Playing catch-up

In the last couple of weeks we’ve been trying to visit some of the places we had to by-pass during the bad weather of the last month. Most of them have been remote enough to preclude internet access; hence no blog. We are now in Port Ellen on Islay, where there may well be 7 distilleries, but web access is via carrier pigeon; so no new photo gallery till we get to somewhere bigger.

Anyway, the wind stopped blowing long enough for us to get out of Oban, up the Sound of Mull to Tobermory; the picture postcard town where the Wombles come from.








The respite only lasted a day, however, as we had another gale the following day! We had hoped that the weather would be kind enough for us creep out around the top of Mull so we could visit some of the small off-lying islands, but it was having none of it. Undeterred, we went back down the Sound  of Mull to Puilladobhrain, a beautiful little anchorage off Seil Island. There were more high winds forecast for the following day, so we baled out into Craobh, where there is a posh marina – somewhat less posh than it was before the recent gales.

Storm damage at Craobh Haven







Unbelievably the following day something odd happened – the sun came out! Not only that, but it got warm; and stayed warm into the late evening. This was our first completely rain-free day for 28 days! Needless to say, we celebrated long into the night, in another beautiful little anchorage, Tayvallich; way up Loch Sween.








We both woke really early the following morning (5:30!) with the bright sun shining in through the fore-hatch; so determined to make the most of things we set off for Craighouse, on Jura – the prospect of two consecutive days sailing was just too good an opportunity to miss! I even wore my shorts for the first time since Llandudno!

Craighouse is an odd little place; despite being the centre of population on Jura, it is very small and really quite bleak. Were it not for the distillery I would have little lasting memory of it. (Louise completely disagrees with my opinion, however.)

By this time we were down to one tin of beans, half a bottle of rum and no toilet paper; so Port Ellen, on Islay, really chose itself – being the nearest place with a shop. Again, we set off with the sun shining brightly – surely we wouldn’t get three dry days in a row? After a pleasant sail across the entrance to the Sound of Islay, passing three of the seven distilleries on the island, mooring in the harbour at Port Ellen, and two trips to the Co-op to re-stock, we sit here with the wine chilling over the side (on a piece of string!), watching the seals being fed;

Feeding time







and I can report dry decks!

If the weather holds, we’ll set off tomorrow to explore more of the places we missed first time round. Fingers crossed!

Having (more) fun.

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4 Responses to Playing catch-up

  1. Steve Walker says:

    Small Isles, Craighouse – best picture you’ve taken so far.
    I’m racing in the National Masters Regatta at Nottingham on Sunday in my quad then off to France to pick up a new Astus 20.2S trimaran demonstrator. 1st demo will be at Lee-on-Solent (where I served her majesty for 3 years) on June 18th when we return then up to Solway Firth!
    Glad you got out of Oban at last. Weather has to improve soon.

  2. philip says:

    Sorry to be picky – but we thought the wombles came from wimbledon! Is that in Scotland?Perhaps like you said – because of the distillery you have little lasting memory- including geography!
    We made 60 miles to the North today – so may yet join you in the Hebrides – although if you have memory problems cos of distilleries – we are in a town ( Dingle) with 120 houses – 118 of which are pubs – so we might also forget which way is up!

  3. Donna Gray says:

    Hi There
    Thinking of you both and glad weather has picked up. Our trip to CI failed!! Day 1 out of Hamble to Cowes too rough SW F7 turned round and went back. Day 2 Gentle sail to Yarmouth. Day 3 stuck in Yarmouth SW F8 went through. Day 4 great sail to Cowes. Day 5 sail to Marchwood SW F8 v small jib and 3 reefs in main bows being swamped. Day 6 sail to Mercury F8 boat on ear all the way. Day 7 engine water cooling not working took heat exchanger to bits and found blocked with splinters of anode and general muck – now fixed. Spent second week enjoying Solent in sunshine and Old Gaffers Rally!!
    Take care.

  4. Trevor says:

    Well I don’t want to put a damper on things, but today it has rained in Hamble! Not the proper stuff us Mancunians and you Scottish sailors know, but enough to empty the garden at the King & Queen, and make one wear a jacket. Bit worried about the shorts Mike that can’t be good for the weather prospects. Hope you found the loo roll

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