On board Ruffian there are a couple of Yachtmasters (Larry is busy studying for his). One of the major components of the Yachtmaster syllabus is weather. Weather is very important when a; on holiday, b; when you are living on a boat and c; when you are on holiday on a boat. All those onboard Ruffian were pretty happy with their weather knowledge and then we came to Scotland. In Scotland confusion seems to reign. The barometer changes and we get no wind, the barometer stays still and we get breeze, we are greeted by a high pressure system and are subjected to rain and cloud. All this is not what we have come to expect in all our learnings. We have however, as you would expect, been making the best of things on Ruffian, from laughing hysterically about getting into a freezing cold bed whilst wearing thermals, hats and even rompa suits to being awestruck by all the snow on the high peaks that surround us and which has even fallen on deck fleetingly.
After leaving Tobermory and the storms we were sheltering from we've had some fabulous downwind sailing in the sunshine and have had time at Loch Aline, Port Ramsay on Lismore, Shuna and Port Appin. Lots and lots of travelling. Not only have we travelled geographically we have also travelled in a time machine. Yesterday was classified as 70's night on Ruffian. We didn't don flares and play glam rock, instead we served up a classic 70's meal of our childhoods. This consisted on pressure cooked (when was the last time you used a pressure cooker) ham with parsley sauce and then the crowning glory was angel delight, butterscotch of course as all the other flavours are just plain wrong. All we needed to round things off were platform shoes, leg warmers and an episode of "Butterflies", none however were available with the limited facilities onboard Ruffian.
We've also had another day of blue and pink jobs and as usual, the roles where somewhat reversed. Fiona had some work to do and needed an internet connection, so off we went on a tour of the local anchorages to 'look' for an internet connection. Once one was 'sighted' we dropped the hook and Fiona duly worked away. Iain then took thug ashore in search of a washing machine, not for him, but for our clothes and Iain's thermals. The thermals were so alive they could almost drive thug ashore themselves. The washing machine was found in a four star hotel, which clearly Iain fitted right into, he was wearing his full yellow foul weather gear, looking like a big banana and soaking from his dingy ride. Washing deposited, the staff then offered the use of a shower (does he smell?) and showed him to a very glamorous bathroom with sauna and fluffy white towels. Enquiring as to the cost, he was informed that £10 would suffice, the 'kind offer' was therefore quickly turned down. Looks like showering will have to wait another day.
Over the next few days we'll be hoping to cut ourselves off from civilisation again while exploring the islands in Loch Linnie and avoiding the rain.
Sailing downwind along the Sound of Mull
The Ampair was deployed in 'water' mode for the first time. For the geeks amongst us it put 5 Amps into the batteries.
Iain enjoys a little bit of sunshine.
Fiona plays find the leak and hides from the rain in a locker.
On Shuna Island we spotted a large bird of prey, he was even eating some unfortunate smaller mammal. Can any ornithologists out there tell us what he is?
Manmade eagles gave us another flypast. A tornado chasing an F14?
We visited the castle at Shuna just before the big grey cloud dumped it's contents on us. Wet clothes on boats are a nightmare to dry, so drying then commenced.
Fiona tries to repel all rebels who were invading 'her' castle.
The sail from Shuna to Port Appin was a joy, read sunny.
At Port Ramsay on Lismore the seals were enjoying the fleeting sunshine.