The Malts Cruise 2013 set sail this morning with 24 boats ready to discover the stunning coastline of western Scotland. Over the next two weeks, the fleet will cruise to picturesque anchorages, come together for social activities ashore, and enjoy tastings of some of Scotland's finest whiskys with distillery tours and tutored nosings along the way.
Parade of Sail © Clare Pengelly
This year's Cruise started in Oban, a convenient rendezvous point for the international fleet,and many took the opportunity to visit the Oban Distillery, the first of 3 visited on the Cruise route. On Saturday, talks on cruising the isles and advice for wildlife spotting were held at Kerrera Marina, before crews gathered for a welcome dram over-looking the harbour. A buffet supper and ceilidh soon created a wonderfully social atmosphere for the 2013 event.
Marcel and the crew from Sailing Swiss III © Clare Pengelly
In glorious sunshine and with the accompaniment of a local piper onboard lead boat Skyelark, the Cruise set off with a parade of sail around Oban Bay. Tobermory on the island of Mull was a short sail away and provides the first of 5 planned get togethers on this year’s route. As the sun set over the famous coloured houses of this quaint town crews enjoyed a relaxed pub supper in MacGochan's.
Piper James Macpherson leading the Parade of Sail in sunny Oban © Clare Pengelly
From tomorrow, yachts independently explore the islands and lochs of Mull and the Small Isles before meeting again for a rendezvous on the isle of Rum. Nosings (tastings) of Classic Malts Selection whiskies will be held in various anchorages so the participants can learn about the links between the landscape and the whisky.