Since coming home we haven't gone sailing, only tidied up the boat and booked it in for some work over the winter. We have been rather preoccupied by maintenance and repairs at home, and the installation of solar panels on the roof.
However we are busy making plans to join friends on their boat in warmer waters later this month.
Hopefully by that time the major works on our roof and in our car park will be complete!
Last Wednesday was a lovely day, and we set off from Kerrera (Oban) about 8am and motored south in 2 to 3 knots of north-westerly breeze. It was sunny and visibility was good. We reached Fladda light before the beneficial effects of the south-going tide speeded us up from our usual 5knots to a record 12 knots over the ground! At the same time the wind rose so we hoisted sail, and covered the rest of the distance through the Dorus Mor and up Loch Craignish under sail.
We spent the night on the mooring, and put the boat on the pontoon on Thursday to offload most of our stuff, and change diesel and oil filters on the engine. After that I had the exhilerating experience of single-handing the boat for the first time ever from pontoon back to mooring, which I managed to pick up at the first attempt! Decidedly something I want to do more of, single-handing, I mean.
We spent the weekend in Edinburgh, then got back to attack the washing, and the garden, in that order!
More journeys soon, once the washing dries!
We set out from Lochaline in sunshine, with not very much wind, then none at all, then lots. The engine was on, off, the sails were up, rolled away, up again. It kept us busy! The tide was with us as we barrelled down the Sound of Mull towards Duart Castle, crossing the path of the car ferry on the way. As we headed out of the Sound, however, the wind increased, so we put reefs in the sails, and altered course to head for Puilladobhrain (pronounced Pulldoran, pool of the otters), a favourite anchorage for west coast yotties.
The wind was not forecast to be strong, but nevertheless suddenly it was, and we had fun trying to stay on course as the spring tide met the oncoming wind and gave us surf like Bondi Beach. Little Else definitely does not like the nodding donkey style of sailing, bows plunged into each following wave, showers of spray everywhere, and seemingly no way to make it all stop and go away!
We stood it for a while, then decided to turn and head for Oban instead. Instantly everything was better, and amazingly the tide seemed still to be with us, as our SOG - speed over the ground - was still 6 or 7 knots!
Into a welcome berth in the marina, where we booked in then went for a lovely seafood lunch - grilled oysters with cream, garlic and parmesan - yum!
We'll see what the weather does tomorrow!
This is Connor playing on a swing a couple of weeks ago