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Scotland 2012 - 'Marinas Everywhere' aboard "Findeln" (Westerly Ocean Ranger)

Updated: 04-09-2012

Report from Barry Clarkson:

Findeln "Findeln", Westerly Ocean Ranger

Crew : Gordon, Anne, Mick, Pam, Roger and Barry (Skipper)

There were a crew of six aboard "Findeln" this year, Gordon and Anne travelled down on the overnight ferry from Shetland to Aberdeen, the rest of us travelled north on Friday and took digs in Bridgend. On Saturday after shopping in Lochgilphead, the southern contingent went for a walk along the Crinan Canal and lunch in the splendid coffee shop in Crinan. After the usual handover we left Ardfern situated at the head of Loch Craignish at 15:30 for Oban, after a brief sail down the loch we resorted to engine and sails arriving in Kerrera (opposite Oban) 20:25, 23.8nm.

Crinal Canal boats Crinal Canal boats

Next day we departed the marina at 09:20 wind SE f2/3 soon freshening to 5 at times. We sailed the whole way to Tobermory, mostly with the sails wing and wing, arriving 14:40 and snugged down for the next day, gusts of 45mph forecast, 27nm sailed.

Monday was wet, very, and windy and generally awful, a 5:30 visit to the Mishnish revived spirits no end, the sky began to clear as we ate supper it looked more promising for Tuesday. A beautiful day in the morning, after a late start 10:05 (still windy) we put up the sails in the harbour, 3 reefs in the main and 10 rolls in the genoa before we crossed the sound for Loch Sunart wing and wing again, tricky pilotage as by now low cloud and mist prevented us sighting some of the clearing bearings.

Crinan Canal Swing Bridge Pub at Salem
We arrived at 12:50 in Salem where there is now a marina, previously it was a mooring in the harbour. Another visit to the hotel in Salem before our evening meal. 11.5nm sailed. Leaving Salem in the morning at 09:15, sailing out of the loch, less windy a course was set to take us round the west side of Mull, but it is exposed here and more wind was being forecast for the next day, so at 14:42 we did an about turn and went back to Tobermory arriving at 16:55,35.2nm sailed and customised the Mishnish again before supper.

Full Crew on Shore Leave Full Crew on Shore Leave

The best day of the whole week dawned on Thursday, Scotland is gorgeous when the sun shines and the air is clear and we had plenty of wind. Leaving at 09:40, called in at Loch Aline to anchor an hour for lunch, there is another marina here where it used to be anchoring only. It is nice to sail all day but with time getting on the skipper was persuaded to supplement the sails with the engine. We arrived via the fast flowing tides of Cuan Sound in Croabh Haven at 17:10.

Crinan Canal Swing Bridge Crinan Canal Swing Bridge

The final day was dreich so we fueled the boat and left for a lunch stop behind Carsaig Island, continual rain caused a change of plan and we arrived back in Ardfern at 13:00, soaking wet, dinner ashore that evening was provided courtesy of Tony Bennett the owner of Argyl Yachts as recompense for some cosmetic problems in the accomodation. I could not see much problem personally. However the boat was coming out of the water for attention, and we were the last charter this year.

Overall it was a good week with only one day lost to weather, we used the Eberspacher to dry the boat only once, Total mileage 154, slightly down on previous years, everyone enjoyed it or they said they did! I certainly did.