Taster Sessions on Saturday – what to expect

Keel Boat rides – you are taken out to  one of the boats (Saorsa or Banshee) by Fiona in our smaller rib power boat. You transfer from the rib to the keel boat out in the water. Experienced sailors answer your questions about sailing while you move along just by the power of the wind in the sails. With any luck you will see some of the local wildlife.

Dinghy ride in our Bahia laser dinghy with Dave at the helm. The Bahia can take 3/4 people and it will give you an idea of what it is like to sail in a smaller boat. You will probably get onto this boat at the quay.

Sea kayak taster in one of the club boats in the relatively sheltered waters of the bay by the quay. You can try your hand at paddling and manoeuvring the kayak assisted by experienced coaches. You will need to be at least 10 years old to try one of our kayaks and wearing a pair of shoes you don’t mind getting wet is essential!

Rib rides in our bigger rib with Lesley is great fun and very popular. Keep your eyes open for the seabirds round about and if you are very lucky porpoises might make an appearance.

All above will be subject to change depending on weather conditions on Saturday. Bookings are taken on the day and the rides are usually booked up pretty quickly . There’s plenty to do while you are waiting at the Club or in the Memorial Hall next door – see previous posts.

If you get bitten by the water sports bug then come along to our training registration night Wednesday 15th May 7.00pm in the Clubhouse.


Are you getting excited? We are!

Weather: Little or no rain forecast at the moment and according to the Met office some sunshine will appear. We will be keeping an eye on the wind and it may be a tad on the chilly side.

So what to wear? So the advice is wrap up warm with a waterproof top on because it is always colder on the water. Bring a change of clothes with you – we are not planning on a dook but you could get wet. We have changing rooms and toilets in the Clubhouse. All other equipment provided, but if you do have your own buoyancy aid then that would be helpful if you can bring that with you. Coast Coffee and Choumakes Cakes will keep you fed and watered. We will have an ice cream van too – it’s never too cold for an ice cream is it?

Olly’s Bothy will have a fun stall with prizes, you can get your life jacket checked by the RLNI and there may be other things on the day. Don’t forget the Memorial Hall next door will be having their table top sale at the same time so there will be plenty to do. Please note that all children must be accompanied by a responsible adult if they wish to participate in any taster sessions. Further updates on taster sessions during the week so keep in touch.


Really looking forward to this! We’ve been a bit spoiled with the weather to date so it’s unfortunate it looks like we might see some light rain at points this weekend, but I’m sure it will still be most excellent fun nonetheless.

Attendance: I’ve had confirmation so far that 6 boats are planning to come. No requests for berths from those without boats so far. Contact details if you fancy joining this cruise and would like a berth are tscsoccruisesec@yahoo.com.

Plan finalisation: The final plan doesn’t really differ from the draft plan, except that the plan is to have a BBQ on the beach if possible on Saturday 27th after those who want to cycle come back from cycling. Sigmagic will bring firewood and a BBQ and possibly a tent or two in case there’s some showers. People should bring their own BBQ food. Perhaps bring something to cook onboard in the event the weather is really wet. We will either find a pub or descend on someone’s boat for drinks afterwards (or both).

For this cruise unfortunately it is difficult to book something more permanent for the Saturday night in case the wind determines we have to go elsewhere.

Weather is looking fairly good so far although it is changeable so will have to watch it. It is currently forecast to be NW, which is ideal for Millport. Light breeze on Friday evening (8 knots gusting 15), medium breeze Saturday (max 15 knots gusting max 24/27), overnight Saturday medium 11 knots gusting 20 from NW) light breeze Sunday (8 knots gusting 17). Unfortunately Saturday is forecast for a little rain, so the BBQ may have to be revisited. However we shall see!


Start of Season Cruise Sat 27th/ Sun 28th April (and Friday evening 26th) – rough plan!

A rough plan is forming!

Although the plan is not finalised, we thought we’d let you know of our rough plan. Hopefully this allows you to plan in advance and to ask questions, make suggestions etc.

The main plan is to go to Millport, Great Cumbrae for the start of season cruise on Saturday 27th/ Sunday 28 April 2019.

Generally this means leaving Toward area at approximately 10/11am on Saturday 27th April 2019, and cruising in company to Millport where there are 26 moorings laid. (I have confirmed with Cumbrae Community Development Company that these were lifted over winter 2018/2019 and are back in the water fully checked so they are ready for use.) Price is £10 per boat for an overnight stay, payable at an honesty box.

Additionally, it would be nice to leave on the Friday night, just to get away! We were thinking somewhere close such as Port Bannatyne for the Friday night. However, appreciate Friday night is difficult for some, so the above is the main plan and if some make it on the Friday night too, great! Saturday stragglers (boats and people) can be picked up off Toward Saturday morning.

Social at Millport on Saturday 27th April 2019 will be organised in due course.

Thoughts are to do a bike trip around the island for those able (with everyone hiring bikes), with the obligatory ice cream on the way.

Sunday, likely lazy start, followed by leisurely cruise back to Toward.

As you’ll know, Millport can be a little exposed to the SW/S, which is unfortunately the prevailing wind. We will have a backup plan for a more sheltered and protected location closer to Toward if it is very windy or if the sea state is rough. Clearly the weather may be so bad that we have to cancel and reorganise, but we hope that won’t be the case.

Those without boats who would like to participate and haven’t already got a place on a boat, please email me on tcsoccruisesec.yahoo.co.uk and I’ll see if I can pair you up with a boat. Beginners are welcome.

Likewise Skippers, please let me know if:

  • you intend to go,
  • you need crew, or
  • you don’t need crew, but could nonetheless offer berths to extra people.

Even experienced kayakers might wish to join by kayak, so let me know if a berth only is required.

Will follow up with more concrete plans, details and guidance. As usual sail planning, safety and decision whether to go or not is each person and skippers responsibility. If anyone wants copies of maps or cruising guide details, or would like a bit more support/closer company on the way down to Millport if it’s a new boat or something, please contact me at above email.

For guests who are not members, but would like to join the cruise, please become an Associate Member for the purpose of this cruise (£10). Please see the membership page of this website for details. However it would be worth considering full membership given it is only £46 per person and there will be at least 4 cruises organised in a year. We hope to do evening cruises/ floatabouts this year too, plus potentially a longer cruise further up the West Coast. There will also be lots of other club events to benefit from.


Talk by Andrew Morton on 4 April 2019 7.15pm – please join us!

This is a talk which will definitely be of interest to TSC kayakers and sailors alike.

Andrew learned to sail, row, kayak and handle motor boats as a boy on Loch Lomond and the Clyde in the 1960s. He owns a Finnmaster 76CA motorboat but his prime love is kayak racing, something he has done for 50 years. He has seven British Master’s gold medals, and six World Master’s medals, including two golds, to his name. He was World Champion for the over-70s in 2016.

He’ll be jetting back from Brazil, where he’s been teaching Incident Investigation as part of a series of courses delivered in Birmingham, Rio, Aberdeen and Irvine, for Kelvin TOP-SET, especially to deliver this talk to TSC!

His talk will cover cruising the West Coast of Scotland and the Scilly Isles, kayaking and fitness and will be accompanied by photos and slides.

We hope you can join us!

Six Nations Rugby on a big screen at TSC

Feeling the winter chill? Kirstie McDonald our new social secretary is off to a flying start. She has arranged to show the Six Nations rugby matches in the Clubhouse on the following dates –

2nd February – Scotland v Italy,  Ireland v England (13.00 – 22.00)
9th February – Scotland v Ireland,  Italy v Wales (13.00 – 22.00)
23rd February France v Scotland,  Wales v England (13.00 – 22.00)
16th March Italy v France, Wales v Ireland,  England v Scotland (13.00 – 22.00)

Even if you aren’t a big fan of rugby it’s a good chance to catch up with friends, share maintenance woes and plan for the season ahead. Bring the mini-me rugby fans -free entry refreshments available. Hopefully a few beers as well but that will be confirmed nearer the time. All supporters welcome and friendly banter encouraged!!
Email sent out gives contact details for Kirstie if you have any queries.

Community Open Day 2018

Club Open Day 2018Our open day is on Saturday 12th May 2018 and we are all very excited about it. It will run from 10.00am until 3.00pm with taster sessions in a dinghy, ribs, keel boats and sea kayaks. The timing of these taster sessions will be firmed up nearer the time and will be dependent on weather and tidal conditions.

The aim is to have a fun day but also to encourage people to take up water based sports. Our learner registration takes place on the 16th May just after the open day –  7.00pm for sailing and 7.30pm for sea kayaking. We’ve already had a lot of enquiries from people interested in learning, which is very encouraging.

This year our open day has a Viking theme – some of us will be in fancy dress, feel free to release your inner Viking on that day! We will have talks on Viking culture and will also have some award winning Asgard jewellery for sale.

Coast Coffee will be keeping us all fed and watered. There will be lots of other things going on onshore – Allsortz, HM Coast Guard, face painting, a Viking themed photobooth and other things we are hoping to confirm nearer the time.

The Memorial Hall has a table top sale on at the same time so there will be plenty to keep people entertained. It’s a fun day for all the family so please join us. Please note that due to health and safety guidelines we are unable to permit any jetty jumping during the taster sessions.

Taster sessions can be booked on the day on a first come first served basis.

Beach Clean 2018

It was a lovely sunny morning down at Toward with about 30 people joining us at the club to help with the beach clean and there was a feeling that spring was just around the corner. This year the beach clean covered a larger area from just beyond the primary school at Toward right along to the gated entrance to the Ardyne Estates. They were an enthusiastic and energetic bunch of pickers and I think they would have gone on further if it were not for the pangs of hunger that came after 2 hours of picking.

The amount of rubbish that was collected was staggering – we lost count of the number of bags of general rubbish but from the picture it must be around 30-40 with an assortment of tyres, lumps of iron, half of an old rubber dinghy and the odd bit of clothing including shoes and a pair of trousers. The beach clean was organised in partnership with The Grab Trust and as part of the trial we gathered 8 large clear plastic bags of rigid plastics from the beach clean. The majority of the plastics were plastic bottles and among the smaller the items were the ubiquitous cotton bud sticks, wipes and tampon applicators that people are still flushing down the loo and all that happens is they end up on our beaches or being digested by some of the sea animals.

We thought we would see less rubbish this year due to the easterly winds that have been blowing this winter and whilst there was less rubbish in some areas there was still a very disappointing amount of carelessly discarded items. After the clean we had a well- earned lunch of homemade soup and a roll followed by some cake. Toward Sailing Club would like to thank Inspiring Innellan for their help and support on the day, to the Grab Trust and Argyll and Bute Council for collecting all the rubbish for us on Monday morning and to all the volunteers who gave up their time on a Sunday and did such a marvellous job clearing the beaches.

During the clean we collected donations to the Cowal Nancy Glen Appeal fund and raised a total of £95.00