A YACHTSMAN who introduced youngsters to the joys of life under sail has written a book about his voyages to far-flung corners of the world.

Ian Macpherson, from Paisley, was a headteacher during his working life, first at Barrhead High School and then at Eastwood High.

But in his leisure time, he swapped the classroom for the open sea as he journeyed to places as far apart as the sub-Arctic Faroe Islands and the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef, in Australia.

And through his work with the Ocean Youth Trust, he took youngsters on trips to some of the finest sailing waters on Scotland’s west coast.

Now, at the age of 83, he has written A Scotsman’s Odyssey – a riveting account of his decades on the high seas.

Ian told The Gazette: “Probably the most memorable trip was when I sailed as a voluntary mate on the Australian leg of the Ocean Youth Trust’s world voyage in 1996.

“There were 12 teenagers and six adults on board the steel-hulled, 70-foot ketch John Laing.

“We sailed from Sydney to Darwin, inside the great Barrier Reef and round Cape York – a total distance of 2,627 nautical miles in four weeks.

“We saw some amazing wildlife, including killer whales, humpback whales and sea crocodiles.”

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