Sgoth Jubilee makes ripples in Loch Broom

Sailing Lochbroom in the Jubilee
Sailing Lochbroom in the Jubilee

The last of the original north Lewis line-fishing vessels, Jubilee (1935) has been involved in an ambitious series of events across the Minch.

A combined team of Lewis and Ullapool based crew led by Nessman James Morrison recently sailed Jubilee across the Minch and, with the support of Ullapool Harbour Trust, took part in the outreach programme linked to an exhibition, Travelling Light showing at an Talla Solais, Ullapool visual arts centre.

In one day alone, 22 guest sailors were taken out, including two groups from Ullapool High School; and groups of adult sailors also tacked and gybed the historic vessel all around upper Loch Broom in two further days of seagoing workshops.

Participants took part in drawing exercises and storytelling on board with Christine Morrison and Ian Stephen, who also contributed to the exhibition.

Now Falmadair, the North Lewis Maritime Society, hope to continue the cross-Minch co-operation with some more sail-training aboard the sgoth before a combined island and mainland crew sail the vessel back home.

Falmadair was founded in the late 1970s, when Jubilee – built by Iain Finlay Macleod, the man who swam ashore with the rope from the Iolaire – was restored by his son John Murdo Macleod.

It was fitting that this vessel was involved in a recent ‘recce’ for a new documentary film on the subject not long before departing for Ullapool.

The Maritime Society, who also look after the 18 footer Broad Bay, look forward to participating fully in the visit of the Old Gaffers Association vessels to Lewis in June and to the Sail Stornoway Festival, in July.

The Society welcome all those interested in both the heritage and sport aspects of traditional boat sailing, experienced or not and hope for a good turnout at their forthcoming AGM – provisionally scheduled for 7.30pm on July 2nd at Ness Social Club.