Variety is the spice of life. Variety in every form, from that of the weather, which changes every 30 seconds up here, to the sensations you have, be they the sun on you face or the stress and fear of running your home onto the rocks in tight narrow passages. Variety has certainly occurred over the past couple days.
Fearnach Bay sounds like a pretty foreboding place, it sounds like it's just come out of some 1970's horror movie where everybody gets brutally murdered. The Fearnach Bay that we found didn't live up to this reputation at all. It did however give good opportunity from some new experiences.
We had to provision and being that the only form of transport we have are our legs, we donned walking boots to go over the hill to the local village where a convenience store with supplies awaited. After emptying the convenience store of all its goods, well 2 loafs of bread, milk, veg and a few sundries, we started the walk home and this is where the new experience came in. As we were trudging our way home, backpacks full, Iain stuck his thumb out at a car to try his luck hitch hiking. Hey presto, it stopped, and inside was not a psychopath, as Fearnoch Bay would suggest, but a lovely lady who was originally from Southampton and she gave us a lift all the way to the boat. That was a new experience for Fiona.
The hills then awaited a proper walk and up and up and up we went and steeper and steeper and steeper the incline became until it was nearly vertical. Fiona had stopped a while to let Iain take in the view from the top. What Iain found was an amazing view and a perfect base jumping location. Larry the extreme sports aficionado that he is took the plunge and flew down the hill to greet Fiona some 200 feet below. That was the second new experience for both Fiona and Larry.
Our time to move onto pastures new came and we had what we thought was one of the most navigationally challenging parts of our trip in front of us. Around the top of Torsa and Luing in a narrow passage called Cuan Sound. What makes this difficult is that there are so many rocks up here none of them a marked, the channel is strewn with them and only about 100 feet wide, the tide runs at up to 7 knots and the passage goes along the lines of big right hand turn, big left, big right, small left, small right, big left. All this you need to do at the right time and having to anticipate where the whirlpools are going to push your home. As Iain was navigating Ruffian through with Fiona driving we came to the realisation that Ruffian doesn't spin on the spot like a dinghy or a race boat. We are pleased to announce that Ruffian made it through happily in the expert hands of Fiona. Stress over and it was all then plain sailing, in the lashing rain, to one of the best and most unpronounceable anchorages in Scotland, Puilladobhrain.
The sail to Puilladobhrain has again marked anther line in the sand for Ruffian. For the first time she is technically in the Atlantic. We've so far sailed in the English Channel, the Irish Sea, the Celtic Sea, the Firth of Clyde, and we are now in an Ocean. We've also been sailing in heaps of sounds, ie Siel Sound, Sound of Insh, Cuan Sound. Iain thinks that they need to name things after sounds up here as it so peaceful and unbelievably quiet.
Whilst getting Ruffian to Scotland we had a bit of a biscuit glut. At every opportunity we overdosed on the lovely bits of sugar and fat, well it was cold afterall. Since then Iain has been declaring nearly every day that he is having a biscuit and chocolate free day. Last night however Iain got into trouble. Fiona found a Lemon Drizzle Cake mix that had been secreted on the boat secretly in Troon, so although all days next week are going to be a biscuit and chocolate free days, we could enjoy fresh baked cake day onboard Ruffian whilst continuing our way into unexplored waters.
Walking to the convenience store. It beats the drive to Tesco's.
Iain at 'The Summit".
Larry tries base jumping.
Ruffian from a high.
On the way down.
The stress of Cuan Sound. Left, right, left, right. Well done us.
Drying everything out after our first soaking on the trip.
The Bridge over the Atlantic at Puilladobhrain
Yet another sunset on Ruffian.