Jibe Talking: Summer Sailing in Wester Ross with Lochcarron Sailing Club

This week I completed my level 1 RYA course in sailing. I have often admired those of our guests who sail into Loch Torridon to stay here, anchoring their boats in the loch. Friends have told me how exciting it is to sail the West coast of Scotland but a lack of experience and knowledge has meant I have not taken it any further. Well, it took Angus my 11 year old son to make me buck up my ideas and we contacted our local sailing club in Lochcarron to see if any courses were available.

As luck would have it, they were running a week’s training course in the first week of August and both Angus and I could do respective adult and junior courses in the evenings. One of the benefits of Torridon Activities is we have all the gear already, so we fitted ourselves out with wetsuits and buoyancy aids and headed off for Lochcarron and the sailing club.

The course was a mixture of classroom and practical experience, although every time the breeze picked up we headed straight out for the practical.
As an adult, I was learning to sail 2 man dinghies, with a variety of boats from modern lasers to more traditional Wayfarers.

We were paired off into crews and set about learning to sail in earnest. I had done a little bit of yachting previously so felt confident on some of the sailing principles and throughout the week, I gradually started to master the tack, jibe, bearing off, heading up, your cleat from your halyard, beam reach to broad reach and your figure of eight to full round and two half hitch knots.

Angus was quick to learn and the youngsters were in and out of the water all the time, sailing toppers and dinghies, learning capsize drills and all the basic principles of sailing. Unfortunately I also managed to learn the capsize drill more by accident than design, but we were quickly rescued and sent back out.

All the team at the club made us feel incredibly welcome and there is a great family atmosphere. With club nights on Wednesdays and racing scheduled for Sundays, Angus and I are looking to honing the skills learnt this week. The great thing for visitors is that anyone can come and will be welcomed by the team, so next time you are staying with us and feel like a sail, Lochcarron Sailing club is the place to go.

All I have to deal with now is Angus’s request for a new yacht and a holiday on the open seas. I feel a second hand dinghy is definitely where we are at.

Dan, Proprietor, The Torridon

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Dan & Rohaise are proud owners of The Torridon a family run and independent Hotel and resort. Passionate about food, service, provenance and promoting hospitality as an Industry of choice, especially for young people.

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