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Tecla - Sailing Destination 2019 - Outer Hebrides & St Kilda

Tecla heading for St Kilda

Outer Hebrides & St Kilda 2019

Tecla has a good track record for getting to St Kilda, helped by the far north location of Ullapool - her adopted port on the mainland. Within easy reach is Skye, Canna, Rum. Across the silvery sea Tecla crew have a fondness for remote communities and outposts in the Outer Hebrides.

Cape Wrath & Orkney On the Way

If you love sailing and mountains then Tecla is heading for the West Coast of Scotland in the spring.  Tecla crew are a hardy bunch and set off earlier than most to reach their favourite parts of Scotland. Her annual 'pilgrimage' from her home in the Netherlands, around the top of Scotland and into Classic Sailing's most Northerly Scottish joining port of Ullapool, beats about every UK charter vessel to the best wild anchorages.  Skipper Gijs is a big fan of the Orkney Isles so you might visit them on the way.

The snow may still be on the mountain tops but the Inner and Outer Hebrides offer ideal sailing conditions for a fast ship like Tecla. Below decks all the 2 person cabins have radiators and a hot shower en-suite. The saloon and galley are at the aft end of the ship and a cosy and sociable place to hang out if you are feeling you have had enough weather for the day.

Puffins in Scotland
Puffins in Scotland

Tecla Beyond the Outer Hebrides to St Kilda

Tecla has been visiting St Kilda archipelago early season for the last 3 years.

If the conditions are right she plans to sail to St Kilda again, but there are plenty of islands and anchorages to explore in the Outer Hebrides, Shiant Islands, Summer Isles or the more sheltered lochs around Skye, and further south the Small Isles of Rum, Eigg and Canna. Tecla has also visited less well known spots like Rona which lies to the West of the Outer Hebrides.

This sailing voyage leads to sparsely inhabited islands, tiny fishing villages, deep lochs and rugged cliffs that will be appealing to nature lovers looking for puffin, sea and white tailed eagles, whales and other cetaceans. The hundreds of islands of the Hebrides have their own character, are very isolated and therefore entirely self-reliant. This area is rich in seabirds, which usually breed on the steep cliff faces. With the Tecla, a relatively small tall ship, we will visit unique places that cannot be reached by anything but boat or ship.

Whilst cruising these amazing sailing grounds you can help setting the big gaff sails on main and foremast. There re no square sails but she has proper ratlines so you can climb the mast and enjoy the view.

Tecla anchored in St Kilda
Tecla anchored in St Kilda

Ideal time of Year for Wildlife & Seabirds

The waters surrounding the Hebrides and St Kilda are rich in sealife and nutrients. During the crossings between the different islands the chances are high that we will spot whales and seals and this is a great time of year for ocean seabirds as they come into the high cliffs to breed.

St Kilda - a holy grail for adventurous sailors

St Kilda really is a long lost outpost of the British Empire.  The Outer Hebrides are very self sufficient and distant from the Scottish mainland, but St Kilda sits right out in the Atlantic.

You need a good weather window to reach here and anchor safely. Tecla was lucky in 2015 with the earliest landings of the season, but there are plenty of awesome destinations in less exposed locations if the weather is too wild. Not many sailors get to stand on St Kilda's main island of Hirta and even less visit the other islands in the group like the Flannan Group and North Rona.

The anchorages are often affected by ocean swell so there is no guarentee it will suitable to stop or even reach the small group of islands.

On this archipelago we will find hundreds of thousands of seabirds.  See below for more details.The island group is very remote and affected by ocean swell so if the weather is too tough for an ocean going sailing ship like Tecla, then she will continue her exploration of the Outer Hebrides

Scotland provides the ideal sailing ground for beginners and more experienced sailors.
Sunset in Scotland by Melissa Williams

 

 

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