Last week a group of avid seafarers took to Scotland’s high waters for a three-day sailing voyage with Ocean Youth Trust Scotland. The nine-strong crew included five excited young people from Kibble’s Goudie Academy alongside teachers and care staff who came aboard for the once-in-a-lifetime experience where fun, and adventure prevailed from sunrise to sunset.
The crew set off with waves and cheers from their classmates before making their way to the dock at Inverclyde. Of course, no oceanic adventure would be complete without a proper royal Navy send-off… queue Kibble’s very own Chris McDonald who dusted off his freshly pressed white sailor suit for the special occasion.
Time to Set Sail
Once aboard it was all hands-on deck for a full health and safety briefing, lessons on how to use a life jacket, learning the knots, sails and the orientation of the boat. With everyone fully briefed, it was time to set sail! One of our enthusiastic young sailors safely cruised us out of safe harbour with the first stop on the map… Dunoon. As we made our way out to sea there was much excitement as we sailed past Scotland’s infamous Paddle Steamer ‘The Waverley’. To make our presence known we formed a Mexican wave and cheered as we continued our journey to the Holy Loch and a quick stop off at the swing park.
After being eaten alive by midges, it was back on board to prepare for dinner. This evening’s menu was a delicious veggie chilli followed by trifle which pupils challenged themselves to eat sans spoon… or hands! Once we shook off the giggles and chocolate sprinkles, we consulted the map to see our progress that day and plan our sail the following day. After a day of fresh air and excitement, it had certainly taken the wind out of our sails. We cosied into our cabin beds and were rocked off to sleep with a bedtime story.
Nature at Play
As the sun rose on a brand-new day, we were greeted by the sight of playful porpoises and seals. After a hearty breakfast, it was time to hoist up the sails and head in the direction of Bute towards Rothesay. With the anchor firmly down at the end of a successful day of navigating the tide, it was time for some fun and games. We got into teams and had a competition on who could sail around the boat on a dinghy the fastest – it’s safe to say that Jackie’s team weren’t going to be winning any gold medals here! That evening we tucked into delicious halloumi wraps before sailing to Inverkip to search for feisty crabs among the rocks. As the stars came out, we cosied into our cabins and gently drifted off to sleep with the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.
Sailing Back to Bay
Today was the final day of our three-day voyage and we weren’t quite ready for our adventure to come to an end. We set sail back towards Greenock where we worked hard on the dock side to scrub the deck, polish the brass, clean the windows and ensure that the boat was left as clean as tidy as we had found it. Many of the crew had a VIP event at school to celebrate the achievements of the class of 2022. As we stepped off the boat back onto terra-firma, we tried to shake off our sea legs as we made our way back to school to get ready for the summer festival inspired leavers ceremony.
Whilst the sun had set on our three-day voyage, it was only the start of our seafaring adventures as we head off for a five-day sail in September. We’d like to say a huge thank you to the Ocean Youth Trust for making our voyage so special, and of course, to our young sailors whose vigour and energy made our hearts swell.