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9 sailing snaps which will make you want to flee dry land

If you are looking to rediscover your sea legs this summer, why not hop aboard a yacht for a nautical escape? Scotland is a world-class sailing destination, with far-flung isles, exciting swirling seas and calm, sheltered coves and bays.

Sailing in Scottish waters will reward you with many incredible sights, experiences and seafaring tales to tell your friends and family for years to come.

Don’t believe us? Just feast your eyes on these stunning photographs!

At sea, the scenery is blissfully peaceful…

Alone_at_Anchor__Scavaig___Julia_Amies-GreenCompetition entry. Alone at Anchor. Loch Scavaig, Skye © Julia Amies-Green

with mirror-like waters, all is calm

Boats_Moored_at_Plockton___Judy_GreenCompetition entry. Boats moored at Plockton © Judy Green

Start a magnificent voyage along one of Scotland’s many waterways…

Boats-descending-Fort-Augustus-Locks-into-Loch-Ness-©-Peter-Sandground2Boats descending Fort Augustus © Peter Sandground. Courtesy of Sail Scotland

…Or sail back in time to discover Scotland’s viking heritage up north

The harbour at Stromness, Orkney © Daniel J Allen

Plot your bearings and prepare for plain sailing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACompetition entry. Cloudburst at Crovie, Aberdeenshire © John Meldrum

Admire the cut of your jib as you pass famous landmarks…

Sailing on the Firth of Forth under the Forth Rail Bridge. ***100mb scan. Suitable for exhibition use***Sailing underneath the Forth Rail Bridge, South Queensferry

…and drop anchor amidst a fiery sunset  

Sunset on Loch DrumbuieCompetition entry. Sunset on Loch Creran, Argyll © Derek McFarlane

It’s even possible to have the entire bay all to yourself

Loch-Eriboll-Alan-HendryLoch Eriboll © Alan Hendry. Courtesy of Sail Scotland

Land ahoy! Paradisal beaches await with turquoise seas and glistening white sands

White_sands_and_stormy_skies__Barra___Julia_Amies-GreenCompetition entry. White sands and stormy skies, Barra © Julia Amies-Green

A selection of these stunning shots are courtesy of Sail Scotland (see image credits) and they were featured as entries in last year’s Sail Scotland Photo Competition 2015. Entries for the 2016 competition are open until the end of August – this year’s judging panel includes the acclaimed sailing photographer Marc Turner. Good luck everyone!

Is a sailing trip on the horizon for you? Find marinas and boatyards in Scotland, check the sailing weather forecast and visit our sailing page for more inspiration. Always stay safe on the water with these tips from the RNLI.

Don’t forget to share your salty moments at sea with us using the hashtag #ScotSpirit!