China Girl, UK Circumnavigation - Year 6

Vessel Name: China Girl
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 41DS
Hailing Port: Ipswich
Crew: Ann and Steve Crome
Social:
27 July 2021 | Largs Yacht Haven
22 July 2021 | Kames Hotel West Kyle of Bute.
19 July 2021 | Loch Goil
19 July 2021 | Loch Goil
13 July 2021 | Westwood Hall Hotel, Leeds
08 July 2021 | Troon Marina
05 July 2021 | Stranraer Marina
26 June 2021
26 October 2019
03 October 2019 | Preston Marina
01 October 2019 | Peil Island
28 September 2019 | Liverpool Marina
21 September 2019 | Bangor
20 September 2019 | Porth Dinorwic Marina
16 September 2019 | Rhosneigr
16 September 2019 | Rhosneigr
16 September 2019 | Holyhead
14 September 2019 | Dulas Bay, Anglesea
Recent Blog Posts
28 June 2024 | Stornoway inner marina

A bit of everything.

Here we are in Stornoway preparing to fly home next Wednesday (3 July) and hoping to get a walk around the castle fitted in between the showers. Which brings me to the weather...

18 June 2024 | S Harris Marina, Tarbert, Harris, Outer Hebrides

Hard on the Wallet

Well, interesting times in Dunvegan on Skye. We dinghied into Dunvegan Castle pontoon to go and se the castle and gardens. The castle is interesting, a lot of history of the MacLeod clan; the oldest continuously occupied castle in Scotland. The gardens are brilliant, more different species of plant [...]

12 June 2024 | Loch Dunvegan near the castle

It's so bloody cold!

I was right, we did have to hide in Lochboisdale. Arrived on Monday 3rd, first chance to escape without getting blown to bits was Sunday 9th. So we hired a car for 3 days and toured South Uist, Benbecula, Eriskay and Barra by car.

02 June 2024 | Arinogour on Coll

Don't you just love the British weather

Just a quick note to post a photo taken of the same view from the same spot a few minutes ago.

02 June 2024 | Arinogour on Coll

Dodging the storms, but a bit of unexpected sailing!

Kerrera marina to Tobermoray we expected to have to motor with the forecast being little wind on the nose up the Sound of Mull. Turned out to be a lot of wind on the nose which meant beating all the way was an option. We decided to beat until we got fed up and then motor, so ended up tacking back and [...]

30 May 2024 | Kerrera Marina, Oban Bay

Here we go again

Hi all. Sorry not to have posted for so long. We're off on our trip from Troon via the Outer Hebrides and the Orkneys to finish in Inverness in September. We may go to Shetland if the weather gods are kind. We plan to get to Stornaway at the top of the Outer Hebrides on Lewis Island by early July and [...]

A bit of everything.

28 June 2024 | Stornoway inner marina
Ann and Steve Crome | Mostly rain with dry bits
Here we are in Stornoway preparing to fly home next Wednesday (3 July) and hoping to get a walk around the castle fitted in between the showers. Which brings me to the weather...

My moans about the cold were partially assuaged for a few days and I actually broke out my summer kit for a few days. Not as extreme as shorts though. Back to really chilly now though. The winds have been everything from motoring weather to hiding from a gale.

That said, we have found several days of about the right amount of wind from a reasonable direction and our total sailing hours for the trip so far are 56 compared to 51 motoring, so pretty good (usually its about 60% motoring).

Picking up from the last blog. We left Tarbert on Harris on 20th to cross the Minch to the mainland to Staffin Bay on Skye, aka the middle of nowhere. Full sails, reefed sails, motor on, repeat, 8 hrs of every type of wind; a great day. Next day from Staffin to Loch Shieldag which is in The Gairloch on the mainland. Jib only, 19 kts of wind on the beam, 5.5 to 6 kts another great sail. Next day we moved within Gairloch to Badacho Bay, 2 miles on the motor. Both very pretty places, no 4G. 23rd, Gairloch to L Ewe, wind, no wind, motor on, off, but mostly off; 25 miles in 5.5 h in mostly SUNSHINE the real rare commodity of the trip so far. From there two days later to the Summer Isles near Ullapool. Very pretty.

The weather is building, the forecast is for a gale in Rockall which is several hundred miles SW of us but it's heading our way. Forecast for a gale in our area, Hebrides, in 24 h. We abandoned our plan for our next trip to be to a remote bay back across the Minch on N Harris and fled to Stornoway. Another interesting 7 hour 33 mile day. Cruising chute, white sails, motor when the wind died. We got in a quarter hour too late to avoid the rain that had been chasing us across as the front approached and got soaked. But a good day nevertheless.

So here we are in Stornoway now until we fly home on then 3rd, back on the 11th then off around the top of Scotland to Orkney and maybe Shetland.

Photo shows the view across Loch Shieldag. CG is the one closest to the exact centre of the photo (i think!)

Hard on the Wallet

18 June 2024 | S Harris Marina, Tarbert, Harris, Outer Hebrides
Ann and Steve Crome | Still bloody cold!
Well, interesting times in Dunvegan on Skye. We dinghied into Dunvegan Castle pontoon to go and se the castle and gardens. The castle is interesting, a lot of history of the MacLeod clan; the oldest continuously occupied castle in Scotland. The gardens are brilliant, more different species of plant and tree per square meter than I've seen anywhere I think. Because we used the pontoon, we were charged £26 each for the entry fee; had we come in a car it would have been £13.50. This we felt was a rip off and complained, but they're not interested. Dinner that night in the Dunvegan restaurant. Fabulous. Done like a Michelin restaurant (which it's not), with a fixed menu and superlative service it was a real experience. You pay for what you get though. My credit card is wilting a bit.

Our two nights in Dunvegan turned into three when we bottled out of what looked like a very windy crossing back to the Outer Hebrides at Lochmaddy on N Uist. Next day was not that windy but we were hard on the wind so it was a lumpy crossing and quite hard work. Just an overnight in Lochmaddy in a remote spot away from the village, didn't go ashore. Next day (Sun 16th) a short hop of 14 miles straight line distance to Loch Finsbay on South Harris. It was a dead beat and we had to tack so did 19 miles into winds up to the mid-20s, a hard work sail but only for 4 1/4 hours. Again overnight in a quiet spot, then Monday off to Tarbert on the isthmus between N and S Harris (funnily enough Tarbert means isthmus in Gaelic). we expected to beat again but the wind came around just enough and dropped to high teens letting us fine reach all the way, 14 miles in 3 1/4 hours.

We're here now till Thursday (20th), in S Harris marina on a pontoon. Been cycling today; washing and shopping tomorrow.

Photo shows the view down L Tarbert from the bike-pushingly steep hill overlooking the marina. CG on the finger pontoons.

It's so bloody cold!

12 June 2024 | Loch Dunvegan near the castle
Ann and Steve Crome | Sunny but cold
I was right, we did have to hide in Lochboisdale. Arrived on Monday 3rd, first chance to escape without getting blown to bits was Sunday 9th. So we hired a car for 3 days and toured South Uist, Benbecula, Eriskay and Barra by car.

Then things cheered up and we got a fantastic 5 hour sail across to Canna; engine only on to leave and arrive the harbours. Two nights there to allow us to do the walk to see the puffins. About 2 hours each way so there had better have been some, and there were. I have a photo which shows some in the distance and they look like black dots. I'm going to have to do a lot of cropping and expanding get them up to visible size. Next day off from Canna to Rum, only 12 miles but we sailed all the way there, so an enjoyable trip. We saw two eagles! Not sure if they were white-tailed or golden, and moving too fast for my camera skills, but we can say we saw them, one of the reasons we went to Rum.

Today from Rum to Dunvegan on Skye, our first no-wind motor-all-day trip of the year. 44 miles, but at least we have hot water for showers.

The consistent thing about the whole trip so far is that it has been so bloody cold. It's June for God's sake and we are sailing in thermals and full waterproofs. This is not funny; forecast shows little improvement in the next week either.

We're here in Dunvegan for two nights, off to see the castle and posh restaurant tomorrow (Thursday) then hoping to cross back to the Outer Hebrides - Lochmaddy on North Uist of Friday, But the weathers looking dodgy....

Photo shows A view across S Uist towards Barra, nice white fluffy clouds but sooo cold!!

Don't you just love the British weather

02 June 2024 | Arinogour on Coll
Ann and Steve Crome | 'orrible
Just a quick note to post a photo taken of the same view from the same spot a few minutes ago.

Dodging the storms, but a bit of unexpected sailing!

02 June 2024 | Arinogour on Coll
Ann and Steve Crome | Dull and misty. Dreich in Scottinh
Kerrera marina to Tobermoray we expected to have to motor with the forecast being little wind on the nose up the Sound of Mull. Turned out to be a lot of wind on the nose which meant beating all the way was an option. We decided to beat until we got fed up and then motor, so ended up tacking back and forth across the sound making the journey 36 miles against a straight line distance of 23. But a cracking good sail on a flat sea in around 15 kts of wind. Overnighter in Tobermory to hit the CO-OP then off to Coll yesterday. Wind gods said a fine reach most of the way from the north western corner of Sound of Mull to Arinogour on Coll, which is what we got. Added bonus - sunshine! A rare commodity at the moment. Got in early and actually sat in a pub garden in shirt sleeves. Back to normal today, dull and misty and cold. Weather coming in is mostly dire, so we have revised plans to visit the small Isles and are taking a weather window tomorrow to go all the way to Loch Boisdale on South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, 47 miles. May need to hide there till next weekend.

Photo shows the view of Arinogour Town from CG.

Here we go again

30 May 2024 | Kerrera Marina, Oban Bay
Ann and Steve Crome | Sunny at the moment
Hi all. Sorry not to have posted for so long. We're off on our trip from Troon via the Outer Hebrides and the Orkneys to finish in Inverness in September. We may go to Shetland if the weather gods are kind. We plan to get to Stornaway at the top of the Outer Hebrides on Lewis Island by early July and come home for a few days.

We left Troon on 24 May with Steve Arnold joining us as crew and have travelled via Sanda Island, Gigha Island, Loch Tarbert on Jura and Puilladolbhain to Oban where we dropped Steve off to get the train home. Two really good sailing days, Sanda to Gigha (32 miles in 6.5 h) and L Tarbert to Puilladolbhain (33 miles in 6.5h, mostly using the cruising chute). The rest was all motoring due to too little wind for the distance to be covered. Not much wildlife seen, just a couple of seals and the usual array of seabirds.

CG just relieved us of another £150 for a replacement engine battery. Gary from the boatyard has this amazing device that you connect to the battery and it does a health check. Unfortunately our engine battery said 'replace' in a big red banner. On the plus side, the two batteries that run the bow thruster (and possibly the anchor winch, not sure) both came out as fine.

We leave Kerrera Marina in Oban Bay tomorrow for an overnight in Tobermory and then on to Coll.

Photo shows a really peaceful evening in Puilladolbhain anchorage 8 miles south of Oban.
China Girl's Photos - Main
Seen on 1st trip from Penzance to Scillies
No Photos
Created 11 July 2019
A few photos of the collection of ships made out of matchsticks
No Photos
Created 2 June 2019
No Photos
Created 28 May 2019
No Photos
Created 27 April 2019

About & Links