Statistics for 2022 and what next.
02 September 2022 | Sandy
Ann and Steve Crome
Overall this year we were away 14 to 20 June and 1 July to 26 August, 64 days, around 9 weeks. We moved the boat on 41 of those days including 2 nights in the Crinan Canal. We travelled 943 miles in 204 hours, 103 on the motor and 101 under sail. We had company for 6 nights (thanks Steve, very pleased you enjoyed it). We circumnavigated the Isle of Man and Skye and followed the Northern Ireland coast from Ardglass to Ballycastle. We had rain/drizzle on 16 of the days on which we sailed, it seemed like more, and only about half a dozen days warm enough for shorts.
What next? CG has to be moved from Troon to Largs to get the coppercoat antifouling topped up and for various other maintenance jobs. We'll do that weather permitting in the middle of October. We need to work out how and when she will come back to Troon. Then hopefully next year, at the 4th attempt, we will go around Ireland.
Photo shows the very choppy harbour in Portree, Skye.
Back to Troon for the winter.
02 September 2022
Ann and Steve Crome
From the Crinan canal we overnighted in Portavadie Marina, a short 4 h trip in which we managed a 1 h sail. The following day we had one of our best sails of the whole trip from Portavadie to the anchorage on Little Cumbrae island in bright warm sunshine. 4.5 h in total with a 3 h sail. Then on the 26th, the complete opposite, 3h on the motor in drizzle from Little Cumbrae to Troon, thankfully it stopped raining just as we go there.
Photo shows are rather impressive waterfall in Loch Scavaig from earlier in the trip.
24 August 2022 | Portavadie Marina
Ann and Steve Crome | Big black cloud!!
The Crinan canal goes for 9 miles across the top of the Mull of Kintyre peninsula and saves a very long trip of about 120 miles around the Mull. Said like that it should be a lot less effort, or so we thought! 14 locks, 11 of which are totally man powered, is no mean amount of work for a couple of unfit, 60-somethings. We did it over two days and it's a good job we did. The pilot book says it can be done in a day. Only by a boat crewed by a rugby team I would say. It is very pretty, pottering along at 4 mph. But each lock takes about half an hour to negotiate. We went through with other boats providing help and there are canal staff to help with gates and sluices, opening the 5 road bridges and planning. But still no mean feat.
For a meal on our first night in the canal the only choice was a 3* hotel that looked like the worst of run down Blackpool sea front. But the food was amazing. You never know what you will find.
We came out of the canal this morning for a short trip across to Portavadie, only 10 miles. We got a sail party of the way which we hadn't expected so that was a bonus. Off to Little Cumbrae tomorrow, then to Troon for the winter.
Photo shows CG crammed in a lock with two other boats. Mostly we locked with only one other because of our size, but the lock keeper crammed a tiddler in with us on this lock which made things even more interesting
Making our way home
24 August 2022 | Portavadie Marina
Ann and Steve Crome | Showers, warm or cold, everything!
Back on wifi again after several days of no or poor 4G. Since the last post we moved first to Tobermory. Very pretty place but very bumpy and uncomfortable in the north easterly wind blowing so we gave up after on of our planned two days there and moved on to Loch Aline (4 h great sail), a very pretty and much more sheltered anchorage. From there to Oban, what passes for a metropolis in this part of the world for serious laundry, shopping and a meet up with Steve's niece and great niece. We had hoped to take them out for a sail but it was too windy/choppy for beginners including a five year old so we retired gracefully to lunch on board. It was great to see them. Four nights in Oban by the time the wind had subsided enough for us to venture out. Sunday 21st,Oban to Crinan (5 h,25 miles, a lot of motoring unfortunately due to head winds) to enter the canal. More of that in the next blog.
In Oban, we came across a street concert by the Oban High School pipe and drum band, a wonderful hours entertainment by some very talented young people who clearly put a lot of practice time in
Released from the fog
13 August 2022 | Armadale Skye
Ann and Steve Crome | Sunny!!
This is what the Skye bridge looks like from the same place once the fog lifted. So we left and motored all the way to Armadale except for 15ins when the wind teased us into putting the sails up then promptly died again. Now anchored in Armadale Bay. Day on shore tomorrow to go to the Gardens the off to Tobermory the start of our route back to Troon for the winter.
Circumnavigation of Skye, 2
13 August 2022 | Kyle of Lochalsh visitor buoy near Skye Bridge
Ann and Steve Crome | Foggy!!
After 3 days hiding in Portree we escaped as the wind dropped (slightly) on the 10th to run downwind to the mainland and Shieldaig, 5h, winds up to 30 kts rarely but 25 kts a lot. We were going downwind with half the jib up at up to 7 kts. Next day to Poll Domhain (6h), a tiny anchorage for a night to break the journey to Plockton which we completed on the engine for 2h in no wind yesterday. Plockton is a very pretty place with lovely views and the Plockton Inn does great food. We left Ploxkton for Armadale at 0840 this morning but ran in to dense fog, visibility down to c100m. So we bottled out and are now attached to a buoy about a quarter mile from the Skye bridge. Great 4G signal, small wins!
Photo shows our current view of the bridge!! I put at bit of the boat in for perspective.