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An active family holiday in Scotland: Day 7

We practiced on the moorings at Otter Ferry today – both hooking on to them and safely leaving them. We had arrived in darkness the previous night and anchored just a short disstance away from them. Whilst we were fine with what we had done, the moorings would have given added peace of mind (particularly if we had been sailing without an experienced skipper) and would no doubt have been what we would have chosen if arriving in daylight. Attaching to a mooring is made extra easy because there’s a prominent sign that says just £10 is payable to the local pub, and it can be paid by BACS so you don’t even need to go ashore if you don’t want to. After a bit of pratice, we sailed to an anchorage at Ardmarnoch Bay and had lunch. In the afternoon, the wind picked up and we sailed on to Portavadie which began its transformation into an upscale marina in late 2009 (and opened the following year). In getting there, we reached speeds of about 8 knots; the wind regularly picked up to between 20 and 25 knots so we put a reef in our sail. Not for the first time, we also spotted the distinctive Waverley paddle steamer which was in the area. Remarkably, she’s the last seagoing passenger-carrying paddle steamer in the world. Just as we came into the marina, a solitary dolphin arched its way out of the sea a couple of times, almost as if to tell us we had reached Portavadie, before disappearing off. Perhaps distracted, I stupidly managed to drop a fender into the sea but thankfully we were able to retrieve it, and my pride wasn’t dented too much! All in all, it was another great day with Go West Sailing. An active family holiday in Scotland: You can read the full trip by clicking on any of the links below: Day 1: Mossyard Day 2: Mossyard – Kirroughtree – Glentrool Day 3: Glentrool Day 4: Glentrool – Largs Day 5: Largs – Scalpsie Bay – Tarbert Day 6: Tarbert – Ardishaig – Otter Ferry Day 7: Otter Ferry – Ardmarnoch Bay – Portavadie Day 8: Otter Ferry – Ardmarnoch Bay – Portavadie Day 9: Portavadie – Largs Day 10: Largs – Glasgow
YouTube video
Diclosure: Our sailing holiday was sponsored by Go West Sailing.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. Very sad that the Waverley is the last sea-going paddle steamer carrying passengers. I’m sure that I’ve seen some and probably been on one on the Mississippi though obviously they are on a river and not the sea.

    1. But, on the plus side, at least there’s still one around! She operates not just out of western Scotland, but also usually (with the exception of this year where she’s just been in the Firth of Clyde exclusively) in North Wales, the Bristol Channel, the south coast and the Thames. Normal service is resuming in 2022.

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