Category Archives: Sailing Trips

Boat Tour From Oban

I was lucky enough to be invited on a boat tour out of Oban by St Hilda Cruises. They operate two boats out of Dunstaffnage marina, one sailing boat and one motor boat. The cruises vary from local 5/6 day trips up to 11/12 day trips to the Outer Hebrides.

The trip i was on would take me along the Sound Of Mull, with stops at Tobermory, Loch Aline, Loch Spelve, and a trip to Duart Castle. Cruises around these parts are always weather dependant so be prepared for the schedule to be updated !

The trip starts from Dunstaffnage marina which is about 3 miles noth of Oban, a short taxi ride away. You are welcomed aboard and given a guided tour and safety briefing of the boat. You soon leave the quayside and head out to your first anchorage on your trip.

Dunstaffnage Marina –

SeaHorse 2 – an ex-Norwegian fjord ferry boat now converted to take 10-12 guests in comfort –

Looking out from the marina –

One of the many lighthouses on the west coast of Scotland –

After our first night at anchor we headed for the main town of Tobermory on the Isle Of Mull. Originally a fishing village it now mainly relies on tourism. With only a couple of bars and hotels, and a couple of cafes theres enough to feed and accomodate the visitors !! Theres an aquarium and the original Tobermory distillery which was founded in 1798.

The small town of Tobermory – Isle Of Mull –

Multi coloured buildings on the sea front –

Tobermory Distillery –

Tobermory distillery

View from the small marina to Tobermory –

View from the top of Tobermory out to sea –

Go fishing they said, throw a line over they said, enjoy yourself they said…………

After the night in Tobermory we headed off to have the morning at Duart Castle. The castle was home to the Maclean clan and dates back to the 13th century. It has been used a few times for TV and film work icluding tge films When Eight Bells Toll and Entrapment. It is currently undergoing restoration after a 2014 appeal was launched to raise funds for irs survival.

Being dropped off at Duart Castle –

View out from Duart castle back to Sea Horse 2 –

Duart castle

After the third day we heard warnings of another one of the big storms coming in. This was storm Ali coming in from the Atlantic.

With warnings of up to 30-40 knot winds we took shelter back in Oban where we could tie up safely to the quayside. Some of the guests went to the local castle in Oban and some toured around town.

We returned to our base in Dunstaffnage marina after our 5 day/5 night tour. Even with the inclement weather (it was late September !) we all enjoyed the tour. Theres stunning scenary to be scene everywhere you look.

Back at the marina in Dunstaffnage – the sun came out on our return (just)!!

Sardinia To Menorca

After leaving the boat in the marina at Porto Torres the owner had since moved the boat to St Augusta further north east as the boat had been chartered for a week.  The boat needed to be moved again over to Menorca and at nearly 300 nautical miles it was going to be two over nighters. Some new crew arrived and after provisioning and refuelling we set off in the afternoon.

The crossing was drama free and with virtually no wind i can’t remember the sails ever going up !!

Our destination was Fornells on the north side of Menorca. It is a large natural well protected harbour known for its sailing holidays.

View across Fornells from the fort –

Fornells Menorca

I had a few days on the boat at anchor by myself. Fornells is a small town but has plenty of restaurants and a couple of bars to go to. Theres a small fort at the entrance of the harbour that is open to the public.  At only just over a Euro to gain entry its worth the small amount of time it takes to tour around !!

Views from the area around the fort –

Fornells in the evening –

Fornells old town –

We left Fornells to sail around Menorca, sadly with virtually no wind it was motoring again !

A lot of the coastline of Menorca is rugged with few places to stop. Every few miles you find a small inlet but unless the get there by midday its normally already full with boats !

One of the stops on the south side of the island –

A couple more people arrived for a few days and with some wind predicted we set sail for Menorca.

Off to Majorca –

With good wind on the beam we averaged 8 knots and a few hours later we arrived in Menorca.  It was the last stop for me as i had to head home, a quick bus ride and i was at the airport, and a few hours later arrived at home.

Got to love the fact that you can get home within a few hours when you are in the Med !!