A wonderful week, stunning scenery, lots of wildlife to observe. Michael and Colette are so friendly and have a vast amount of knowledge and experience in so many subjects, immense patience teaching beginners how to tie knots, hoist sails and raise the anchor and just making sure everyone is comfortable and happy. At times my sides were aching with laughter with endless funny stories from the crew and other guests.
Definitely hard to choose, the enthusiasm that Michael & Colette had for all things nautical made anything we did seem interesting. Despite not sailing as much as we could have, due to reports of gale force winds surrounding us, we were kept entertained (and very well fed). We were told all about the area we sailed in, along with plentiful amusing anecdotes, and I recommend looking out for the creepy 'Old Maids of Bute' and other landmarks to go along with the amazing wildlife. Harbour porpoises kept appearing at random times and we definitely had a close up of large amounts of seals (from the little dingey we were touring on), along with a number of seabirds such as manx shearwaters, guillimots and gannets - which were fun to watch dive bombing the water in really impressive numbers. The trip was definitely successful not just for the activities but due to the people I sailed along with who made everything fun and entertaining and it was often difficult to move from the table, the stories were so overflowing. Speaking of the table - Colette definitely deserves a mention for her AMAZING food, I felt that I was on a gourmet tour and it was often hard not to waddle out onto deck with how much we were given. It was also suprisingly satisfying to both catch and eat our own fish. A special mention should be made for her ability to bake from scratch a lemon drizzle cake (made especially for my birthday) in force 5 or 6 winds. Overall I had a wonderful time and I hope that the St Hilda Adventures continues to be a success.
An incredible sailing experience, with our wonderful hosts Michael and Colette. We were fishing for mackerel , shooting lobster pots, and collecting plankton all in five days. The wildlife is so fantastic, seeing Gannets diving, seals sunbathing and porpoises breaching was amazing ! Michael taught us so much about sailing and marine wildlife, whilst Colette looked after us all so well , with wonderful food , including the mackerel we had caught earlier! Our holiday was a truly memorable experience, one the children will never forget! We wish we could do it every summer but will definitely be back on St.Hilda one day!
Getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life with the beautiful scenery of lochs and surrounding mountains together with wildlife sightings (especially common seals and a variety of birds). Michael taught us some basic yachting skills (such as knot tying, putting sails up, dropping and lifting the anchor) and Colette supplied us with plenty of lovely food and drink - she never stops! No light polution and clear skies allowed for spectacular stargazing. As an added bonus we got to collect and view plankton under the microscope, a truly unique experience. Thank you very much Michael and Colette for your hospitality and making this a memorable and enjoyable holiday.
Many many thanks for a lovely trip - it was everything we wanted it to be!
The sailing trip was amazing and the Best of all was meeting Colette and Michael, there where wonderful. Colette is a great chef, breakfast,lunch and dinner was very,very good! Even tea time is good. I am a Cook so i can tell food was exceptional. We fished and Colette prepared delicious macarel, and the most amazing rice. It was an unforgetable experience and hopefully we will do it again. We worked at the boat and Colette and Michael were good teachers, we learned about sails,knots,nature,whisky,scotland ofcourse... Spending time with that beautiful couple was a privilege.Very professional, passionate, and fun. We were very lucky to meet onboard another traveler from Australia, Ian, he brought magic to the trip with his good humor and vibe. I will never forget the views, the seals, the birds, nature is all around so you feel very connected.
Had a great week with Colette and Michael sailing the Clyde and Crinan Canal. Saw some beautiful wildlife in some very picturesque moorings. The visit to Stuart House on Bute was well worth the effort. Beautiful house and gardens. The Crinan Canal was so peaceful and the scenery was great. Learning how to work the locks was challenging but well worth the effort. The food was excellent. Colette is a great chef and you will not go hungry. Talk to Mike about his different careers. Fascinating stuff, and great conversation. I would highly recommend a trip on the St Hilda. Your wont regret it.
A great holiday despite some truly awful unseasonal weather. Wonderful wildlife and scenery - especially Loch Striven (when the winds abated). Mike is hugely knowledgeable about sailing and wildlife - and a lot of other things besides. Colette is an excellent cook, who managed to cater for my daughters manifold food intolerances. Both hosts made us feel very welcome. We are contemplating another trip next year.
Thanks to you and Michael I had a wonderful trip on the St Hilda. A memorable experience which I shall never forget. Joining as a passenger and becoming part of a crew was a memorable experience on the St Hilda. Being hosted by such committed, patient and experienced owners made the transition a pleasure. I knew the coast we visited from a landward perspective, and was thrilled to achieve a long held desire to explore it from the sea. Learning to handle the gear, and to participate in the marine explorations, from mammals to microbes, was fascinating. We became a real 'crew' - shipmates.
There were almost too many to mention! From learning about tying knots, how to work the boat, cruising for hours under sail, the care needed to find the right anchorage, to shooting a lobster pot and catching crabs, brittle stars and a conger eel (all thrown back), to learning about the environment by collecting plankton for controlled scientific, global research, to the incredible scenery and beautiful coastline, to the vast variety of birds and their young, to sightings of porpoise, dolphin and the rare common seal. To cap it all, we had a skipper, Michael, who is passionate about all things marine and his lovely 'crew' Colette, who provided us with breakfast, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, all cooked in a small galley and done in between working the boat! They both worked incredibly hard to make it an informative and most enjoyable holiday!"
I would just like to say thanks for a great week. I had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed sailing with you on the St Hilda. I hope I can join you again for another trip sometime. Best wishes
What a fantastic fortnight aboard the St Hilda during our trip to the Outer Hebrides. The wildlife was wonderful, porpoises playing in just in front of the bow of the boat as we left Vatersay bay and watching Guillemots diving. A good opportunity to practise our navigation as we headed down to Sandray, Pabbay and Mingulay via the Fisherman's gap. We enjoyed our time ashore, catching the post bus (a first for us) down to Eriskay where they filmed Whisky Galore! Lots of delicious meals served in ever changing spectacular settings. Thank-you Colette and Michael for a wonderful holiday.
Just to say thank you for a wonderful week and congratulations for putting up with 6 very silly 70 year olds! We had a great time together and you looked after all of us so well. Best wishes.
I just wanted to say thank you again for being such good hosts on the St Hilda. I had a very good week with good company and very good food. I am still practising my knots - ironically it is the clove hitches that I keep getting wrong - think I have the bowline sussed now. I hope you do get some good sailing done in what remains of the Summer. Let me know if you are planning any more single trips.Thank you once again for allowing me to travel for a week on the St Hilda - a real experience.
Firstly, thank you for a lovely holiday. We all really enjoyed it. A holiday is more than fine weather, we don't all get together very often and when we do we make the most of it, we had a great time full of laughs and fun. You did a fab. job with the catering, wonderful food.
Can't thank you enough for a great weeks holiday where the itinerary, food and company were all first class. I will definitely be back to try another great week.
Back in my own real world after the Crinan Canal - how lucky we were with the weather that week. I can't begin to explain what St Hilda has done for me and my confidence. I really relish every minute aboard (and not aboard)-it is a different world. As well as working as a member of a very enthusiastic team and doing things I never thought I could (and now I can), the whole experience was exhilarating and very different from the Wildlife Cruise I went on last year. Michael and Colette are an amazing team, dedicated to ensuring we all get the most out of the experience. Every blip or bubble was investigated out there on the water. Might even volunteer as a rope thrower next time!!! Ha ha.
e had such a wonderful 6 days with you on the St Hilda. We learnt so much about sailing and being part of a crew, marine conservation and wildlife. Many firsts--shooting the lobster pot and hauling it up to find 2 beautiful lobsters in there, learning how to drop and raise anchor, etc..and just enjoying the beauty and tranquility of the lovely sea lochs. Colette--you fed us all so well. Thank you both so much! You've whetted our appetite to discover more of Scotland!
I just wanted to write a quick thank you for your warm hospitality onboard St Hilda's it truly was a holiday that reached and exceeded my expectations. I'v returned home with wonderful memories of the peace of Loch Riddon and watching my son steer the dingy and holding up a lobster for the cameras. I'v recommended this trip to so many people.
We were very tired but relaxed after a great week spent in great company and with great food. Thanks again for a lovely holiday.
Thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality and expertise that gave us a holiday we will certainly never forget. With all best wishes.
Well what can I say?, You certainly did not disappoint!!!!!!!! I have been to some wonderful places but your holiday together with our trip to the Isle Of Mull has outshone anything I have ever experienced. Whilst on Mull we had 3 stags feeding in the front garden one morning at 5am, and a sea eagle flew in above us as we arrived. Needless to say I will keep checking Rightmove to see if any properties become availble overlooking LochDon were we stayed. We felt you encompassed us into your space on your much loved boat, your passion for your boat, sailing, wildlife and the enviroment is a credit to you both. Thank you again.
Many thanks for a wonderful break in a beautiful part of the world and for spoiling us in what is effectively, your own home! Having such kind, generous and patient hosts was fantastic. It really was a pleasure spending time with you both. Andrea loved the wildlife and watching the world go by on deck. I learned an awful lot about sailing. We will get around to posting pics and reviews, but I wanted to let you know how much the trip meant. Thank you!
Thank you so much for such a fantastic holiday last week - food, company, knots, eels, sailing, plankton.......... everything was great! We all really really enjoyed it.
St Hilda sea adventures was memorable for so many reasons! Colette and Michael are wonderful hosts and they certainly know their "stuff". We fished, threw lobster pots, put up the sails, collected plankton and looked at all these amazing colourful creatures under the microscope. We relaxed and sunbathed on deck... The weather was perfect. The meals that Colette produced were magnifique! The mussels collected in Loch Striven were soon moules marinier ... Absolutely delicious It was fantastic, I met some wonderful people and haven't laughed so much for ages. A real tonic! I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on.
Wonderfully different and definitely for those who wish to be part of what is going on. I experienced so much, learned so much and did things I never thought I would - or even could; I received so much encouragement. I will go again; even now thinking of next year.
It was all wonderful - watching over 100 gannets divebombing again and again like WW2 fighter pilots. Spectacular. Gathering wild mussels as big as the palm of your hand, then seeing them reappear as moules marinieres . Landing mackerel by the dozen and enjoying them as fresh as it's possible to be. Waitrose will never be able to compete!
Thank you for a brilliant holiday. You were very welcoming hosts and especially welcoming of the boys. They loved the instructions in navigation, knot-tying and being allowed the hands-on experience of steering the St Hilda. The food was wonderful -as you must have known because there were only empty plates!
Memorable for me was the wonderful wildlife we really saw (so often we have been disappointed, even in the Amazon rain forest). We saw dolphins and seals and lots of beautiful sea birds, we fished and laid lobster pots. We caught a lobster, along with crab and star fish, and netted plankton which we examined under microscope. My sons enjoyed the sailing, one son found he loved making sea knots. We swam in the sea. We all enjoyed beautifully cooked and plentiful food and the good company of our host and hostess.
A big thank you to all of you for giving us such an enjoyable holiday. Relaxing, informative and the food was excellent. Also I loved helming the St Hilda!
We all had a great time on board the St Hilda. Ella says it was her best holiday ever! Many thanks for making it so enjoyable. I hope we can return sometime. The photos are a nice reminder of good times and the fabulous weather!
Thanks Colette and Michael for a great holiday. The highlights for me were the sailing and your wonderful food which I expect you can tell we all enjoyed....Ollie hasn't stopped talking about fishing, so much so that we had to buy him a rod in Berwick to shut him up and so that he can go fishing off West Bay pier when he visits grandparents- I'm hoping for a nice sea bass! I have extracted the plankton photos from my ipod so I can keep - I am going to have to look up what they are all called again - I should have taken notes.
Thank you for a brilliant holiday. You were very welcoming hosts and especially welcoming of the boys. They loved the instructions in navigation, knot-tying and being allowed the hands-on experience of steering the St Hilda. The food was wonderful -as you must have known because there were only empty plates!.
We had a wonderful time. Michael and Colette were perfect hosts and tutors, especially for our son Alex (15) who loved the whole thing, from steering the dinghy to learning the perfect bowline. Colette's food was just as I like food to be - delicious and straightforward - and Michael is excellent company. So for a family like ours - wanting to mess about in boats and see the Clyde and maybe learn a little seamanship - I can't think of a better way to do it.
I loved the mountains, I loved the St Hilda, and I especially loved the sound of waves on the hull and being gently rocked as I lay in my bunk at night. What unforgettable stars. I will be back.
This could be one of the best family holidays ever. We all loved everything about being on the boat; the food, the messing about on (and in!) the water, the wildlife and the trips ashore. Thanks for looking after us so brilliantly, next time I will bring the windsurfer!
I found the St Hilda experience extremely enjoyable; it was both mentally and physically stimulating, exactly what I needed! The yacht is fun to sail, even for the inexperienced with Michael happy to instruct in all aspects of seamanship.
We wanted a holiday that was a bit different and one that would suit the whole family from our oldest son at 22 to youngest daughter at 8 years. A small advert to sail St Hilda was spotted by chance in the RSPB magazine. What a lucky break. A week sailing a tall ship, navigating, steering, working the sails, catching supper, spotting wildlife and all this amongst the beautiful islands and lochs of the Scottish West Coast - magnificent.
I had the privilege to do a trip aboard the St Hilda, a boat full of old world charm, what a pleasure it was to take the helm over the misty Scottish lochs, eat a meal in the middle of a sea loch and to taste an old Scottish malt while dangling a hook for a passing fish. Sailing aboard the St Hilda brings an internal peace from this enchanted region. To live simply and to relate to a warm and sympathetic crew - it is a marvelous adventure, an escape from an agitated world.