4 Lads, 1 Boat, Desination Unknown

July 09, 2017

Three mates (Chris, Ciaran and John) wanted to experience life at sea so booked a three day private charter, and what an awesome three days it turned out to be.

So where will we go?

That's a great question and one that's not asked enough. It gave us the freedom to let the weather decide. Of course, the weather only took us to on of the best island's one Scotland's west coast - Gigha. We'd collectively kept an eye on the weather, so when we all teamed up on the Friday morning, we had a fair idea of the plan. Most importantly, it allowed us to secure our reservation at the simply fantastic Boathouse Restaurant (as featured in the Michelin Guide). 

The typical Gigha welcome

With our reservation at 7:30pm, we had time to explore the island. We stopped off with Henry for some coffee, a walk around the gallery and craft shop before some pre-dinner refreshments at the Gigha Hotel bar. We didn't gatecrash the wedding but we did play some really bad darts.

I wont do the injustice of trying to offer a critique of the meal we had at The Boathouse. This place just has to be experienced. The new owners have maintained the incredible food standards but have added a very warm welcome to the experience. Three courses polished off with Irish Coffees and then one or two (honest) Peronis, and no end of stories and laughter, left us all in fine fettle. One of those rare evenings where you can sit outside enjoying the craic until 11:00pm.

Left a bit...

Again, playing ball with the weather, we sailed for Rathlin. John had helmed a bit on the first day. A sterling job he had done, though there did seem to be a tendency for him to keep steering to starboard, like we'd maybe duke off to Campbeltown at any point. Of course, his mates capitalised on this and indeed, day 2 was no different, but John defied their comments and steered us beautifully down Rathlin Island's east coast. I started to feel bad every time I said "left a bit". John came up trumps though. I knew he'd not let me down.

Safely tied up on the pontoon, again the sun shone. The island was buzzing with people and families were on the beach and swimming in the water. Blue skies, warm sunshine, cold beers and some music in the back ground; what more do you need?

After a walk ashore and a welcome from the locals, it was time to dine. Fillet steaks from McKay's in Ballycastle and our vegetables from Gallagher's (with skipper's secret salad) with an Australian Shiraz, dinner was at 7:30pm. McCuaigs Bar was the post dinner venue with live session music the whole night through. The musicians were amazing.

Our one hour sail on day three back to Ballycastle was pretty straight forward. Experience had, memories made, and a thirst for more. It's only the beginning for these guys.