My first weekend with RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue was in Feb 1982. We travelled to Kintail and stayed in a small barn opposite the Kintail Arms Hotel. It is one of the most scenic places in Scotland on the West Coast on the road to Skye. In a dark February in the morning a massive sailing boat was anchored in the bay. It was the Moray Sea School and that was the first time I had heard of them! I did not have time to take it all in as after breakfast I was heading for the winter hills for the first time. I was in awe of everything that weekend.
One of my heroes was John Hinde an ex RAF Mountain Rescue Team Leader he was a legend in the Mountain Rescue world. Not long after he left the RAF he worked for the Moray Sea School and the Outdoor Trust as an instructor and introduced so many to the wild places and the sea. Over the years we met them all over Scotland and on our local crag at Cummingston where they rock-climbed regularly. A few top instructors cut there teeth here and a few of my pals on leaving the RAF worked with them. There expeditions were famous long treks into the wilderness and the bothies and they introduced a lot of young folk to an interest in this way of life. Over the years I have met many who have great memories of this period in their young lives. I would love a photo of the Sailing Ship if anyone has a copy!
There was a commemoration this weekend in my village of Burghead this weekend. Sadly I missed it but here is a little bit of the story!
I for one will never forget seeing their sailing ship anchored in the Bay at Kintail as a young lad! The mountains were covered in snow and the ship was like from a film set.
“The Moray Sea School at Burghead was launched in 1949 as the Scottish counterpart of Outward Bound’s Sea School at Aberdovey. Moray Sea School closed in 1976 when The Outward Bound Trust moved to Loch Eil on the west coast of Scotland. Sadly there has been no recognition that Outward Bound existed in Moray – until now…
Thanks to the sterling efforts of Ed McCann, a former instructor at Moray Sea School and the generosity of former staff, students, family members and local companies, we have successfully raised the £3,000 needed for a commemorative plaque and two information boards.
The plaque and boards was unveiled at Burghead, Moray on Saturday 9 June, followed by a reception at nearby Gordonstoun School.”
A great piece of history saved well done all!