The Captain Scott – Adventure training ship



I first saw this schooner at Kintail when I awoke in the morning  from my first weekend with the RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team in Feb 1972.  It was an amazing to see this incredible ship in the bay with the snow-covered hills and the deep blue sea. It was something I will never forget. That day was my first in RAF Mountain Rescue and I climbed the remote Munro Sgurr nan Ceathreamhain from Iron Lodge a huge day in winter. We had crampons on most of the day and I was with the Officer I/C Dave Pierce who hardly spoke. It was some introduction to winter in Scotland and coming of in the dark was a day I will never forget.  I had a few friends who sailed in the Captain Scott Schooner John Hinde and his dairies are published by his daughter Fiona Wild and he has some great tales to tell diariesofjohnhinde wordpress. com . These are great tales of another age when the mountains were quite and to see the Captain Scott from a summit on the West Coastin full sail of Skye or Knoydart was incredible.

Captain Scott - from Fiana Wild blog

Captain Scott – from Fiana Wild blog


Captain Scott Schooner – now in Oman

Originally named the Captain Scott after explorer Robert Falcon ScottShabab Oman was built as a standing topgallant yardschooner by Herd and McKenzie of BuckieScotland in 1971. Built for the Dulverton Trust, she was run by the Loch Eil Trust in programs which combined sail training with onshore expeditions.[1][2]

In 1967, Victor Clark and Kurt Hahn had enlisted Prince Philip‘s aid in finding sponsorship for a new youth-training ship. Clark then skippered her until 1974.[3]

In 1977, the vessel was sold to Sultan Qābūs bin Sa‘īd of Oman and placed under the purview of the Ministry of Youth. Her name was changed to Shabab Oman, which can be translated as “Youth of Oman.”[1] In 1979, she was inducted into theRoyal Navy of Oman (RNO) as a sail training ship.[4]

In 1984, Shabab Oman was refitted as a barquentine.

Captain Scott (1971–1978)
Shabab Oman
Owner: Sultanate of Oman
Operator: Royal Navy of Oman
Builder: Herd & McKenzie Shipbuilders of Buckie, Banffshire, Scotland
Launched: 1971
Sponsored by: Dulverton Trust
Acquired: 1977 by Sultanate of Oman
Refit: 1984, converted from schooner to barquentine
Homeport: 1971–1978: unknown,  United Kingdom
1978–2014: Muscat,  Oman
Identification: Call sign: A4YO
IMO number7125598
MMSI number461000411
Status: In service.

If anyone has any photos of the Captain Scott on the west Coast I would love to see them.

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
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13 Responses to The Captain Scott – Adventure training ship

  1. David Robinson says:

    Sailed on the Captain Scott in 1974 at the age of 17. Why ? is a long story as I had only arrived in England from Australia a couple of months before. Wish I could do it again now that I am older ,wiser and more appreciative. By the end of 26 days we were sailing her like professionals, we even did night sailing. As well as the scenery, the overland expeditions and the experience of sailing such a magnificent vessel ,the cold showers and ‘dodgy’ food left lasting memories. I have quite a few 35mm slides from the trip but most were taken on the ship rather than of it. Drop me a line if you want the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ross Vicars says:

      Hi David, I was on the ship October – November 1973, so just before you. Lost my camera when our tent was swamped by a surge of water when we were camping on Skye in torrential rain. The ground looked fine when we pitched but around 3 in the morning we realised our tent was afloat, water poured in and my camera got soaked. Salient lesson about keeping things waterproof. Be grateful if you have any on board photos to share please. Thanks.


  2. Douglas Gillespie says:

    I was an 18 year old police cadet, Renfrew and Bute Constabulary, who served on the Captain Scott, Course No. 4, from 28th February until 25th March 1972. Of the three watches, I served on Drake watch, responsible for the fore top gallant mast and the three bow sprit sails, the other watches being Hawke and Nelson, responsible for the other 2 masts. I was also Commander Victor Clarks Tiger. We left Plockton sailing round To Kyle of Lochalsh, on the 29th February , for stores then across to Broadford Bay, Skye, where we anchored for the night. We left Broadford dropping anchor in Loch Shieldaig, where we went ashore for a cross country run, running through the village. When we left there we headed across the Little Minch in a Force 10, what an experience, and sheltered in Loch Maddy. When the weather cleared up we sailed back across to Annat Bay beside Isle Martin, near Ullapool. We began our first expedition climbing Ben More Coigach, covered in snow at the summit, practising the use of ice axes.On the return to the ship we sailed across the Minch to Sornoway where most of the crew experienced another run. On leaving there we sailed down the Minch past Skye and landed on Canna. We then went across to Rhum, as it was spelt in those days, and began the second expedition climbing Halival which again was snow covered at its summit. After our return to the ship we sailed through the Straits of Barra and out into the Atlantic, our destination being St Kilda. We anchored in Village Bay of the main island, Hirta, but as the weather was changing, decided not to go ashore. Instead we sailed round the island and headed back, sealing near the Flannan Isles and around the Butt of Lewis arriving at Loch Broom. Here we began our third and final expedition walking overland from Badcoul towards Loch Maree and down into Poolewe village where we sheltered in a garage from the rain. We headed along the main road to Slattadale Forest and beyond that following a track and a river down to Torridon village to meet the ship which was anchored out on the loch. On our return we sailed down Syke and moored near Dunvegan Castle, where parties went ashore to visit the castle. On leaving there we returned to Broadford Bay and anchored for the night. We headed back to Loch Alsh , Commander Clark informed us that we had managed to get all of the sails up in a record time of 8 and a half minutes, after we left Kyle of Lochalsh, arriving back at Plockton, Loch Carron to our mooring buoy. I left the course withe the other trainees on 25th March 1972.

    Liked by 1 person

    • heavywhalley says:

      These were incredible days !!


    • Phil Cupit "Vango Man" says:

      I was on this cruise with you Douglas. I was also in Drake watch together with Calum MacKenzie who still lives and works in Plockton. We attempted a reunion in 2012 in Plockton which our wives and families attended. “Taffy”, Peter Parkin, Calum and I were there. If you are interested in staying in touch, please contact Calum by searching for Calum’s seal trips in Plockton or myself – another reunion might be in the offing. I also have a load of 35 mm slides converted into a CD which I shared at the reunion. Its great to hear from you. I think we all count our Captain Scott days as the most formative month in our lives. To my dying day I shall never forget the 6.00a.m. showers or going over the mast every morning at divisions. What great days! They will never be forgotten! Hope we have another reunion before too long. None of us are getting any younger.


      • Great to hear of the stories some grand tales of the Captain Scott, marvellous I hope you will all get together.

        Happy New Year.


      • Douglas Gillespie says:

        I havn’t had a look at this site for a long time since I put up the original post. Amazing how time flies the older you get. A big thank you to heavywhalley for missy management of it. Of course I remember you Phil. I recorded the following in my Log Book at the time.
        24th March 1972 (Friday) 1800hrs. Final Concert in the mess deck. I played a few tunes on my harmonica. The whole of the ships company including the captain were there to watch the scene. One of the lads dressed up in a tent called himself ‘Vango Man’ to represent Mr Osselton, the ships expedition Officer. Even he saw the joke I think.
        Great to hear from you. Brought back a few memories and laughs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Douglas Gillespie says:

        Sorry the word missy is a typo error. Should have been ‘his’

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Peter Parkin says:

    I have just read, with great interest, Douglas Gillespie’s comments posted on April 4 2016. I was on board The Captain Scott on the same course as Douglas in February 1972, as a member of Hawke Watch, where he served in Drake Watch. I echo his comments; it was a truly memorable experience, and the things we learned on board and on the shore expeditions – particularly the sense of duty and determination – served me well on so many occasions in my life in the 45 years since. In 2012 (40 years on), we got together 4 members of Hawke watch for a reunion in Plockton, from where we had sailed. They were Phil Cupit (retired headteacher from Lincolnshire), Kelvin Griffiths (retired police officer from North Wales – like Douglas, a police cadet on the course), Calum McKenzie from Plockton (he’s still there, and runs the seal trips from Plockton, amongst other things) and me (retired leisure manager, now in Essex, in 1972 working for the Education Department in my home town of Derby). We had also traced Phil Garmston from Bristol, but he was unable to be with us. Phil actually celebrated his 21st birthday on board, and the cook made him a birthday cake. I still have a photograph! Efforts to trace the other 5 members of Hawke watch have been unsuccessful – but we’re all getting older!
    Great memories, and wonderful to make vicarious contact with another crew member on course 4. Best wishes, Douglas. We were lucky indeed to have had the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Peter that is great you catched up!


    • Douglas Gillespie says:

      Thank you Peter. The voyage left lasting memories for us all. I remember Calum too.Used to talk to him sometimes in the galley along with Margot the cook when I was carrying out Tiger duties. Amazing how the time passes. Sorry I hav’nt replied earlier. Due to fact that I hav’nt checked the site in a long time. Regards

      Liked by 1 person

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