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From Disney to Diesel Dames, marine training couple Hannah and Derek Grier mean business.
The husband and wife launched their new training centre in 2019 at Dunstaffnage and were all onboard to sail into their new venture when Covid struck and shut them down.
With calmer seas on the horizon as more restrictions relax, the pair are powering on from their base at the European Marine Science Park running Royal Yachting Association (RYA) courses and more.
As well as teaching, the couple can help plan the perfect marriage proposal out on the water and have also had a role in filming a new Disney movie.
Nautical navigation, marine radio, power boats and opportunities to take beginners up to advanced levels, achieving fully-qualified yacht master status, are just examples of the water and shore-based courses they run, with Hannah and Oban born-and-bred Derek also at the helm of developing other qualifications useful to businesses with maritime links.
One of their latest projects is working with the Maritime and Coastguard agency to offer its mandatory safety training.
‘We’re very excited about this. At the moment the only place nearest to Oban to do that is Glasgow,’ said Hannah.
Boat hire is also possible from Seagrass Marine, whether it is as a skippered safety boat for long distance swimmers or as a workboat helping keep road, rail and construction workers safe from the water. Marine surveying and taking water samples are also on their can-do list, says Hannah.
They can even provide all it takes to pull off a romantic proposal, providing the boat and location to pop the question from. Sightseeing tours and wildlife trips are part of the service too.
The business is no stranger to helping out film crews from the water, their latest collaboration was with Disney shooting a new film called the Wedding Season from Loch Fyne.
‘Argyll is so stunning that it’s no wonder TV and film crews want to come here,’ added Hannah.
This weekend, they put on a RYA Diesel Engine course for a group of six women from the area who dubbed themselves the Diesel Dames.
‘This group of friends were all into boats and sailing but wanted to make sure they could understand how the marine engine works so they wouldn’t have to rely on anyone else if there was an issue – they also wanted a bit of fun together, so they booked our RYA Diesel Engine course as a ladies only course.
‘This is the first of our courses we’ve designed for a target group. There are so many possibilities if people want to get in touch and tell us what they need. We can work around them,’ Hannah said.