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It Doesn't Always Rain In Scotland !

August Scottish week from Lochgilphead aboard "Findeln" - Westerly Ocean Ranger 38

Updated: 10-09-2010

Report by Barry Clarkson:

Gallery photos

This year we had great weather, when the sun shines the West Coast is beautiful and we had sunshine every day.

Craighouses Windy morning, Craighouses

Having travelled up on Friday to a B&B just outside Lochgilphead, the whole crew had dinner in the Argyll Arms. We were able to pick the boat up early this year and after shopping in the Co-Op we left the basin for the short journey to the sea locks about 3 o'clock. The wind outside the canal was 5/6 as forecast and from the west, the tide going north would have made the Dorus Mor dangerous, so with double reefed main we headed south for Craighouses on Jura, by the time we arrived off Small Isles Bay it was a steady 6 and rising. A windy night on a mooring buoy saw Sunday dawn to a cloudless blue sky.

The Paps, Jura The Paps, Jura

The Paps (not 'baps' David!) stood out clear, however we were getting a steady 30 odd knots across the deck all day, highest reading 51 knots we stayed where we were, white caps everywhere we did not even attempt to go ashore in the dinghy. about mid day the mooring rope shredded, we still had the lasso. Monday was another great day weatherwise but no wind. After going ashore in the morning for a walk and some marmalade, we left Small Isles Bay at 11:30 motoring south for the Sound of Islay,(if anybody is following this on the map), hanging in a sharp right up the Sound we had the wind fill in at the NW entrance and were able to beat all the way to Colonsay.

A night on the anchor and we set off for Coll (west side of Mull). Here we found a vacant mooring and another night with incredible views of the milky way and stars.

Puilladobhrain Puilladobhrain

Next day we sailed to Tobermory,(everybody does) and an alongside berth for water and showers, (it was getting a bit whiffy aboard). A light wind and a weak tide against us as we beat down the Sound of Mull on Thursday morning, everywhere the wind headed us for the whole week, "Findeln" does not point too well by the way. We raced another yacht, not really, he was faster than us, anyway he put his engine on before us so I claim a moral victory. Another night at anchor in the very pretty anchorage of Puilladobhrain (Pulldohran).

Bridge over The Atlantic.jpg Bridge over The Atlantic

Here we had a walk ashore across to the 'Bridge over the Atlantic' and a beer in the Tigh an Trish. The final day weather still good but very little wind we motored until in the Sound of Luing the wind filled in, having to reef in the end for only the second time that week. The canal was on winter timetable and last locking was at 4 30 so we were back in Bellanoch Basin early for showers and another evening ashore in the Argyll Arms.

A splendid week, 180 NM sailed a spledid crew of five, David, Roger, Pam, Win and myself. We did more or less what was hoped, only the circuit was done clockwise instead of anticlockwise, only damage was one small tear in the genoa and two shredded warps. Saturday saw us all off early for the trek south via the Sound of Shap.

Fingal's Cave, Staffa Fingal's Cave, Staffa