Sailing course dates
Dates for 2020
One and two days courses available in March and April. Just email for dates.
Easter holiday weekend is our first five day course
19th – 24th April
Plymouth start and finish. Short passages, lots of manoeuvring.
3rd – 8th May
Plymouth start and finish. Same as above.
8th – 18th May.
9 nights. Plymouth – Channel Islands – Dover.
In May you can smell the wild flowers of Sark from miles away! Big tides and lots of traffic. Open to all, but particularly suit Coastal skip or mile builders. Exam preps and exams possible.
More to come!
We are heading east for our adventure sailing this year.
En route, we will pass through the Dutch and German Frisian Islands. Then through the Kiel canal into the Baltic sea, to sail North East to the Swedish Archipelago.
One way courses heading east. Join us for seven or ten days – you choose.
We’ll be taking in the Dutch and German Frisian Islands – Erskine Childers country – followed by a trip through the Kiel Canal.
Once through the canal we head NE towards the Swedish Islands through the Danish Archipelago
19th – 29th May
Dover – Norddeich ( flights home from Bremen)
9 nights. After a familiarisation day we sail for Den Helder. A passage of some 160 miles through one of the busiest shipping routes in the world. ( There won’t be much sleep!) Worth it though to make land fall on Vlieland – a beautiful sandy holiday island.
From there it gets tricky. The Frisians are shallow and very tidal. Every day needs careful passage planning to get through the gats
and over the tidal flats. Every Island is different in so many ways, from transport to Language. Navigation is by “sticks in the mud” Wonderful stuff!
30th May – 6th June
7 nights. East through the Islands of Norderney, Langeoog, Wangerooge then into the Elbe estuary to the canal entrance at Brunsbuttel. Two days spent in the canal as we must visit Rendsburg! We may arrive in Kiel early and if so we can lock out and give you a taste of the Baltic.
Here’s a thing. It less saline so our draft changes. Yes we get deeper. Gotta watch out as its shallow enough already.
7th – 21st June
Kiel to Stockholm Archipelago
Yes 14 nights, but there’s a lot to see! You can jump off earlier if you want to but you will have to sort your travel from wherever we are.
The plan is to cruise the Danish Islands to eat some eels and shoot some bridges.
“Beyond there be dragons” ( Ive never been)
We move slowly North East exploring the Swedish coastline and the myriad of Islands.
I have only seen the West coast of Sweden and can tell you it is stunningly unspoiled and pristine. Weird parking practice though. As per Norway we just come alongside the rocks!
So I’m sharpening my pitons and hunting down my old climbing chocks for mooring and sorting a good system for stern anchoring.
These trips are happening in reverse from :-
28th June – 23rd July. Stockholm – Kiel
We sail from Stockholm back to Kiel by what ever route suits!? We will certainly take in Gotland with a visit to Visby. This was a center of trade in the Hanseatic area and loads of Viking stuff!
I’d love to go back Rugen in old East Germany. Haven’t sailed there since 1992. I hope its still as unspoiled. Its torturous nav though. Got to have our wits about us.
That’s nearly a month. You can join us for any of it. Just call and we’ll work it out.
23rd July – 15th August
Kiel – Dover
We head back through the canal and into the Frisian Islands.
If weather gods are not with us this could be a long trip with a lot of exploring ashore, but hey that’s what Erskine did. We move when we can in sailing. We have plenty of time and its a great area. Very much suited to Yachtmaster prep with lots of tidal planning, intricate pilotage and weather routing strategy. I can organise exams on our return to the UK. ( Ramsgate )
We head west for Plymouth. Normal service resumed with shorter courses if you need them.
5 days or mini cat fam courses along the way.
Old stuff under here.
TopCat Scotland and back 2015
Great sailing, great training ! Heres a few pictures from a trip taking us from Plymouth along both south and north coasts of Cornwall, over
to Lundy thence to south Wales. Buryport, over to southern Ireland
( Arklow, Wicklow, Houth) Northern Ireland too. Annalong, Strangford lough. Over to Portpatrick on the Mull of Galoway. Into the firth of Clyde via AilsaCraig, Campbelltown on the Mull of kintyre, loch Ranza on Arran, Kyles of Bute then a crew change in largs.
That was just to get north. Heading south again took in Isle of Man, Menai Strait ( north Wales) and back via the Scilly’s. What a summer!
You get a little more with Top Cat. No we don’t swan around the Solent. These are true Cruising courses. Passage planning big time. Real passage making. Every harbour is one we have rarely or never seen before!
2013 Spain adventure
Top Cat’s summer cruise got off to a fine start with an easy sail across the channel to L’Aberildut. I remember a right old fight getting the anchor back! tried every trick in the book and still getting nowhere. Eventually tried putting a small loop of chain around the main cable and dropping it down a tight main anchor chain. Drop the main chain and pull on the small loop. It worked! we couldn’t believe it. All stop here though as we found the starboard engine had cracked a piston? So a U turn and back over the channel via Ile de batz ( Beautiful drying anchorage in perfect shelter) Limped home, Well I call it limping, but we had sails and one engine just like half a boat!. Engine re-bored etc. Mago eventually got herself down to Northern Spain. A hard place to cruise with big swells, shallow drying entrances and harbours few and far between. Beautiful but not easy!