Issac Newton once said that what goes up must come down. With Ruffian, when we go north we must also head south and southing we are going. We have also finished one chapter in the adventures of Ruffian, by officially closing off the north western isles and we have opened another chapter by moving from salt to fresh water.
The final days north of the Crinan Canal found Ruffian waking to anchorages a plenty, sunshine and gentle breezes and most importantly schools of mackerel. Once you have found the school, catching mackerel isn't that technical. You put the rod in and pull out fish. The line of plenty is finally plentiful and the Sound of Shuna is clearly a haven for these little critters. We chased the little critters and ended up circumnavigating Shuna having taken a look at an anchorage just south of the sound. After nosing in we thought that we'd look elsewhere and headed off to a tiny hole called Ardinamir Bay.
Ardinamir Bay would be challenging to get into to say the least. The pilotage information of the bay is sketchy at best and the entrance is a mere 15 meters wide. Legend would have it that there used to be a mad old woman who would sit at the entrance and shout at boats as they approached. We looked forward to this thinking we'd give her a special Ruffian sing song in return. There was however no such luck for us.
As we nosed our way in down went the depth and in came the rocks. With only 10cm's of water under our keel and rocks less than a boat length away we got scared, very scared and Fiona managed to turn Ruffian in it's own length to run like scaredy cats to make for somewhere more sensible. Well done Fiona. All ended well with us finding a quiet spot at Kilmelford where we could let the 25knots of forecast breeze blow through and hide from the evening of rain.
Finding ourselves back at Crinan, to make transit through the Canal, we would be saying our goodbye's to the northern coastline. We would enter the lochs and change again from a sea going ship to a canal bound motorboat. The farewell couldn't have been more perfect. As we came into the lower basin, an old puffer, called Vic 32 played us 'Speed Bonnie Boat' on her steam pipes, this marking the end of an amazing chapter.
In Crinan we await for some honoured guests who will be helping us take Ruffian through the Canal where we hope to exit tomorrow into another sea and adventures new.
Sunsets over scenery that we will never forget in North Western Scotland.
Our track around Shuna and it's surrounding anchorages was somewhat bizarre.
Fiona driving. In shorts!!!!!!!!!
Is it always sunny in Scotland? Our experience would say yes.
After our 'close shave' at Ardinamir Fiona does some light reading.
Where did that sun go? Rain, rain, rain on the way to Crinan.
The puffer piped us into the Crinan.
Goodbye north western isles. You've given us some amazing times.
Ruffian transforms from a sea going vessel to a fresh water motorboat.