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You & Sea is a marine training centre based on the Gareloch, on the west coast of Scotland. The scenery and the boating activity is arguably unsurpassed anywhere in the world.
Conditions: Loch Long, the Holy Loch and the upper reaches of the River Clyde are all within easy reach, with Bute, Arran, the Cumbraes, the Kyles of Bute and Loch Fyne not much further afield. Such a wide choice of training grounds allows every level of water-based course to be run all year round, no matter what the weather conditions. On our doorstep we have everything from very sheltered waters for beginners, to more challenging conditions for those wishing to raise their boat handling skills to a higher level.
Challenges: The technical challenges of handling a boat in these waters can be made as straightforward or as challenging as required. A wide variety of buoys and fixed navigation lights offer plenty of opportunities to practise using collision regulations in real situations. The wreck of the Sugar Boat is visible on the sandbank opposite Greenock at all states of the tide and presents a graphic warning of what can go wrong!
Traffic: We are located in one of the largest areas of sheltered deep water in Britain and a very busy area for marine traffic. Large cruise liners sail into Greenock almost daily in the summer months. Ferries run several times a day, to and from Kilcreggan, Gourock, Dunoon, Hunter’s Quay, Wemyss Bay and Rothesay. Tugs, tankers and container ships are constantly coming and going. Leisure craft, sail and power abound and PS Waverley, the last seagoing-passenger-carrying paddle steamer in the world, passes by several times a week in the summer. With HM Naval Base at Faslane just a few miles away at the top of the Gareloch, submarines are a regular sight, and naval vessels such as warships, minesweepers, destroyers and even aircraft carriers regularly motor past.
Nature: As you might expect, there is an abundance of wildlife – seals, porpoises, eider ducks with their very distinctive call, gannets, cormorants, terns and a range of other sea birds are all regular visitors – along with the occasional basking shark!
There is always plenty of activity in this magnificent setting, whether you are out for an enjoyable day on the water, focusing on improving your skills or completing a qualification.