Depart the picturesque town of Stromness in Orkney and head south west for St Kilda, the UK’s most remote outcrop, last inhabited in the 1930’s and National Trust for Scotland World Heritage Site.
St Kilda is the British Sailor’s Holy Grail, and it will take you a few days sailing to get there. Explore the spectacular, surreal, almost spiritual island, let it get under your skin… you won’t ever regret your decision to visit this hauntingly beautiful place which boasts the UK’s highest sea cliffs.
The Swan is a sail training vessel, and as such, you will take your turn on the helm, stand watch with the rest of your watch-mates, adjusting sails and doing safety checks, usually on a 4 hour on – 8 hour off watch system, and you will help out with domestic tasks such as cooking and cleaning. Everyone mucks in, from skipper to first-timer, and from the most to the least experienced. This is what will give you a strong sense of accomplishment and achievement – you are part of what makes your voyage a success, and your efforts will have a positive effect on the rest of the crew onboard.
Return to Shetland via the Hebrides, popping in along one or two of the fabulous anchorages or towns en route, ending your trip in Scalloway, Shetland’s ancient capital.
Should the weather conditions look unfavourable for anchoring at St Kilda, the skipper may decide to delay arrival there for a few days, with your outward journey taking you via the Hebrides, and your return by a more direct route.