Click here for Hiltgund Diary 2006

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"Callsign" hiltgund & "PIN" 4673 to find out where Hiltgund is now.

Click here to see what it's like at Ardfern now.


Gear - what you will need.

I can't remember many cruises on the West Coast which haven't included some rain, so full waterproofs are probably going to be needed. If you do not have your own, I have two spare pairs of trousers (not terribly water proof, but pretty wind proof) and two spare jackets on board. These are all quite large as they all fit me, but would probably be better than nothing even if you are a bit swamped in them. Please let me know if you wish to make use of any of these - first come first served. Please also bring warm clothing as it can still be pretty cold out on the water up here even in July and August!

Footwear: Deckshoes/trainers which will not mark the decks are essential (ideally a couple of pairs) and yachty type wellies which again won't mark are useful for going ashore in the dinghy and keeping warm if the weather is very wet or filthy etc. It's also a good idea to bring some reasonably robust outdoor shoes for going for strolls ashore.

If you are staying on board, please also bring a
sleeping bag and a towel - I tend to bring a large bathsheet type towel as the bunks have plastic covers and it's more comfortable to have something reasonably large and fluffy under you to sleep on as well as having a towel to use as a towel! (I have 2 spare sleeping bags and can bring towels if needed - let me know if you would like me to bring any of these for you.) If you bring a couple of pillow cases, I will let you use one of the saloon cushions as a pillow.

We probably won't be eating at anywhere very smart ashore, so probably no need for jacket and tie unless I've warned you otherwise (however, I do tend to take a rather tatty blazer and grubby old tie and clean chinos just in case - I could bring an extra even tattier blazer). Certainly bring enough clothes to have something vaguely respectable if we do go ashore for a meal.

If you are on board for more than a day, I'd have thought a minimum of two complete sets of mucky clothes for sailing (in case we get wet - not improbable!) and a selection of stuff that's a bit smarter for dining ashore.

Having said all that, please try to limit yourself to one moderate sized piece of luggage each, and ideally one which can be squashed about a bit as with 3 or 4 on board, space for stowing gear can be pretty limited. You can see what it's like down below on board here (click the link).


I generally provision the boat fully with food, beer, gin, wine & whisky, so don't worry about bringing anything like this with you (I will usually invite you to contribute to the cost of what we use). If you have particular food or drink essentials or absolute detestations, please let me know. We usually have egg & bacon or cereal/porridge or toast type breakfasts, ham & cheese sandwich and/or soup type lunches, and supper usually includes chops, steaks, pasta, tinned curry, cassoulet or something similar and usually some sort of starter and pud if we are not going ashore. There will also be coffee (proper & instant), tea & chocolate, fruit juice and fresh fruit and plenty of Mars Bars, Coke etc available.

Links: Lunching down below - Gin & tonic time - Dining on deck


There is a CD player which an Ipod can be plugged into so feel free to bring some CDs or an Ipod so there is some music that you like on board. (Not that I promise to let you play it of course!)

I have enough Crewsaver-type inflatable lifejackets for up to 7 people (2 Hammar and 5 tug to inflate). Four of these have webbing type lifelines that can be attached and there are several old-fashioned harnesses with lifelines as well.

Accuweather have a site which tends to give a reasonable forecast ( Type Oban or Largs into the box to get a 15 day forecast (which obviously gets less accurate the further into the future it tries to predict).

For more immediate forecasts, the Met Office Inshore Waters Forecast is pretty reliable: ( Select area Mull of Kintyre to Ardnamurchan.

and the BBC offers Atlantic Synoptic Charts for the next five days (

updated July 2010

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