Here at Cullen on Scotland’s Moray Firth coast, we have reached the end of our main season and are looking ahead to the winter months and getting ready for the next season.
I often get asked, what do we do in the winter and how do we fill in the time. To be honest, our winter working days are just as busy as the main season itself. As soon as one season ends, we are busy getting ready for the year ahead. This is when our maintenance programme gets underway, planning the next season’s activity sessions and programme, and the process of marketing and selling our offering.
As a watersports and boat building centre, our activities take place all year round and we are passionate about ensuring this is the case and it is not just six months a year of activities.
With sailing, coastal rowing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding on offer, there is no shortage of opportunity for our guests to get out safely on the water to try, develop and conquer a new or existing skill.
With safety paramount, the welfare of our guests is a top priority, we are mindful of the weather and sea conditions over the winter period where conditions can be more challenging and less appealing to first timers and the less experienced. Whilst we pack away our kayaks and SUPs for the winter, we continue to offer mirror dinghy sailing and coastal rowing when conditions allow.
Our activities are so good for both physical and mental health and general well-being, and to not get out on the water over the winter would be a huge loss to the team, membership and our customers. Woolly hats, gloves and layers are the order of the day and our in-house built mirror dinghies, and St Ayles Skiffs certainly get put through their paces.
Over the winter, we are busy working with local primary and high schools to deliver water safety talks and how to stay safe on the water and we welcome several hundred children to do beach cleans and coast path litter picks. Whilst the type of waste found changes in the winter to being predominately ‘washed-up’ waste than ‘dropped’ waste, the principal remains the same.
As users of Cullen Harbour and the sea, we are very proud of the work we do to look after our coastline and undertake at least 30 beach cleans and coast paths every year. You are most welcome to join us, with litter pickers, bags and gloves provided.
Over the winter we will be running our second series of online winter talks. The format is a talk by a guest speaker followed by a Q&A session. Last winter we enjoyed talks by the RNLI, Macduff Marine Aquarium and Whale and Dolphin Conservation. This sort of activity allows us to keep engaged with our members and the public at large and help educate those watching on a specific subject matter area.
The busiest part of the sea school every winter is our boat building workshop. Our volunteer boat builders have to date built three mirror dinghies, two Wemyss Skiffs and eight St Ayles Skiffs for coastal rowing. The workshop is always a hive of activity accompanied by the smells of fresh cut wood, paint and varnish! Our boat builders love having visitors to come and see the progress on the latest build and would love to see you. Boat building takes place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning between 9am – 11.30am.
Regardless of whether you are a sea school member or not, all events and activities are open to all, and we would love to see you take part. The sea school is all about maximising the opportunities of our marine coastal environment, whether that is on the water, on the beach, in our workshop and online.
Plan your own visit to Cullen Sea School by checking our website for details of events and activities.
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