The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Sailing holiday off west coast of Scotland for Ayrshire schoolchildren

FIVE P7 students from South Ayrshire Council’s Muirhead Primary School have just returned from a five-day sailing adventure along the Clyde and up the remote and challenging west coast of Scotland.

Sailing on a Gibsea 43 called ‘Deya’ crewed by the Clyde Sail Training Trust, the students left from Rhu Marina for the first leg of their journey. Due to a lack of wind the yacht had to motor from Rhu, passing the ‘tail of the Bank’ through the Kyles of Bute and across Loch Fyne to Tarbert for the first overnight stay. This gave the students an opportunity to learn more about safety procedures onboard, to helm the Deya and to write up the hourly log for the boat. This was all done while enjoying the spectacular scenery of the Firth of Clyde from their boat.

[Pictured: Morgan Brown at the helm.]

The next part of their journey was from Tarbert to Ardrishaig and into the Crinan Canal, where the Muirhead pupils and staff member were trained to operate the canal’s lock system. An overnight stay near the middle of the canal at Cairn Baan gave the pupils further experience of lock operations.

[Rebecca Fanning takes the wheel.]

From Crinan the students sailed into the Sound of Jura, up the rugged west coast of Argyle, passing the Gulf of Corryvreckan and into the Firth of Lorne. The young sailors saw the spectacular mountains of Jura and the Isle of Mull, with Duart Castle sitting prominently guarding the approaches to the Sound of Mull. The final port of call on the five-day journey of discovery was Dunstaffnage Marina by Oban.

[Pictured: Abigail Mair sketches the scenery.]

Speaking about the sailing adventure Councillor Hywel Davies, the Council’s Portfolio Carrier for Learning and Prosperity said: “The onboard educational experience with the Clyde Sail Training Trust provides an opportunity for students to develop their confidence, self-esteem and teamwork skills. The skills that they learned during their journey will be of use to them when they transfer to their secondary schools at the beginning of the new academic year and as they progress through life.

“This exciting project has been made possible through team work and support from many people including Clyde Sail Training Trust, Troon Round Table and the Dodds Trust. I would like to thank them on behalf of the Council for their involvement in the project.”

During the week the pupils also completed the John Muir Award at Discovery Level, a National Environmental Award Scheme focusing on wild places. The Award encourages the discovery and conservation of wild places, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.

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