What is so special about West of Scotland?
What is Penguin Cruising?
We always charter several yachts at the same time and make a point of sailing within sight of each other, often sailing in very close company. It is more fun that way – you can also get some excellent pictures! And most important of all is the safety factor. If a radio goes, a tiller breaks, a halyard parts or an engine won’t start, there is someone there to help. And when sailing in company, we all learn from each other.
Flotilla sailing produces some great pictures!
The King Penguin
Put simply, it is one of the most magnificent cruising areas in the world. It is relatively close to home and easy to get to. It is also intrinsically safe: there is always an alternative destination when the weather misbehaves. Why is Easter our traditional sailing time? The days can be cold, the winds can be strong – but the sailing is cheap and the anchorages are plentiful, sheltered and empty. Once you’ve experienced a Scottish Easter sail you will understand our love affair!
Flying down the Sound
The Club's biggest asset is enthusiasm. After 30+ years of operation, this is closely followed by vast experience. We have around 400 on our mailing list. All our cruises use bareboat charter yachts.
We treat these vessels with respect but we do not molly- coddle them. Our aim is to go cruising, not skulk in har- bour whenever white horses start to appear.
Penguin Cruising is a group of sailing and cruising enthusiasts. We started in 1970, sailing on the West Coast of Scotland in small flotillas – long before either of these became fashionable.
The Penguin Cruising Club is a company limited by guarantee and non-profit-making. Assets are minimal and surpluses are applied
for the benefit of members.
What is the aim of Penguin Cruising?
Our aim is to go coastal cruising as economically as possible and, by our own enthusiasm, to introduce as many newcomers as possible to the joys of cruis- ing under sail.
A Scottish April morning: not all gales and snow
More wind: reduced sail – still good sailing in convoy
All yachts are skippered by some- one of considerable experience, but even an experienced skipper might not be offered the com- mand for their first Penguin exp- erience. Every skipper has an ap- pointed mate – deemed to be "competent to bring the yacht and crew safely to port in bad weather should the skipper be incapacitated".
A Greek idyll: Southern Ionian (1999)
The Emperor Penguin
Every flotilla has a "commodore" who, in consultation with the skip- pers, makes the final decision about destinations and other plans. Commodores all have many years of Penguin and other experience, sailing in flotillas in Scotland and elsewhere.
A perfect mooring: Norfolk Broads (2002)
Selecting our cruising ground
St Kilda (2003) – what a place!
We choose to go cruising in areas where there are plenty of anchorages, many of them uninhab- ited, in a relatively small area. We can start head- ing for a destination, change our minds and course twice during the
Finland (2003) morning to take advan-
tage of (or to minimise the ill effects of) changing weather conditions, and end up safe and snug at anchor in the evening. Lively conditions then become an exhilarating experience rather than a cold, wet slog and memorable for the wrong reasons.
Where do Penguins sail?
Undoubtedly our favourite cruis- ing ground is the West Coast of Scotland. However, other ven- ues cruised to date include Isles of Scilly, SE & SW Ireland, Pem- brokeshire, Greece (Saronic Gulf and Southern Ionian), Tur- key (Fethiye), W France, Mal- lorca, Croatia, Norfolk Broads, Finland, Maine USA, Lofoten Is- lands, Vancouver, Oslofjord, and the British Virgin Islands. Plans for 2008 include Brittany and the Faeroe Islands.
Fingal's Cave, Staffa – impressive