:-) It was brilliant thanks a lot for the good service and the warm welcome.
Hope we can manage to come back!
Mit besten Grüssen
Boot-Akademie bei FACEBOOK
My husband (Paul) myself and 15 year old son spent the last week of August on a Westerly Merlin ‘Merlin’s Magic’, chartered from Ness and Moray Yacht Charters.
It was quite a change for us as we had just sold our motor cruiser and my husband wanted to change to a sail boat. We had very limited experience and my husband and son had started dinghy sailing in April this year. We wanted to try sailing proper and my husband hoped he could persuade me that sailing was the way to go!
I was dubious about sailing and thought it would just be motor boating with added hard work!!
I needn’t have worried as we had a really enjoyable week. Myself and Harry both enjoyed sailing more than we expected. Paul was right and it really is something when the engine is switched off and you are being pulled along by the sails.
We all marvelled at the beautiful scenery along the Caledonian Canal. It was breathtaking …. so peaceful …… lapping water ….. the odd ducks quacking and the occasional display overhead by the RAF jets. We were delighted on the one afternoon as a huge green RAF plane flew very low overhead and then did a wing wave as he went through the hills. Quite spectacular. My son informed us it was a Hercules. We did look our for Nessie but she didn’t show!
Merlin’s Magic is in lovely condition and had everything we needed. Before we arrived I sent lots of emails asking endless questions and Jim always answered and gave plenty of advice, he and his wife were very pleasant people to meet. The sailing all went well and we have come home and are now searching for a sailing boat.
When we are more experienced I would like to come back and venture out onto the Moray Firth in the hope of sailing with the dolphins!! - Maybe next year!
Paul, Kathryn and Harry Davies, Solihull, West Midlands
Date: 4-11 September.
COMMENTS : An excellent week! The boat was extremely well equipped for the passage.... the berths were comfortable and the boat clean.
Everything needed to live aboard was there.The sails/sail handling equipment was equally up to standard so that we were able to enjoy many hours under full sail.
I would have no hesitation in sailing again on Merlins Magic--a great little boat
Charter Date : 9 August
Pre-booking arrangements were very easy and handover/takeover straightforward.
Merlins Magic is a comfortable and very well equipped boat with all that is required for sailing and from a domestic point of view.
We had a terrific trip, greatly enjoyed and hope to repeat!
Paddy and Sarah Jeffries, www.timefortravel.co.uk
...fact of the matter is we much enjoyed the use of what is clearly a well maintained craft with an excellent inventory .. -- thank you!
Christopher Haslam, March
Many thanks again for the time aboard Merlin's Magic. We found her to be well equipped and set up, as well as very comfortable - everything we could have wanted. I trust that you found her to be clean, tidy and as you hoped.
I should also share some useful lessons learnt:
When provisions are being brought aboard down the ladder at Avoch, make sure that the crew have checked the load carrying capacity of the carrier bag handles for the weight of the contents.
Failure to observe lesson 1 above, can result in the bag contents dropping into the water between the boat and the wall.
It is likely to be the shortest male crew member, who is always the 'have a go hero' and who has the major interest in the bag contents that will straddle the gap between the ladder and the boat (one foot on each and one hand on the ladder), and try to retrieve the bag contents from the water, while another crew member tries to limit the width of the gap between the boat and the wall with a boat hook.
It is difficult to pick up floating provisions with one hand, while being in the position described in lesson 3 above.
The helpful suggestion to attach the main halyard to the have a go hero's belt and lower him Mission Impossible style, will not be received as being a helpful suggestion and has the potential to illicit a response that should not be heard by ladies, children or churchgoers.
Chocolate bars in apparently sealed wrappers are not watertight.
Four bottles of San Miguel float in a carrier bag.
A box of 12 cans Budweiser floats.
A box of 4 cans of Stella floats.
Cakes float but are again not watertight even though apparently sealed.
Eggs x6 also float, though have the ability to drift away, until presumed lost at sea.
It is almost impossible to use two oars like giant chopsticks to retrieve floating provisions, regardless of how desperate the crew member concerned is to retrieve them.
All crew members have a part to play in the rescue operation, whether straddling / retrieving, hooking the ladder, supervising, making helpful suggestions, making unhelpful suggestions, or photographing the incident.
It is almost impossible for the crew to fulfill their roles in the rescue operation while they are laughing uncontrollably until their sides hurt.
The inevitable does not always happen - floating provisons (with the exception of eggs) can be recovered in the manner described in lesson 3 above, without the have a go hero falling in!
(We were actually all sober, when this happened!)
Steve Vogel, May 2013
I hope to explore southern coast of Moray Firth next year after climate change made it a bit warmer
It was enjoyable to sail with you and I really appreciate that you have been available to sail with us on such short notice. I like Merlin's Magic and the boat has plenty of accommodation.
The yacht was well equipped with more tools and spare parts than expected. The yacht does not feel like a typical charter boat but more like a boat borrowed from a friend. I would have wanted to venture further afield........
Markus, May 2013
Charter date 04/08/14
The two boats were clean and tidy and in good order. James gave a sensible no-nonsense briefing and we were away as planned.
...good fun had by all!
Hugh Gregory, plus 11 others
Thanks for the refund of the fulll Security Retainer!
We had a lovely time on board the Merlin's Magic.
Next time I'll take her to the sea on the East Coast of Scotland.