Skipper John Bryden has been sailing since the age of 17. He also gained his Cert B, solo pilot qualification (with navigation) in the RAF reserve while at University. He sailed Flying Fifteen’s, Loch Long’s and Dragons in his teens. In his 20s while working in the Caribbean he sailed a Mirror before he and his first wife Elspeth acquired a 24ft sloop, ‘Dramamine’, which they sailed while working in the Virgin Islands. He also sailed in his father-in-law’s McGruer 8m Sloop, Elona in the West of Scotland, and assisted as crew on a Sailor 40 ketch sailing from England to Inverness, as well as on various smaller yachts. In his 30s he and Elspeth bought a 38ft Dickies Gaff Rigged Ketch ‘Colena’ which they sailed with their 4 children in the West of Scotland and the Hebrides for nearly ten years. After selling Colena, the family had two charter yachts in the Hebrides and one in Greece. John returned to Greece with another Charter in the ‘90s, and also Chartered in Scotland in 2000. He bought Aldarion from the first owner in 2003, after the latter had been sailed by its owner-builder extensively to Brazil, the Caribbean, N America and in the Mediterranean. After keeping her overwinter in Dartmouth, he and his family and friends sailed her North to the west of Scotland via Ireland in April 2004, and later on to Inverness. The next few years involved sailing in northern Scotland, the Hebrides, the Orkney Isles before crossing to Norway in June 2007 with a crew of three, including Alasdair Hutchieson (see below). There followed a trip to Bergen and Hardangerfjord, and then to Oslo fjord and the Swedish west coast, followed by Denmark, and then the long sail north to the Lofoten Isles north of the Arctic Circle and back to Denmark, taking two years and overwintering in Brunnoysund. In 2012 and 2013, sailing has involved Danish waters, the Kattegat, the Trollhatten and Gota canals, and the Swedish and Danish Baltic sea. John has skippered Aldarion on all of these cruises. Aldarion is wintered inside with the masts off, and has annual inspections of hull, hull and deck fittings, safety equipment, masts, rigging, sails, sheets and lights.
John has an RYA Certificate of Competence, and has recently taken the RYA Yachtmasters theory course and passed the assessment. He also has VHF and HF/SSB Radio certificates and an RYA First Aid certificate. He also sails an International Folk Boat.
One thought on “People”
Regular First Mate and crew member Alasdair Hutchieson has been a sailor since his childhood, initially in a Loch Long, in Loch Long, and up to Oban/Tobermory for West Highland weeks in Scotland. Then in an 8-metre BOB catamaran, on the west coast, out to the western isles, and around Cape Wrath, and on the Moray Firth. In the 1980’s I chartered two yachts as skipper, taking the first one round the Mull of Kintyre, and up to Islay/Jura, Horseshoe Bay during the notorious Fastnet race disaster storm, back thro’ the Crinan canal. On the second charter, with Philomena and friends, they sailed from Strome ferry, round the Isle of Skye and back. In the early 2000’s, Alasdair sailed extensively in a Contessa 26′ on the west coast, and up to Sandwood bay. Thereafter, he sailed his own Audacity 21′ from Inverness, keeping it on the west coast for the summer. For the last 4 years, he has sailed their 28′ Laurent Giles Normandy class sloop from Inverness, extensively on the west coast of Scotland, and this year took the boat round the north, thro’ the Pentland firth, and rounding Cape Wrath, to the west coast, and back via the Caledonian Canal. All the above have involved some hours of night sailing. Alasdair has also studied, and passed both the RYA Dayskipper theoretical course, and RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster theoretical course. Alasdair was first mate on Aldarion for the sail from Inverness to western Norway and thence to Bergen. He has also sailed on Aldarion in southern Norway, and in Sweden. Alasdair’s sons, Cathel and Coll have sailed extensively in Scotland with their father, and have also crewed on Aldarion in western and southern Norway. They have RYA First Aid certificates.