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Leader Sail Scotland 2019 - Inner & Outer Hebrides & Oban Day Sails

Leader in the Hebrides

Leader Sailing Programme in Scotland

Leader spent many years based in Scotland as 'Lorne Leader' and still feels the draw of the Hebrides.  She doesn't sail there every summer, but the freedom and space of the Highlands as a sailing ground is a big draw. 

Passage making voyages on the Edge of the Atlantic

At the end of May join Leader in the pretty Cornish harbour town of Falmouth before she spends nine days sailing up to the west coast of Scotland. Once round Land’s End there is the chance to visit the Isles of Scilly, north Cornwall, Wales, southern Ireland and south-west Scotland, before finishing in Oban. Leader’s highly-trained, friendly and professional crew are on hand to ensure maximum comfort and enjoyment, with a dedicated on board cook preparing your food to an excellent standard. She is a gaff-rigged former sailing trawler and can carry up to 12 guests.

Great scenery and famous landmarks all the way as you sail out into the Western Approaches and North up the Irish Sea. Leader may visit Northern or Southern Ireland, the Isle of Man, or Wales on route and many quirky little ports and anchorages you may not of heard of, but in their day were bustling fishing ports or coastal trade ports for ships like Leader.  

This is a perfect trip for those who enjoy extended time at sea, who may want to build up their sea miles, or just see a wide-variety of locations in one fantastic voyage....or sail her back South in August if you want it a lot warmer.

Leader sailing in company with Eda Frandsen
Photo from Eda Frandsen. Saying hello to leader in Scotland

Wild Playground.....

Western Scotland is a rich marine ecosystem which offers fantastic seafood and wildlife watching from the Sea Eagles on Mull to the dolphins and Minke Whales that cruise the deep sounds between the islands. Due to the prolific life under the surface and hundreds of miles of remote coastlines, the Western Isles, Inner and Outer Hebrides and mainland lochs are great places to spot seals, otters, minke and larger whales, basking sharks and dolphins.

The mountains provide inaccessible eyries for sea eagles, golden eagles,  peregrine falcons and the cliffs are homes to many large breeding colonies of seabirds like gannets and puffins.

Where Can She Sail from Oban ?

The longer the waterline length, the faster the average cruising speed so a big traditional vessel like Leader can notch several hundred miles in a week with a sailing ground that can extend from Skye to the Outer Hebrides if the winds are fair. After safety briefings and training you have plenty of open water in the Firth of Lorne to get your sea legs. Enjoy dramatic scenery whether you go North though the Sound of Mull past the brooding Duart Castle, or southwards toward the open sea. All Classic Sailing vessels share the same ethos: You are hands on crew and have hopefully come to sail  this beautiful sailing ship as much as possible, there our itinerary from Oban will vary hugely from week to week to make the most of the wind direction.

Western Mull & Iona

There any many idyllic anchorages in the West of Mull if the weather is settled. Iona is a pilgrimage for many and famous for its Monastery in a stunning remote location. Once beyond Iona you can either head out towards Tiree and Coll or explore the Atlantic facing side of Mull with its long headlands and the little islands in between like Inch Kenneth, Little Colonsay, Lunga and Ulva where there are many magical bays and anchorages. Here are a few possibilities to whet you appetite.

A good breeze for a sailing trawler off Skye
A good breeze for a sailing trawler off Skye

Sound of Mull & Loch Sunart

The Sound of Mull offers flat water and winds from all directions. Tobermory sits in a small sheltered bay and is an ideal stopping place, apart from the sea plane which spectacularly lands in the same anchorage ! Ashore are multi coloured houses and famous Mish Nish Inn - stocking almost every whisky ever made. A more tranquil option is Loch Sunart which has several bays like the temptingly named Loch Drambuie.

Outer Hebrides—Mingulay to Benbecula

Across the shimmering sea lies the Southern tip of the Outer Hebrides luring you across what can sometimes be a challenging stretch of water. In past years Leader or her smaller sister ship Provident  have reached remote but friendly island communities from Minulay to Benebecula within a week voyage from Oban. The long midsummer days extend the sailing day and give more options navigating the gaps between the islands.

The Small Isles -Rum, Eigg & Muck

 Rum and Canna are famous for White Tailed Sea Eagles and on Rum there are three of four breeding pairs of Golden Eagles. A stone roofed chapel, orchids amongst the grass, a lovely sandy beach and sheer sea cliffs teeming with breeding birds at nesting season are some of Canna's many charms.

Beaches from Local Hero Movie

The beaches on the mainland coast between Ardnamurchan Point and Mallaig are stunning and you might find a tranquil day to anchor off the beach made famous in the movie 'Local Hero' (remember Dire Straits soundtrack, Mermaid like marine biologist, village fighting over fictional oil refinery on stunning beach).

Leader crew beach combing in Scotland.

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