Yachtmaster Ocean

Qualifying Passage

Ocean voyage from Iceland to

the Hebrides

 

September 04 - 17, 2017

Starts in Reykjavik, Iceland

Ends in Stornoway, Hebrides

£400 deposit secures berth

 

£1,790 crew

£1,940 watch leader

(must join 24 hours early)

 

Sail from the capital of Iceland to Stornoway

 

One of our most popular expeditions, starting in the wonderful capital of Iceland. Followed by 600nm of open ocean sailing before pulling in to the wild and beautiful Hebrides.

Expedition Rating

Intrepid rating

Prepare for limited resources & few creature comforts

Instruction Intensity

Medium tuition intensity

Lessons everyday but plenty of time to relax and enjoy.

Expedition Highlights

 

Sailing expedition and holiday from Iceland to the Hebrides
  • Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland with its wonderful restaurants, bars and museums.... and hot springs!

 

  • 600nm of open ocean sailing on this classic expedition route.

 

  • Enjoy the rhythm of life at sea. Practice open water  navigation and try your hand at the sextant

 

  • Possibility of sailing next to whales and dolphins

 

  • If weather allows, cruise and explore the majestic Hebridean coastline when we arrive in Scottish waters

 

  • Enjoy the charm and hospitality of the Hebrides in their capital Stornoway
Sail | Train | Explore logo
More about the route
Our Ethos
Crew Info

Initial skills and drill in Reykjavik bay

Once the crew have all met up in Reykjavik, we will head out in to the bay and spend a day gently building up our skills and experience. This enables us as individuals to polish up or learn new sailing and navigation skills but also to come together as a team. The watch leaders will also need to be doing their reading and research in order to plan our route south to the Hebrides.

 

Anchor and explore in deserted bays as we await a weather window

We will be looking for a favourable weather window that lasts about 4-5 days, enabling us to get to the Hebrides with a fair wind. Hummingbird can take any conditions, but we prefer a fast, fun reach as we charge through the ocean waves! As we wait for our window, there are plenty of little coves and bays we can explore and anchor up in, giving us a real feel of the south west coast of Iceland.

 

Heading out into the open ocean

Before we know it, it will be time to leave Iceland behind and head out into the Atlantic ocean, headed south. As the Icelandic cliffs disappear over the horizon, we will suddenly be all alone. It is a magical time, when the sun and moon set the timescales and we settle into watches. Some will be helming while others navigate. The galley will be busy as the chef of the day cooks up a great meal and if the fishermen have done their job, we may even eat fresh fish. As the sun sets and rises, we will make a good 150nm a day, hopefully more, with Hummingbird in her element.

 

Be ready for the challenges - and rewards -  of ocean sailing

Ocean passages are superb adventure sailing holidays if you are an ambitious sailor, traveller or you just have a huge desire to get out on the open ocean. For some crew, it's all about the challenge of sailing a powerful yacht from one country to another, with no land in sight for days on end. For others it may be the navigational challenge, the beauty of the wildlife you will see or even just the breathtaking solitude that the ocean provides. Even though no experience is required, you should be confident that you'll enjoy sailing for a prolonged period of time. These passages mean you will be at sea for 4-5 days at a time. You will be part of a watch system helping sail the ship day and night and the yacht never stops moving (unless we're becalmed!) Even simple tasks like cooking a meal or getting in to your bunk require that bit more determination and there's no doubt that you're going to be tired.

 

Making landfall and exploring the Hebrides

Suddenly the familiar cry of 'Land Ahoy' will ring out and the welcoming sight of the isle of Harris will come ever closer. The speed of our crossing dictates the itinerary form here, but all going we we should have a few days to cruise and explore this beautiful coastline.  Then it's time to head in to Stornoway, for a farewell meal and night out with new found friends and start planning the next expedition!

Our Ethos
Crew size On non ocean passages, the maximum number of crew is 8. This gives an instructor - crew ration of 4:1 which is ideal. It also means you will have plenty of time on the helm, navigating and improving your sail trim. For ocean passages, we increase the crew size to 9 which makes the watch system far more comfortable and means you can get better rest. Men and women Our expeditions are usually pretty evenly split between men and women with, if anything, a slight bias toward women. Of course, some expeditions can vary from this balance, but it is unusual. It would be very unlikely indeed that you were the only man or the woman amongst the crew.
Sailing background Our most common crew profile would be - "I've sailed a bit in the past and got my Day Skipper, but I'm very rusty". Everyone thinks they're unique in that but they're not! That said, we also get complete novices on most expeditions along with one or two more experienced crew members. the point is - don't worry. If you're new to sailing, we'll work with you from the first steps and if you're much more experienced, we can help you develop some advanced concepts and techniques. Couples or singles The vast majority of our crew come alone, although couples or groups are absolutely welcome. Being an ex race boat, the accommodation is open plan and we cannot give individual cabins.
Age Anyone joining us must be 18 years or over, but there is no upper age limit. Indeed, we've had a 75 year old novice sail with us up into the Arctic and he coped superbly. There's a full range of ages on board with the majority being between 30 - 60. We find age immaterial on board as it's a mindset that draws people on to these expeditions and you will be with some fun and inspiring fellow crew. Rubicon 3 crew Every expedition has a professional skipper and mate on board. Hugely experienced and with top level skills, you could not be in safer hands. Beyond that, we only select crew who show real patience, humour and care. It's a supremely professional environment and one that you will be able to gauge future sailing experiences against.
Earning RYA qualifications Our expeditions incorporate a great deal of training and as such we are happy to award RYA Competent Crew to all crew who achieve the required standard. If you wish to earn other qualifications please contact us.
Holiday sailing routes
  • Connecting Travel & Flights

    Join the boat in Reykjavik, Iceland

    Disembark in Stornoway, Hebrides

    Join the boat in Reykjavik on August 19 2017 between 1200hrs & 2000hrs. If you cannot arrive before 2000hrs please let us know in advance.

    The international airport is called Keflavik

    Keflavik airport is a 40 minute bus ride from the harbour

    Disembark in Stornoway on September 17 2017 at 1200 hrs.

    The airport has flights to Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh

    The airport is a 2nm taxi ride from the harbour

    Crew
    Travel
    Connecting travel
    Travel
    Connecting travel
  • Medical check list

    Before booking, you need to be sure that you are medically fit to head to sea. The week before embarkation you will be asked to complete the following form online. If you are in any way unsure as to your fitness to sail, you should consult a doctor. We are very happy to accommodate a wide range of medical issues on board but reserve the right to insist on a doctor's certificate if we are at all concerned about your fitness to sail.

     

    Health check

    in the last two years, have you received or been referred for any treatment surgery, investigations or follow-ups at any hospital, surgery or clinic for any of the following medical conditions:

    • asthma requiring inpatient treatment
    • bronchitis or any other lung or respiratory condition
    • cancer or any growth or form of malignancy
    • diabetes mellitus or any blood sugar disorders
    • kidney or bladder disorder
    • have you been or are you being treated for any mental psychological or nervous problems
    • any other medical condition that is ongoing or for which you have received inpatient treatment
    • have you ever had cardiovascular problems or other heart conditions hypertension or any cerebrovascular problems
    • have you ever been diagnosed with a terminal condition
    • do you have any allergies or are you allergic to any medication
    • do you have or have you ever had an alcohol or drug addiction
    • do you have any other conditions or have you had any medical treatment or operations which you feel may hinder your ability to live and work on an ocean-going yacht
    • do you have any allergies or intolerances that will affect what you will be able to eat onboard

     

    if you have answered yes to any of the questions above please provide further details

     

  • Trip insurance

    Ensuring adequate cover

    Most travel insurance already has a provision for yachting up to 12nm offshore. On an expedition rated ‘Explore’ you are very unlikely to need coverage that extends further offshore than this. For expeditions rated ‘Adventure’ or ‘Intrepid’ you may need some extra coverage as you could be in more challenging areas and further offshore. You should check with your insurance provider if you are at all unsure. We are always happy to provide you with details about your expedition but unfortunately Rubicon 3 cannot advise you on whether you have the correct insurance.

     

    We do not recommend any provider but for your convenience have worked with Travel & General to ensure there is appropriate insurance cover available for the expeditions. There is a link to the specific insurance on below.  If you are a non-UK citizen, Travel & General may not cover you. We have found that IMG are happy to cover US citizens and again there is a link on the trip page to their insurance.

     

    The coverage available to US citizens often seems to vary hugely from that available to EU citizens and for that reason we no longer specify minimum requirements. However, bear in mind that medical costs abroad can be significant, especially if emergency medical repatriation is required. If possible, your policy should cover you for at least £2,000,000 in repatriation fees and associated expenses. Unfortunately, this appears to be all but impossible with US policies, with the figure often only reaching $50,000 USD. We accept that this may be the best you can get. Your insurance requirements are covered in section 7 of the Terms & Conditions.

     

    The EHIC card

    If you are an EU citizen you should ensure you have your EHIC card with you. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can be used to cover any necessary medical treatment due to either an accident or illness within the European Economic Area (EEA). The EHIC entitles the holder to state-provided medical treatment within the country they are visiting and the service provided will be the same as received by a person covered by the country’s ‘insured’ medical scheme.

     

  • Kit you need to bring

    On-board, we provide top quality foul weather kit and life-jackets. You will need to bring the following kit:

     

    Sleeping bag

    We recommend a good 3 seasons bag that can open up fully. A silk liner can really help keep your bag clean and comfortable.

     

    Dry bags

    About 4 dry bags, ranging in size from 5 to 20 litres. These will keep your kit dry, electronics safe and such like. Maybe get ones with windows so you can see what’s inside. Pack a little silica gel pouch in each one to really keep things dry. If you don't have dry bags, plastic shopping bags are decent alternative!

     

    Media

    I-pod, camera, kindle etc. Put them in a waterproof cases wherever possible. Writing materials, pens etc. Each bunk has a USB charging point, so bring a lead.

     

    Head torch

    It has to have a red filter, but other than that, don’t go for anything fancy or expensive.

     

    Hat

    We like ones that are a bit waterproof and that really come down over the ears. A wide brimmed sun hat can also be a great second hat.

     

    Gloves

    Have a thin woolly pair and a nice thick pair for night helming and such like. Bring more than one set, because they’ll get wet and then they’re useless! We really don’t rate most expensive sailing or skiing gloves, not least because their liners tend to pull out when wet making the glove impossible to get back on. Mittens really are ideal.

     

    Base Layers

    There really is no need to buy expensive or technical base layers. If you are on one of our colder expeditions, some woolly long-johns and a couple of long sleeved base layer tops will be your best friends.

     

    Underwear and socks

    Bring enough that you can wear a fresh set every day for up to a week. Why not?

     

    Light weight long sleeve top

    For hot sunny days and sunburn issues

     

    1 pair long trousers for day to say sailing

    There really is nothing to beat fleece-lined snowboarding trousers. Warm, weather proof and cheap. Why pay hundreds more for inferior kit?

     

    Mid layers

    These are what will keep you warm, so bring plenty. Thick fleece jackets and woolly jumpers are great. Duvet jackets are also very good, though you have to keep them dry.

     

    Mid weight jacket

    Something to wear as an outer layer that is windproof and at least shower proof. If it gets really wet, then you swap it out for our foulies!

     

    Sailing boots

    You can spend a fortune but you really don’t need to, especially if you’re just joining us for one or two legs. We’ve sailed in £30 rubber sailing boots and they are absolutely fine (and dry). We’ve also sailed in £200 ocean sailing boots and been wet. If anything, go for rubber sailing boots to start. I fyou think you’ll sail regularly the Musto HPX Ocean boots are great as are the Dubarry Ocean boots.

     

    Other footwear

    Flip flops are great once we’re ashore and a pair of cross-trainers or light hiking boots can also be invaluable for exploring ashore in muddier areas.

     

    Sun glasses

    They should be polarised and have a safety strap

     

    Toiletries

    Tooth brush and toothpaste; small bottle of shower gel; deodorant; SPF 15+ Sun cream (the sea reflects the sun and you will burn); towel (it doesn’t need to be a travel towel). Ear plugs can be very valuable.

     

    Swimming gear and goggles

     

    A knife / pliers combination

    Not essential but very nice to have.

     

    Money

    An internationally recognised credit or charge card and some local currency for when you first arrive.

     

    Some shore clothes

    Please...

     

    What we provide

    Top quality foul weather kit.

    Life-jackets (please note, you are not allowed to use your own life-jacket on board, so please do not bring one)

    A pillow for your bunk

     

    Please  pack your kit in a soft bag than can be folded away. Hard bottomed cases are very difficult to deal with on board.

  • A day in the life....

    0800 hrs

    Breakfast time. One day it may be bacon and eggs, another day toast, cereal and fruit

     

    0900 hrs

    The boat is ready to go, the engine checks are done and all the lines are rigged. Our navigator for the day has planned our route and it's time to slip lines

     

    1100 hrs

    Sailing along under full main and yankee one, taking a bearing on the lighthouse as the snow capped fjords of Norway or maybe the bustling, sweltering cities of north Africa glide by. It's a time for practising navigation, helming and just enjoying the sensation of sailing this fast, powerful yacht.

     

    1230 hrs

    The crew may have used to the sextant to take a sun sight at noon to help fix our position. The chef for the day will have made a hearty chicken salad, maybe with some fresh bread to go along with it and we'll usually eat up on deck, either underway or we may anchor is a lovely bay.

     

    1400 hrs

    After lunch is always a good time to have a more formal lesson. It could be working on weather routing, sail trim or getting everyone to helm a man overboard exercise under sail. We shape the training to the needs of the day, but with everyone assured of big gains in seamanship during the expedition.

     

    1600 hrs

    This is always a good time to be looking to stop for the day, and almost every day we will stop somewhere for the night, either at anchor or in a port. On the longer range expeditions there will be more opportunity for sailing through the night, possibly for consecutive days.

     

    1700 hrs

    There's a often a cold beer to be found as we relax after another day's sailing. There's the sea kayak to explore the local coast, a bike to cycle around town and since we're always in a new place, plenty to explore.

     

    1900 hrs

    We'll always have a good, hot dinner and we pride ourselves at Rubicon 3 on the quality of our food. No pasta and sauce here; you're more likely to be eating roast lamb or freshly caught fish, always with lots of fresh veg to go with it.

     

    2100 hrs

    While some people may be ashore having a drink or taking a shower, others can settle down in the saloon to watch one of the 50 or so movies that we carry on board. It's a chance for a gin and tonic, a chat and some serious relaxation with new found friends.

     

  • Terms & Conditions

    It's important that you've read the terms and conditions before you make your booking. you can download a copy here.

    Download
  • Trip notes

    The trip notes give you detailed information about what to expect on board, passport and visa requirements and such like. It is important that you have read them before booking.

    Download

Do have a look at our Facebook page. We post as often as we can from each expedition. It's the best way to see where we go, who goes on these expeditions and what daily life is like. The photos page in particular will give you a great feel for it all!

As featured in ...
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