Oban, Scotland or Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Seydisfjordur, Iceland or Oban, Scotland
Whether you sail this route north to Iceland or south to Scotland, you are in for a real treat. This expedition is all about northern wilderness. Scotland, offers amazing anchorages, famous whisky distilleries and wonderful views. The Faroes presents staggering wildlife and is a wonderful place to explore. After the Faroes is an exhilarating voyage to stunning Iceland. If you are a sailing novice don’t let this put you off because full tuition is provided.
This is a typical itinerary. What makes an adventure holiday so special however is that there can be no fixed itinerary and no part of this is guaranteed. The wind and the weather ultimately shape what’s possible each day but everything is very flexible within that.
Day 1: Joining Day
Join the boat between 1200 and 2000hrs in Oban or Seydisfjordur (the closer to 1200 the better but we know flights and such like don’t always work like that, so don’t worry!) Get your belongings packed away and relax. There’s plenty of things to do in the future but right now it’s about relaxing, finding your way around the boat and enjoying the surroundings.
Day 2: Training and a day sail to Tobermory
Today is all about getting up to speed with the boat. Whether you are a complete novice or more experienced sailor, everyone benefits from detailed introductions, safety briefings and training sessions. You will have two highly experienced instructors guide you through every aspect that you need to know to have a great ocean sailing holiday. By lunchtime we should be casting off the lines, hoisting the sails and working through all the key sailing manoeuvres such as tacking and gybing, reefing and knot tying! By the end of the day everyone on board should feel comfortable with the basics – even though there’s more to learn and practice every day. We’ll find a beautiful anchorage for the night or maybe even make it to a lovely harbour such as Tobermory on Mull.
Days 3-5: Sailing, training and exploring the western isles of Scotland to the Hebrides
Now we will sail the 200nm or so north to Stornoway in the Hebrides. There are amazing anchorages, famous whisky distilleries and wonderful views. There are too many possibilities to list but Skye and Harris are great places to sail to and explore. All the time we will be keeping an eye on the weather, planning our charge north to the Faroes. Ultimately we expect to pull in to Stornoway for a day of rest and preparation before setting off into the Norwegian sea!
Days 6-8: Sail from the Hebrides to the Faroes
When the wind is right, we will set off for the c. 350nm to the volcanic archipelago of the Faroes. This is a great introductory offshore passage, taking about two days. You will start to get a feel for the open ocean, living and sailing in a watch system and learning how to run a ship offshore. It is really special as the near vertical cliffs and thousands of sea-birds appear over the horizon and we will probably make landfall in the capital – Torshavn.
Days 9-11: Exploring the Faroes and preparing for the main passage to Iceland
The northern Faroes are particularly beautiful and if the weather is good to us we will have time to sail and explore a little here. It is a wild, green, untamed land with grass on roofs, whales, puffins and a unique way of life. All the time we will be watching the weather and doing final preparations for the big voyage north.
Days 12-15: Open ocean sailing to the east coast of Iceland.
It’s time though to say goodbye to the Faroes and set off north for the truly exhilarating sail to Iceland. The Faroes will soon disappear over the horizon and we will be all alone except for the puffins, auks, common guillemots and kittiwakes as they see us on our way. We may well see a whale or two as day turns into night and we helm under the stars and via the moon. Ocean life is a wonderful and timeless rotation of watches, navigation and routines. It’s the perfect time to learn from our hugely experienced instructors, who are on hand at every stage of the way. Soon the towering mountains of eastern Iceland will appear over the horizon. It is another wonderful and exciting sight and it’s not unusual to make landfall in swirling mist, with ice-capped mountains and maybe a whale for company! As the sky clears you will see a stunningly beautiful land and if have made good time, we should have time to visit some of the fjords such a Nordfjord and Radafjord before making our final stop in Seydisfjordur.
Day 16: Debrief, clean-ups and goodbyes
It’s always amazing how quickly everyone has become firm friends and the boat and its routines seem so familiar. Yet it’s time to wrap it all up and head home. We’ll get the boat back to how we found it, sign logbooks, exchange emails and disembark by 1200hrs (we prefer if you don’t, but if you need to catch a ferry or flight, you can leave as early as you need to on the last day)
Trainers/ deck shoes (no black soled shoes please – they mark the deck)
Waterproof sailing kit (two sets are recommended. Heavy gear for on-board and lighter kit for trips ashore)
Sailing gloves – 2 sets
Hot water bottle
Clothes for on-board and on shore
A small backpack for trips on-shore (30-40 litres)
A water bottle
Thermals, two sets
Thick socks, two sets
Sun glasses (polarized)
Sun cream – SPF50+
Small quick dry towel
USB cord to charge your phone
Warm sleeping bag
Printed out Insurance details
Any medication you require