the Grayhound crew for an unforgettable adventure. I cannot imagine a kinder and better crew with which to sail.Caroline
Thanks all for a great time, I really enjoyed it. Fastest Channel crossing I have managed!Barney
An unforgettable experienceJonathon
We've had two idyllic sailing trips. One particularly fantastic day scrambling over big volcanic rocks down a deep craggy valley to a black sand beach with dramatically high cliffs. Grayhound was waiting, attracting attention because she's so beautiful and unique. Swimming out to her in the clear waters o the Atlantic rates as one of life's highlights.Grayhound Guest
Fantastic, exhilarating and an honour to be on such a ship.Des
Excellent company of genuine all round sailors. The wind in my face and the swell beneath. 5 stars for welcome, accommodation on board, safety, quality of sailing, food, skipper and crew.Barry
Outstanding and unforgettable experience. Loved learning the lug rig, meeting the crew and other guests, playing an active role on board.Charlie
Brilliant sail on an interesting boat with friendly and knowledgeable people.Steve
Three masted lugger Grayhound is a unique sight and a joy to take photos of. Not only does she look very unusual as it is a rig not seen much now, she has a mission to deliver cargoes under sail, so she is the darling of the press. 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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