GOUROCK yachtswoman Katy McGilvray has sailed to some of the world's most exotic and far-flung locations - but says there's nothing more awe-inspiring than helming her boat up the Clyde.

Globe-trotting Katy has been a crew member of the multi-million-pound superyacht 'Christopher' for nearly four years and has taken in the likes of the Galapagos Islands and the Panama Canal during that time.

However, her biggest thrill to date came last week when she took the wheel of the magnificent vessel for a 'trip down memory lane' as she guided her past her home town and up into Greenock's James Watt Dock Marina.

Katy, 27, said: "It was so surreal, just hard to describe but I was very proud to do it. I've been telling people onboard that there's no better view than the one from my house.

"It was a huge thrill for me to be bringing the yacht here."

The 150ft private yacht glided serenely into her berth under Katy's command and those onboard were given a traditional Scottish welcome by a piper at the quayside.

Her mum and dad, Margaret and Norman, were invited onboard for dinner and drinks and hosted the crew and the yacht's owners at their Gourock home the following evening, before enjoying a cruise to the Isle of Bute for the Highland Games there at the weekend.

Margaret said: "It was great to see the yacht; Katy has been all over the world with her but I hadn't seen her up close before — and what a sight she is.

"I'm so glad that Katy got the chance to sail her past her home town."

Margaret added: "Everyone came to our house in their kilts for dinner and we danced the Gay Gordons as well. They were very taken with the views of the hills and we had a great time."

The Christopher is rumoured to belong to American billionaire businessman Christopher 'Kit' Goldsworthy but no-one onboard or at the marina would confirm this.

Katy, a former cadet at the Royal Gourock Yacht Club, will be celebrating her fourth anniversary as a member of the Christopher's crew in December.

She was determined to have a life on the ocean wave and travelled to the south of France after graduating from university to look for work onboard one of the plethora of luxury charter vessels there.

Katy said: "I have a friend who was coming back from places all over the world and I wanted to know more about it, so I took myself to France to get a piece of the action.

"I've been on super yachts in the Caribbean and Hawaii, but the Clyde tops it all. It was great for everyone to meet my parents and see where I'm from."

The custom-built Christopher was launched in 2011, having been constructed at the Pendennis yard in Falmouth and she has accommodation for 12 guests and eight crew.

Katy's destinations to date also include Antigua, Winward Islands, Columbia, Tahiti, the Society Islands, Alaska, western and eastern United States, Cuba, Key West, the Mediterranean, Croatia, Montenegro, all of the Baltics, Scandinavia, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, the Balearic Islands — and the Clyde.

Following her trip to Bute, Katy sailed off to Belfast, then Dublin before heading for the Mediterranean.