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© 2008 Westward Quest Ltd   charity SC007154;   Company No 170882

Rae is keen to flag up the potential benefits of such excursions to  businesses, as they search for more unusual and

effective ways of developing their employees' skills.   "We can take people away for five days," explains Rae, "and make sure that what they learn is

taken back to the

workplace. It's  very effective, because it's all real stuff, not playing games. On most of our excursions people often don't know  each other at all at the start, but by the end they are-and have to be-totally integrated as a team."  Of course  people don't sign up with Westward Quest in order to improve their team skills.

The Company Ethos is distinctly christian.  There is an emphassis on making sailing available to the disadvantaged, youth groups and church groups.  But all are made to feel at home. You will find appreciative comments in arabic as well as european languages in the ships log .  The ages of participants ranged last year from four to eighty, and they included a high proportion of complete novices. One first-time participant was suitably impressed:"We were sailing up the west coast, so the scenery was stunning and the weather, for half the time, was perfect. We were also very well taken care of-we received instruction in sailing, but it never seemed like we were being 'taught.'" we were being  


For Rae fun is the key, and he's anxious that the "colour" of the trips be emphasised.  "The sort of pleasure is in the remote places people can go to-to islands that are uninhabited. We also do quite a lot of fishing and lifting prawns off the bed of the sea, so food can be free. Some people like the contact with the wildlife and some like to drink as much Guinness as they can.  "All sorts of things happen. We got involved in an air sea rescue on Holy Island-a monk had

fallen on his head and we had to stretcher him to

the helicopter." And if the Castaway idea still appeals,

you might just find yourself emulating the subjects of the TV series on Taransay itself. Rae spent a couple of days there and laughs that "they haven't discovered something we  discovered-we had some very nice trout for breakfast."

©Richard Moore