SV Windsong

Adventure before dementia.

07 September 2021 | Kilmelford Yacht Haven
04 September 2021 | Loch Shuna - 56 13.817N,005 35.154W
03 September 2021 | Craighouse, Jura
02 September 2021 | Jura
01 September 2021 | Colonsay
31 August 2021 | Loch Buie
30 August 2021 | Loch Buie, Mull
28 August 2021 | Oban
27 August 2021 | Kererra
26 August 2021 | Shuna
25 August 2021 | Ananarnich Bay, Craignish Peninsula
24 August 2021 | Loch Don
23 August 2021 | Puilladobhrain
22 August 2021 | Garvellachs
21 August 2021 | Kilmelford
20 August 2021 | Kilmelford
19 August 2021 | Oban
18 August 2021 | Asknish bay & kilchattan bay
17 August 2021 | Kilmelford

4 non-sailing days (5-8 Sept)

07 September 2021 | Kilmelford Yacht Haven
Phil | Overcast to sunny (now)
With Katrina in London for 3 days (collecting Godson's Fiancee's wedding dress) it's been a case of catching up on some maintenance and jobs.
Sunday night we spent at a Premier Inn, so on returning to the boat on Monday (after putting Katrina on the London train) I found we had left the galley window open and the fridge had flooded with 6 inches of water. Lucky it was a day for jobs!
Fridge sorted, boat tidied, clothes unpacked, rain avoided covered Monday. Having spent the last 100 days or so with Katrina it was a great shock to be on my own!
After a good nights sleep, breakfast done, big job was to tackle the toilet. We've been having some seacock problems recently so ahead of a big winter refurbish, I decide to take the toilet out to better assess condition and give a good deep clean. It must be the engineer in me but if I take it to bits, I understand it better. Fully qualified sanitation engineer now!
Boat cleaned inside, Outboard engine flushed out & rest.
Not the most exciting post on our blog (not expecting any comments)!

Back to Kilmelford

04 September 2021 | Loch Shuna - 56 13.817N,005 35.154W
Phil (Skipper) Bamber | Overcast & blustery
Today was all about getting back to Kilmelford for Katrina's impending trip to London to help Nikki (her Godson's fiancé) collect her wedding dress.
Right, focussed, we have some wind (too much for Katrina) so before we leave Loch Kellis it's up with the main and 1 reef put in (to make it smaller). Leaving the bay and turning on our heading I'm glad we did! 20kts of wind, where did that come from Mr Forecaster! Genoa out, also with a 1 reef in it, and we're off at 7kts boat speed plus 1.5kts of tide. This will be a short day!
Well 45 minutes later we have the engine on as the wind has gone completely! That was the pattern for the day. We 'shook out' the reefs when the wind returned at a more respectable speed of 12kts.
Passing Crinnan & Dorus Mor we crossed paths with 'Equinox' again! Must have seen them 4 or 5 times this week! Pleasentaries exchanged, we continued up Shuna Sound northwards.
Then it all happened! 2 eagles soaring overhead and 3 porpoises across the stern! If you blink you can easily miss the wildlife let alone manage to take a picture! They all seen to know when you are ready to press the shutter and there gone! Wildlife photographers have our respect.
Hope you like the picture we managed to capture.

2 walks & 2 Distilleries!

03 September 2021 | Craighouse, Jura
Skipper | Overcast, warm, little wind
Our first trip onto Jura from our mooring at Craighouse. We have been using some pocket walk books for each of our trips ashore. Sometimes there is nothing close by & sometimes there are more than one!
We walked from Craighouse (lovely cottages - see picture) through the hamlets of Keils to Kilearnadil graveyard! the graveyard is rumoured to have St.Columbus's uncle buried there but it was not clearly marked. We did find a gravestone claiming Guilloir MacCrain had "lived to have had 180 Christmasses"! He was only 90, but they used to celebrate Christmas TWICE each year!
Our second walk took us up Torran Mor for a "spectacular view of the Small Isles bay & Paps of Jura". The trees have grown since the book was written!
We descended our walk to the Deer Island Distillery, a fledgling distillery just started during the COVID lockdown. Another bottle of Gin for the drinks cabinet on the boat. Finally, a visit to the Jura distillery for a bottle of 7 wood malt for Katrina's godson.
Back on the boat and with the swell entering the bay, we decided to move for a quieter night and a shorter day getting back to Kilmelford. We settled in Lock Kellis (Loch na Cille) on the western side of the Kintyre peninsula. Just 3 boats sharing a large shallow bay.

Oronsay to Jura (craighouse)

02 September 2021 | Jura
Katrina Wright | Warm and sunny
Waking up in Oronsay was a very pleasant experience especially as Colonsay was so bumpy. So it was a quick breakfast and onto the island to explore the Priory Ruins.

On our way we met a farmer, I thought Oronsay was uninhabited but he informed us that there are 8 inhabitants and he was off to replenish the water for the cattle. He was as amazed as we were that Scotland was not covered in rain clouds. He also told us that some of the visitors aren’t so respectful, as access to Oronsay from Colonsay is tidal some people do not know what the implications are and arrive at the farmhouse (next to the priory ruins) expecting someone to take them back. One particular tourist took one of their two (very important boats). We said we hoped they managed to find them and charge them accordingly, they said it was not about the money, the issue was in the hands of the police. Those boats are their ambulances, supply “trucks” and general all round emergency vehicles. The only thing that spoils paradise are the visitors! My words not his.

What a fantastic place the Priory is, so many buildings and stones to explore. We also had a “friend” on our way back to the boat, a pigeon! Couldn’t believe it, he couldn’t work out how to shake us off, we were following the road/track and so was he, after a mile or so he must have been so tired keeping in front of us, he finally took flight.

Back in the dingy the waves had increased, twice the outboard motor failed but thankfully restarted again, I felt as if I was on Hawaii 5-0! It felt as though we were surfing down the waves, we are getting much better at this and the added bonus of it being warm and sunny.

It was then off to Jura, through the sound of Islay, one lighthouse and 3 distilleries along Islay and there are so many more. Arriving on Jura, craighouse, now on a mooring buoy, nice and safe. Here’s to another good nights sleep!

Quick move! The ferries coming!

01 September 2021 | Colonsay
Katrina Wright | Warm
Beautiful sunrise, yes, we were up way before the sunrise as the wind and waves were gaining momentum - the direction of the wind meant a very bumpy morning blowing directly into the bay.

We Blew up the dingy but once in the water when the boat was up the dingy was down and visa versa ! So we thought we would wait for the waves and wind to calm down, then the calmac ferry lady , arrived at the pier ( I said we were close to the pier !) and asked how long we expected to stay - 3pm Phil says, is that a problem, erm she said not looking too convincing, "I suppose you will be ok"
!!! Have you seen the size of those ferries!!! No chance! We were off, only 1 mile down the coast so we weren't too far away from Lucy's cafe which apparently does a mean breakfast (in a good way!)

So it was down with the anchor (picture also include Jura in the background, the mountains are called "the paps of Jura") and off the boat, thankfully much calmer here so I didn't need to demonstrate my triple barrel roll into the dingy, phew! I don't know what I'd do without Phil, his planning is amazing, always one step ahead and this place is paradise. So after a Scottish breakfast we were well and truly ready for our walk. We even overtook the cyclist who had just arrived from the ferry - it was close! The hills are not really hills but in this heat sometimes it's easier to walk. Once around a lake and up to a viewing area (trig point) then down to see some standing stones. Although it is a small island there is something about this place, I would definitely come back, big enough with a shop, brewery, cafe and hotel but small enough to enjoy the peace and solitude of this beautiful island.

Once back we decided to move, again! Further down to a small island (joined to Colonsay at low tide) called Oronsay ruins of a priory can be found on this relatively flat island and an abundance of wildlife. We were so tired that it was all we could do to drop anchor and have something to eat, I'm writing this while Phil takes a well deserved rest, tomorrow we will get in the dingy ready for our next adventure.

Picture is of windsong at anchor on our second anchorage on Colonsay.

This beautiful land

31 August 2021 | Loch Buie
Katrina Wright | Sunny and warm
So so lucky to be able to enjoy this wonderful country.

We have a straight 6 days to explore the area to the west of the inner Hebrides, after that we have visitors and a few days in between then it’s off back to Ardrossan to put windsong to bed for the winter, so we are going to make the most of it.

We left Loch Buie early in the morning as it was a bit bumpy first thing, we had hoped to go ashore and explore the castle (pictured), Moy Castle built in the 14th century, it has a bottle neck dungeon filled with water and a stone in the centre on which the prisoner sat in darkness. Unfortunately the castle is currently closed to the public. It is also home of the only stone circle on Mull. Hey ho, maybe next year, the view was stunning as the sun set and rose in this beautiful place. When it's bumpy, it's bumpy and I for one don't relish jumping in and out if the dingy - I've learnt my lesson this season!

So it was off to Colonsay, 7 hrs and 20 miles later, trying to sail most of the way with 6 kts of wind means it's slow, but that's my kind of sailing! We anchored next to the pier, not much room and thankfully the cal Mac ferry was cancelled the day we were there, so we could relax, at least until tomorrow.

Vessel Name: Windsong
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg-Rassy 34
Hailing Port: Ardrossan
Crew: Phil Bamber, Katrina Wright
Adventure before dementia! Our first experience on a sailing vessel was in 2016 and we were hooked, since then Phil has achieved his Yacht Master Offshore RYA qualification. [...]
We were fortunate to have the opportunity to sail with a friend for 6 weeks around Scotland, Ireland, Scilly isles and the south coast. Since 2016 we have met some great people who have shared their experience, knowledge and yachts, sailing around the Outer and Inner Hebrides and around the [...]
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Windsong's Photos -