The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Ayrshire schoolchildren enjoy sailing
holiday off West Coast of Scotland

CHILDREN from four South Ayrshire Council Primary Schools, Girvan, Dailly, Maidens and Sacred Heart, were in involved in the annual sailing adventure on the remote and rugged west coast of Scotland this summer.

[Pictured: The Paps of Jura seen through the rigging of ocean clipper "Clyde Challenger". CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

The students took on the crewing of the 60-foot ocean clipper “Clyde Challenger” sailing around the remote sea lochs and Islands off the west coast for five days. Every student had the opportunity to be involved in sailing and navigating on the passage from Oban down the coast of Mull, Jura, Islay and round the Mull of Kintyre and to watch dolphins, porpoises and seals in their natural habitat.

Councillor Hywel Davies, the Council’s Portfolio Carrier for Learning and Prosperity said: “The adventure is designed to develop teamwork, confidence and self-esteem in children in preparation for them moving from primary to secondary school. The lessons that they learned during the voyage will be of great use to them in future years.

[Dailly and Maidens pupils sailing the yacht round Mull of Kintyre.]

“During their sailing adventure the children completed the Discovery Award, part of the John Muir Award, which is an environmental Award programme to educate and promote environmental awareness and the importance of preserving wild places and conservation. I think that it is very important that children learn the importance of protecting our coastal environment.”

[Pictured: Girvan and Sacred Heart pupils on deck.]

During the 10-day adventure the children had days of stormy weather and sunshine as well, making the experience all the better to appreciate the remote west coast. As well as learning how to hoist sails, tack and helm the boat children learned about navigation, recording the yachts position every hour and how to use a GPS system.

[Pictured: Practicing bowline knots can be confusing.]

The children from Dailly and Maidens who sailed the yacht around the Mull of Kintyre anchored in Lamlash Bay on Arran and had a special visit from Tom Boyle a representative from COAST the Community of Arran Seabed Trust. Tom explained to the children and crew that COAST aims to make Lamlash Bay a Marine Protected Area (MPA). This would mean the marine environment would be protected from mobile fishing gear, scallop and shellfish fishing to regenerate and enhance local fish and shell fish populations. COAST has won the support of the Scottish Government for the creation of Scotland’s first Community Marine Conservation Area.

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