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Scotland 2014

Updated: 07-09-2014

Report from Barry Clarkson:

"Firebird" Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 32i

Crew : Pam, Ruth, Roger and Barry

Firebird in Holy Loch Firebird in Holy Loch

The boat this year, "Firebird" was chartered from Flamingo Yacht Charters out of Largs. The crew were Pam, Ruth, Roger and Barry, we all arrived at about the same time ready for the hand over at 2.00pm. The boat was a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 32i. Plenty of wind we set off about 4.30 . Wind from a North Easterly direction with a couple of reefs in the main and full genny destination Port Bannatyne on the island of Bute. When we arrived all the visitors berths were full so we motored round to the next bay to Rothesay and anchored for the night. Corned beef pasties for supper, a clear and peaceful night 11.7 nm sailed.

Next day was bright and sunny but no wind we left the anchorage and motored up the East Kyle towards the Burnt Isles at the North West end (the top), where we anchored for a lunch stop in Caladh harbour, a beautiful sheltered anchorage. After lunch with the wind filling in we were able beat all the way down the West Kyle under full sail and in increasing wind up Loch Fyne toTarbert for the night in their marina. 22.5 nm sailed.

Tarbert Tarbert

Monday, another beautiful day, but windy or maybe that's just the Skipper. Out in Loch Fyne there were white horses everywhere, we bought crab sandwiches for lunch and walked the two miles down the road to look at the head of West Loch Tarbert. A beer in a pub, lunch and another walk in the afternoon up the hill to look at an ancient monument, Tarbert Castle, once visited by Robert The Bruce.

Tarbert Castle Tarbert Castle

Tuesday the wind had eased to only the odd white horse or two, we bought more crab sandwiches for lunch and made a late start, destination back through the Kyles to Port Bannatyne. The weather forecast discouraged any thoughts of plans to go to Campbeltown via Loch Ranza. A Good sail weather still sunny, plenty of suncream required and this time lots of room in Port Bannatyne marina. 21.5nm sailed.

On Wednesday we left for Lamlash bay on the East side of Aran and sailed all day, weather still bright and sunny. It was now blowing up a bit and we had a struggle with the mooring buoy. A very disturbed night followed the wind howling the boat tossing around a lot, heavy rain came in at half past one in the morning this seemed to flatten the sea a little and managed to get a some sleep , only to be woken an hour or so later by the anchor alarm. I think that the wind had backed, it had certainly dropped. Another beautiful day dawned. The log reading from the previous day was 21.4nm.

Breakfast and we slipped the mooring and retraced our steps in a light to moderate Southerly breeze. Northward with the sails wing and wing for a good part of the day heading for Holy Loch. This was easy sailing and we arrived at quarter to four in the afternoon in Holy Loch marina after 6.5 hours sailing. Holy Loch is a most beautiful Loch, with its surrounding hills. 21.03nm.

Sunset at Holy Loch Sunset at Holy Loch

Friday was 'dreik', the cloud was down and rain showers made the vis' very poor. We waited until 11. 50 before leaving, an improvement in the visibility but the wind as we left the mouth of the Loch was force 5 directly on the nose for our journey back to Largs. First one reef then two and a few rolls in the genny we had a thoroughly enjoyable sail back. Fueled up back in our berth by 17.45. 22nm sailed.

After cleaning up and handing back the keys, we all set off back South. A very good week I think everybody enjoyed the holiday. Max wind speed experienced was force five, although the weather forecasts for the Firth of Clyde were mostly 5 to 7 for the week. The boat was good a useful feature was single line reefing on both the first and second reefs. I hope we can do Scotland again next year, perhaps back to the West coast though.

Barry.