Surrounded on all sides by water
Tiree has a proud association with the sea.
In 1894 Ada Goodrich Freer visited the Isle of Tiree.
In the EP Dutton Publication ‘Outer Isles’ she wrote,
There is a saying among the people that
“if Tyree does not grow trees,
it grows ministers and deep sea captains.”
Today the Tiree Maritime Trust seeks to build on that tradition.
Its stated aims are as follows:
“(1) To advance education, training and pass on skills
in traditional boat building and boat maintenance,
(2) To encourage the preservation
of the traditional wooden working boats of Tiree
and the maritime heritage that surrounds them,
(3) To encourage local interest in the maritime heritage of Tiree
as a recreational activity in the interest of social welfare”
Each year, weather permitting they celebrate with a regatta.
This year, 2018, as last year, it was held in Gott Bay.
This new venue has many advantages.
Not least is ease of parking.
Parking was certainly required for the many attending the event.
It proved popular for residents and visitors to the island.
There were some beach based activities going on.
But most of the action was out in the bay.
Due to other demands on our time we were not able to stay all afternoon.
But we were there to see the first winning team to come ashore.
Sadly we missed the presentation of the Young Sailor Cup.
Congratulations to Ruth and Emily.
As if to give a backdrop to the regatta two yachts were moored in the bay.
One of them was the 32 metre (104 foot) luxury yacht Kentra.
With its new moorings Gott Bay is increasing in popularity.
On shore the St Ayles Skiff ‘An Gille-Brìghde’ was a real attraction.
For those who do not have the Gaelic it means ‘The Oyster Catcher’.
And the colours of this popular Tiree bird are reflected in the paintwork.
Since February 2018 work on the skiff has been relentless.
No wonder some of the boat building team were on hand.
It has been a real team project involving many.
They have so much to be proud of.
The regatta was the first public outing for the skiff.
It had to be carefully loaded onto a boat trailer.
The paintwork could not be damaged.
Modelling the gear
The skiff had been hoovered and prepared for its outing.
The paintwork shone and the varnish gleamed.
The skiff oozes skill and craftsmanship.
To quote the team leader
‘A skiff is for life, not just for regattas.
We now have to fit the thole pins, bilge drain
and bow fixing, and make four footrests.’
Experts on hand to inform, explain and recruit.
He ends his latest skiff talk with this remark.
An Gille Brìghde had been a star: “a lovely boat”.
Alasdair, as his fans know, always nails it.
One remark heard often came in the form of a question.
“With all that has been learnt in this build will there be a second skiff?”
Enquiries to …..
This is Life on Tiree