Gairloch to Lochinver
13 June 2011
On Saturday 11th June we decided to head north, after a pleasant few days in Gairloch. A fellow-Rival 32 rafted up to us, and we had two very nice evenings in the company of her crew. The harbour was very busy with fishing boats and sealife cruises of one sort or another, including a glass-bottomed boat which we didn't see going out at all. We had a couple of walks ashore, one to a lovely waterfall at the head of the Flowerdale Glen.
Both rivals headed out early on Saturday, our friends across the Minch to Stornoway, and us northwards to Lochinver. There wasn't enough wind to sail for most of the journey, so we motorsailed in bright sunshine, and managed to pass another two Ardfern boats on their way south without recognising them. And that was despite a frequent exchange of texts on the mobile phones!
Turning into Enard Bay we were finally on enough wind to sail, so we enjoyed a whole 35 minutes of sailing in 6 hours, then approached Lochinver, curious to see again the place we last visited in 2005. The large fishing pier was strangely empty as we arrived, only later in the evenng did we see any fishing boats come in to discharge their catch into huge container lorries from Spain, France and the UK.
The pontoons have grown since last time, so we moved on to a finger, starboard-side-to. Luxury! We could step off the boat dry-shod, without launching the dinghy! There were a few occupied boats there when we arrived, but within two days they had either left or vacated their boat for a time. So by Monday we are the only boat with people on it on the pontoon. There is water, but no shore power, alas. On Saturday evening we celebrated equalling our furthest-north ever sail by going to the local restaurant for a really fine dinner.
After two lovely days, Monday is a shocker, wall-to-wall rain, although the winds are light. Conditions should be favourable in a few days for a possible foray to Kinlochbervie, but we'll see how it goes. More blog anon. Please feel free to comment.
PS Happy Birthday to grandson Eddie, 11 on Saturday!