William Galloway

Centre

Moray Sea School, Burghead Scotland

Date

1965

Your Story

I attended the school in September around 1965/66. I was living in Glasgow and working as an apprentice engineer in a shipyard on the Clyde. I remember the cold showers, the keep fit, training, and map reading in preparation for our expedition at the end of the course. In one of the exercises, I remember that our watch was taken in lorry, with the tarpaulins drawn to ensure that we could not see where we were going, and we were deposited some distance from Burghead. We were given a map and it was up to us to determine where we were and then walk back to Burghead. The map was marked with an X, and we were told that bicycles would be left there for us, but that they would b removed at 5 pm. Therefore if we failed to get there on time we were walking all the way back. I think that we got there on time. I also remember that despite our regular training on the cutters, when it came to our expidition our first leg in the cutters from Burghead to the Cromarty Firth was carried out in a dead calm and blazing sun. This meant we had to row almost all the way across the Moray Firth. For the last leg of our expedition we boarded the Prince Louis at Ardnamurchan and sailed to Stornoway. After spending the night in harbour we set sail for Cape Wrath. Rounding the cape we sailed into a force 8 gale, at night, in the Pentland Firth. All boys on the ship were seasick very quickly and the storm was so severe that the missen mast broke resulting in us having to take refuge at anchor in Scapa Flow for a few days until the winds abated. Overall it was a very testing month, some of it quite difficult, but much of it good fun. I was very lucky to have the experience and would recommend it to all young men and women.