Subscribe to blog posts feed

Subscribe to blog comments feed

Scotland Sailing
Insights into Sailing in Scotland

The great “Dileas” adventure… (Part 4)

October 29th, 2009 alison

Read Part 3

Time for reflection - Loch Drumbuie

Loch Drumbuie

At half 11 we upped anchor and left Loch Aline. We were headed for Loch Drumbuie (Loch na Droma Buidhe), and as we entered the Sound of Mull we put up the mainsail and drifted downwind towards our destination, enjoying a cuppa enroute. At half 1 we were off the entrance to Loch Sunart and being careful to avoid both Little and Big Stirk we turned to see the entrance of Loch Drumbuie ahead of us. We dropped the sail, motored through the gap, wary of the underwater rock just inside the entrance. After deciding on the traditional spot just to the right of the entrance where only 2 other yachts were anchored, we dropped the hook in 6 metres. With the anchor holding first time we settled to a leisurely lunch and kept an eye on whether or not we were going to drag, as the wind was funnelling through the loch and making us swing about quite a bit. There are numerous options for places to anchor in Loch Drumbuie and as the afternoon progressed more boats arrived with another couple anchoring close to us, many up the head of the loch, and the Glen Massan anchoring on the opposite side (near where the fish farm used to be). The weather was warm despite the funnelling wind, and some children off one of the other boats had gone in swimming, but wetsuits were required!

The next morning we were up early and travelling the 5 miles to Tobermory. We thought we would try to meet up with the West Higland Week fleet and enjoy some of the fun of the regatta. At 10.15 we raised the anchor and headed out into a southeasterly 20kt breeze. However, we had no plans to sail for this short hop as the main aim was to get into Tobermory before the race boats and hopefully get a pontoon berth before they were filled.

As the forecasts had been for windy weather we found Tobermory a little busier than expected, with many cruising boats sitting out the worst of the weather, and only one space left on the pontoons. We made use of the new facilties at the harbour and then sat and waited for the pandemonium to begin. As the racing fleet arrived numerous boats came over to try and get a space on the pontoon, only to be turned away by the harbourmaster after a lucky few had been allowed to raft off. The rest had to go and use the moorings, or anchor around the edges of Tobermory Bay, but it didn’t stop them making it to dry land for the evenings entertainment and the Mishnish and Macgochans were bursting at the seams.

A busy Tobermory about to get busier when the West Highland Week fleet arrives         Tobermory about to get busier

Tags: , , , , ,

The great “Dileas” adventure… (Part 3)

October 26th, 2009 alison

Read Part 2

The next day we had planned to head to Oban and try to sneak into Kerrera to berth while all the West Highland Week fleet was out racing. However, we had a change of plan and decided to head for Loch Aline instead where we could spend the night at anchor. Having spent the first part of our holidays in marinas and canals we were looking forward to the change.

We left Craobh and headed for the Cuan Sound, a picturesque narrow channel between the islands of Seil and Luing. We passed by Easdale and headed up the Sound of Luing aiming for the Sound of Mull. There was quite a breeze once we got into the open water and having started with one reef in the main and a well reefed genoa we decided we’d be more comfortable with a second reef and further tested our single line reefing (a pleasant change from the  slab reefing which we were used to!).  Feeling more under control we headed again towards the Sound of Mull passing Insh Island to  starboard, and the entrance of Loch Spelve to port. Just as we were reaching Lady Rock we saw the lead boats in the West Highland Week fleet heading past Lismore Light in the Round Lismore Race. This year they had gone anti-clockwise around Lismore Island. Following close on their heels was the rest of the fleet. Being used to being part of the fleet I hadn’t realised how spectacular it could look, and seeing all the yachts reaching along the island side by side was really fantastic.

West Highland Week fleet off Lismore Light

West Highland Week passes Lismore Light

We carried on up the Sound of Mull passing Glas Eilean to port and as we got closer to Loch Aline’s entrance rolled away the genoa, sailing through the entrance under the power of the main. You need to keep an eye on the ferry leaving Loch Aline as the entrance is quite narrow and meeting the ferry on its way out would have made it feel very tight for space. We dropped the main once inside the loch, decided where to anchor, and tested the windlass for the first time this trip. Anchored in 9m just into south of the entrance we found ourselves nicely sheltered from the southerly winds forecast, and although another 5 or 6 boats joined us throughout the rest of the day it remained peaceful. The plan for the next part was to head for Loch Drumbuie, and then to make the short hop to Tobermory to join in some of the shoreside festivities that accompany West Highland Week.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,