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Archive of entries posted on April 2006

TORRIDON HILLS




TORRIDON HILLS

Originally uploaded by arctica.

Fine weather, if a bit short of wind, continued as we visited Fladday
south, Acarseid Mor (S Rona), inner Loch Torridon (where the views of
the hills were magnificent) and Shieldaig, returning to Kyleakin by way of a short stop at the inner anchorage of the Crowlin Islands. Cass caught (just) the train back to Inverness after a sprint across the bridge to Kyle of Lochalsh.

SKYE BRIDGE




SKYE BRIDGE

Originally uploaded by arctica.

We sailed up the Sound of Sleat, passing through the Kylerhea narrows with a 5kt flood tide, and out beneath the Skye Bridge (now toll-free)
where the juxtaposition of old and new, the lighthouse on Eilean Bhan
and the soaring bridge above, makes an interesting contrast. At Portree we shopped and Cass visited friends at the local dental practice. Churchtown Bay, Raasay was the next port of call where we picked up a visitors’ mooring. We donned boots and enjoyed a pleasant walk up Dun Caan, the micro Stac Pollaidh which sits atop the island.

BOY’S WEEK




BOY’S WEEK

Originally uploaded by arctica.

As the Mate departed home to attend to domestic matters, so arrived Cass from Inverness to join Arctica for a week. After overnighting in Oban to let the worst of a southerly gale blow over, we sailed down the Sound of Mull and back to Loch Sunart. Next morning, we went ashore at Loch Borrodale (N side of L Sunart) to visit Cass’ family cottage for its post-winter check up. Unspoiled by over-modernisation, it sits in a lovely spot on the slopes overlooking the loch, with open moor above and mature woodland below. In the afternoon we motored against a headwind out to Ardnamurchan Point, then were frustrated when the wind died away just as we were expecting to enjoy a broad reach up to Arisaig – so it was onwards under the iron sail! Arisaig was as pretty as ever, with a new trot of moorings added this season as its popularity as a summer cruising base increases.

FIRST TIMERS




FIRST TIMERS

Originally uploaded by arctica.

We were joined by Steve, Sharon and Aishlene as novice crew for a weekend sail out of Dunstaffnage, by Oban. Newcomers to sailing perhaps, but not to having a good time and being great company. They revelled in the force 6/7 gusting 8 which powered us across to the Sound of Mull, scorned the handy bolthole of Loch Aline and shrugged off the rain as we continued to a sheltered anchorage in Loch Sunart. Sunday gave us sunshine and a more moderate wind so we enjoyed a fine sail back to Loch Aline for lunch and a walk ashore, then returned to Dunstaffnage in the evening. Aishlene seemed to enjoy her trip up the mast in the bosun’s chair!

SETTING SAIL




SETTING SAIL

Originally uploaded by arctica.

Arctica’s exit from Crinan sea-lock into west coast waters marks the start of our 2006 cruising adventure. While the distant shores of Norway are our goal, there is much interest and enjoyment to be had along our leisurely way via Orkney, Fair Isle and Shetland. Arctica is in good shape, the Skipper and Mate tolerably so, and we set off with high hopes as liveaboards for five months. Our occasional photo-diary will record some of the events, places and impressions as we go. Do not expect a postcard as well! Feel free to post comments or questions to enliven the
blog.