Latest Event Updates
The forecast is appalling with winds into F8, F9 & even gusts of F10!!!! Naturally, we’re fine and safe out of it in the basin at Crinan, ie about 3m above sea level behind lock gates. Today, we walked about 5 miles along the canal and back, there being no buses on a Sunday! Despite a showery forecast, it was dry & sunny, although chilly. So, my birthday has been memorable and thank you for the messages. Tonight, we will eat again at the hotel. Incidentally, Gina and our children all contributed to buy me new offshore gear for my birthday. Very, very nice and welcome. In fact, so welcome that, given the generally poor weather conditions, I have been wearing it since Largs. A big improvement on my 20 year old kit which I will keep for RO duties! Back to the sailing. I’m not sure where we will go next because there is never any need to go very far. But, it has to be said that navigation here can be a lot more challenging than on the south coast. For example, we will probably go to Arisaig and, on the way there, we might go through the Cuan Sound. Check them out!!! Back tomorrow 😄
Here we are in the basin of Crinan Canal, waiting for the gales to pass. I was here last year in the campervan to see Jeremy & Phil in Hafren. They set out on 31st May, a year tomorrow, which is my birthday. We’vhe just eaten a very good fish dinner at the Crinan Hotel – excellent. Thanks Kaggs & Matt! No phone reception at all here. So, contact may be sporadic. We are now both sitting in the hotel lounge tapping away on our iPhones – very modern. With no reception, I’ll take it as read tomorrow that you are all phoning to send best wishes. You could try texting😄
Winds no more than 10 kts and on the beam with sunshine has given us a perfect day cruising along the East side of the Sound of Jura. The plan was to reach Crinan before the high winds forecast for my birthday. Gales are now forecast so we are going through the lock gates into the basin where will be snug until it all blows over. There in a nice bistro where we will probably eat this evening.
On the way, we went in close to the bay where I met Hafren last year. At the time, I lost track of time a bit and took a bottle of wine with me to the beach to celebrate. We soon finished the bottle. It was 08:30 in the morning!!! Hic
We finished our day running into Crinan at 2 kts in no hurry whatsoever on a perfect day. (No sign of the gales which are forecast)
Picked up a mooring off Gigha Island at about 14.30 after a great sail with winds of up to 27 kts on the port quarter. Some heavy showers, but short-lived. Now almost cloudless, but with up to 20 kt winds over the deck. Wind generator is earning its keep! Gigha looks beautiful, but I don’t think we’ll be launching the dinghy somehow because of the wind. Facilities ashore look very enticing, but hey ho!!
G kept the log and charted our position today, which is good practice for her.
Leave berth at 09:00 on what promises to be good with wind of 15 kts on the port beam and sunshine. Just rattling past Rathlin Island. Destination Gigha on a visitor’s mooring. All in very good spirits but dressed for the cold. Today, we can see Ireland and Scotland and any ships which may be around (none at present)! The rain squalls, just been through one, feature winds of 25 kts. With this beautiful roller reefing on both sails, we just get rid of sail and then, gust passed, break it out again.
Still not moving although thinking of maybe tomorrow. Very strange sitting around just reading, talking and joking. Lots of giggles. Considered moving ‘back’ to Largs, or Troon, or Bangor, but distances are quite significant. And then we have to come all the way back again. Just going to carry on reading for the moment. Looking out towards Rathin Island, it’s sunny but still looks pretty evil. We’re using some of the time profitably by taking G through some of the intricacies of navigation.
You might be wondering why the AIS is suggesting that we haven’t moved today. It’s because I haven’t even bothered to switch the instruments on!! This morning, as soon as we were in a position to prepare for the next leg, we listened to the inshore weather forecast and … yuk!! Endless wind and rain. Then, it started to pour and it hasn’t stopped all day. We’re snug here, so here we will remain for at least another night. The ‘tent’ which extends the spray-hood over the whole cockpit (see photo in “a new perspective”) is incredibly useful in this weather. We can keep the companionway open for fresh air and leave our wet clothes in the cockpit to dry. We even had lunch out there. Brilliant😄 G is enjoying just relaxing and reading. To pass the time, I’ve bought a thick book with me (by which I mean a book with lots of pages, not a book written especially for me!) entitled “Into the Silence”. Published in 2011, it is about the Mallory expeditions of 1921, 22 & 24, but in the context of the political situation at that time. I’ve read it once and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I want to read it again.
Incidentally, G has mentioned the anchor-drag incident in Fishguard and you may be wondering why the anchor alarm didn’t sound. The reason is that, when I set it, we had already dragged and had already been ‘fielded’ by the ground tackle of the navigation buoy. Despite looking out of the windows, we didn’t appreciate it. When, in the daylight, we lifted the anchor and as we started to motor back to our original position, off went the alarm!!! I think I was very lucky to have retrieved the anchor without having to call out a diver and without having heaped embarrassment upon myself, G having played no part in my errors!! As it was, we snook back before the world awoke😁