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Archive of posts filed under the Summer Cruise 2012 category.

Testing testing!

Just checking that the blog is working ok!

Position Report – Dumbarton

Back at Sandpoint, Dumbarton ready for lift out at the end of our four month trip.

Position Report – Lochranza, Arran

In busy Lochranza anchorage tonight – destination Dumbarton tomorrow.

Position Report – Islay

Now waiting at Port Ellen for favourable conditions to round the Mull of Kintyre. The forecast for tomorrow is not promising.

Recent Days

Sound of MUll from Beinn a' Ghraig

Sound of MUll from Beinn a’ Ghraig

The fine but largely windless weather continued as we visited anchorages at Loch na Keal (Scarisdale), Erraid (Tinker’s Hole) and S Mull (Carsaig) enjoying good hillwalking. The settled conditions allowed us to visit the W of Jura for the convenient ascent of Ben Garrisdale. The holding was not good in the rounded stones typical of the local raised beaches, and an overnight stay would be inadvisable. We sped through the Corryvreckan Sound on the strong ebb tide, continuing through the Dorus Mor and up Loch Shuna to Melfort. This little area has been developed as a holiday/timeshare/resort – well done using many existing buildings, neat and tidy, but with rather too many do/don’t signs although not without some charm. Our stroll from the pier took us past the ‘Shower of Herring’ pub/restaurant where we were tempted to eat out on the verandah on beautiful evening. After the next day’s hill a short trip took us to the sailing centre of Ardfern, where we had the use of friend Willie’s vacant mooring. We then had a near perfect sail down the Sound of Jura in an easterly breeze, which gradually increased to a NE6 as we rounded into Loch Sween. Off the large and busy caravan site at Castle Sween small boats were having difficulties in the now Force 7 gusting 8. We went over to check on a constantly capsizing dinghy sailor but he was winning back to shore without help; then three boys in a rowing boat waved for assistance. By the time we got sails down and motored back they had given up rowing and were blown ashore on the opposite side of the loch. We made a few passes as close as we dared in the shallow water of a lee shore, but they were in no danger and appeared unwilling or unable to row out to us to be taken off. However, a rib soon came over from the campsite and we left him in charge of the situation. We plugged on up the loch into the weather and eventually turned in to well sheltered Tayvallich Bay through the narrow gap in its protecting reef. Here we met ‘Mara’ and spent a pleasant afternoon in the company of Helen and John.

Position Report – Jura

Glendebadel Bay, W Jura

Glendebadel Bay, W Jura

Temporary anchorage at Glendebadel Bay on W coast of Jura, below Ben Garrisdale.

Position Report

Anchored at Scarisdale Rocks, Loch na Keal, West Mull.

Recent Activity

Rainbow - Loch Carron

Rainbow – Loch Carron

Rum - Late Evening

Rum – Late Evening

Full Moon - Arisaig

Full Moon – Arisaig

After our break we picked up /Arctica/ at Portree and returned to Plockton to await the arrival of Bob and Hilary, who joined us for a day – lunch at Poll Domhain south of Applecross, and dinner back on the mooring. /Rebecca/ arrived that evening, allowing us a chat with Ken before we left next morning. On a beautiful sunny day we started south – through Loch Alsh and Kylerhea into the Sound of Sleat – overnighting at Isle Ornsay before continuing to Arisaig, with its tortuous but well marked entrance channel. While waiting for Innes and his friend Jim from London to join us for the weekend, the Skipper had a grand day on the hills south of Loch Morar while the Mate took a bus trip to Fort William. As time was short, we did as much in the weekend as possible – sadly no sailing breeze, but continuous sunshine. After a night at Loch Scavaig in the shadow of the southern Cuillin we visited off-lying Soay, where there are the remains of the shore factory of the basking shark fishery operated in the early 1950′s by Tex Geddes, who had previously been with Gavin Maxwell on his original venture, which used a converted steam drifter as a factory ship. That night was spent at Loch Scresort, Rum where we dined at Kinloch Castle in celebration of Innes’ recent birthday. Today we continued south from Arisaig, making the six hour trip down to Loch Cragaig, Ulva with plans to spend a few days on the west coast of Mull. Hopes of some real sailing are not high as only a very light breeze is expected for the rest of the week.

Position Report – Rum

Arctica was at Loch Scresort, Rum overnight 4/5 Aug 12.

Plockton & Portree

In Crowlin Anchorage

In Crowlin Anchorage

The Quiraing from Bioda Buidhe

The Quiraing from Bioda Buidhe

On a quiet afternoon we went through the Strome Narrows and in to upper Loch Carron with two objectives – to see the dolphins and climb a couple of hills – but succeeded in neither. The dolphins which entertained us so well on our last visit did not show up this time, and the approach to the hills from that side would have involved slogging up through deep, dense and wet bracken without adequate outerwear. We retreated and went over to the Crowlin Islands to spend the night in the beautifully sheltered narrow anchorage between the islands. We then continued across to Skye, meeting a large group of dolphins off Raasay. They played round the bow and criss-crossed below us for a time, then were suddenly gone but remained visible in small numbers throughout the Sound. We moored up in Portree as a base for a few days, and Arctica will now remain there for a week while the Mate visits London and the Skipper bags a few more hills.