Adventurous sailing tour in Scotland
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Sailing with the Flying Dutchman made two dreams come true for me. Since a long time I wanted to discover Scotland. Since an equal long time I wanted to sail on an older rig. The offer to spend a week (2019,May) on a journey around the inner hebridies was an umissable opportunity for me. But I never dreamed that it would be such a wonderful experience.
The people in the group with whome I came were already used to sail on tall ships and so perhaps we went more seriously than others into sailing, trying to spend more time at sea when the conditions were right and less when the winds weren’t fitted for our endeavour. The whole week was far more than just another sailing trip. First the country is very diverse, with kind and helpful people. Scotland is a place where history and present merge very aptly, shaping the unique scottish identity. Nature is everywhere, but Scotland isn’t shy of nice towns, a beautiful countryside when man decided to lend a form to some piece of land. Of course the sky is of breathtaking beauty, like people who have been above 55° latitude know very well.
What turned the trip into an exceptional slice of life was the quality of the crew. Laurents, Pim and Danny are seaman like few. Their knowledge of the boat, the sea and the region has enabled us to discover the inner hebridies in exceptional circumstances, living with the pace of the seas, the currents, the winds and the people we met ashore. As a crew they know each other so well they don’t need to talk much among themselves, they just know what to do and when. Safety is valued above everything else, but not less equaly they will they strive to make everybody feel well on board. They have rich personalities, after a week spent with them you’ll find how much they have to share from very diverse and rich horizons. They are all very talented people, not only for their sailing skills but in a lot of other aspects as well. Danny is not only an exceptional cook but a seasoned sailor as well. He has a deep and personal knowledge about everything related to the sea but he can talk about a lot of other things too. Pim has energy to be everywhere at once, never shy to explain every detail of handling the ship. I’m not going to spoil all his other talents, but it was no chance by which the ship’s owner Klaas has choosen him as a first mate.
Laurents is a gifted captain, he has a feeling for human nature which lends him natural authority. His final decisions may be unquestionable but he never needs to shout them, and in case of doubt he is perfectly able to explain them without fuss. He cares a lot about every member of his crew and his passengers. He will whenever he can listen to everybody and change his plans accordingly making every journey a unique one. In my experience such people are very few, able to take into account so much different inputs and stay creative in their own process of decision making but never letting go of the place of the leader they choose to take. He has a very rich personality, you can engage with him in deep discussions on a vast array of subjects.
My last words are for the ship. It is a beauty for the eyes and the “Flying Dutchman” is known by everybody in Oban and beyond. It has a well balanced shape, a nice two masted schooner rig with a pair of square sails. It is in a very good condition, you can tell the love the owner and the crew has for her. Inside it has a lot more comfort than I had expected. The space below is well used, with small but well equiped cabins. The deck is huge, partly covered in case of rain which is very clever to help move things between the galley and the saloon. The most impressive however for me was to see how well it sailed. Very well balanced, it requires a light hand to be steered. The wheel is surprinsingly smooth but very true to the ship. With everything up, it remains very stable even in 6-7 bft gusts. In a close reach with 4-5 bft it attains easily 10 kts and even in some seas and currents staying on course isn’t the heavy battle I’ve witnessed on other vessels. On such a seaworthy boat, crossing the pond wouldn’t seem far fetched.
So I would like to thank the whole crew again for that incredible week aboard. I really hope this won’t be my sole adventure in this beautiful country and on this exceptional ship.
Friends and I enjoyed a stellar week aboard the Flying Dutchman with a gracious crew. Captain Jan managed the details insuring safe passage through the Hebrides. In a day’s run we would stop for a quick dingy ride ashore to check out a castle or distillery. The crew enjoyed raising sails with the assistance of those passengers wanting to be part of the sailing adventure. The cook complemented the cruise with food local to the area while providing options to those with dietary restrictions. Hard to find a better way to tour and enjoy the Hebrides. After our wonderful week I can easily recommend sailing with Jan and crew aboard the Flying Dutchman.
We‘re in Tobermory on the next-to-last day of a fabulous cruise. Friends and family gathered for a multiple birthday celebration and made new friends with our hospitable captain and his crew. Great food, gorgeous scenary and some beautiful weather and good sailing. Super vacation!
In September 2017 my partner and I went on a whiskey tour in the Flying Dutchman. I had never been to Scotland and it was stunning. With the Flying Dutchman we were able to explore small islands and corners we would otherwise never have found.
The crew is loveley and the food is great and above expectations for a small boat kitchen (full English breakfast anyone?). The huts are clean and comfortable and have their own showers.
One piece of advice; do set sail and get in on the action! It was an amazing experience to turn of the engine and sail the waters of Scotland.
In september 2017 me and my partner went on the whiskey tour on the Flying Dutchman. I had never been to Scotland and it was absolutely stunning. With the Flying Dutchman we were able to explore little islands and corners that we otherwise never would have found.
The crew is loveley, the food is great and above expectations for a boat kitchen (full English breakfast anyone?). The huts are comfortable and clean, and have their own showers.
One piece of advice; do give the sailing a go and get in on the action! It was an amazing experience to turn off the engine and sail the Scottish waters.