West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

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paradox
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West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by paradox »

Nearly a week since we left Glasson on Sunday, 27th June. Thanks to Dave (slippers) for launching. Also to Mick Bull and Gary Tonge for offering to tidy up the trailer. We were informed that it was the Skipper's duty to do this but awkward once launched.

Had first night at Piel. Only one buoy on the edge of the channel. Was advised by ex ferryman not to use this as unsafe and he showed us a buoy to use for the night. In the morning (28th) we were not happy with the low voltage on leisure batteries. Set off for Whitehaven at 9.50 (originally going to Ramsay) as could have batteries sent here if needed. Entered lock gates at 18.00.

Busy on Tuesday, 29th checking batteries and cleaning terminals. Have since found out that a couple from North West Venturers were also there but in different area.

Wed, 30th June, left Whitehaven at 13.30 when enough water to exit lock to sail to Kirkcudbright. Tight schedule to arrive at Kirkcudbright at HW. Decent wind to begin with but lessened and changed direction later. Managed to reach pontoon just after HW and no problem. Enjoyed stay here. Great weather. Busy with locals on pontoon Given razor clams to try by local fisherman. Delicacy in China where they were bound. Stayed 2 nights so trusty fold up bikes came out and we enjoyed a cycle to headland on east side opposite Little Ross Island.

Frid, 2nd July, set off at 6.20 for East Tarbert Bay on Mull of Galloway. En route went into Isle of Whithorn to look at possibility for anchoring but not great as very exposed. Continued our journey to the bay. With light winds on the stern, cruising shute was deployed. Arrived 12.45. Anchored to wait for tide turning. Launched dinghy to go ashore and walk to lighthouse. Worth a visit. Weather been great since leaving home but sea mist came in just as we left the bay at 18.30 for Portpatrick. Bad visibility all the way to Portpatrick. Arrived safely at 21.15. Couldn't see the transit lines until inside the harbour. Thank goodness for chart plotters. No space so had to raft up.

Enjoyed Portpatrick as weather lovely. Stayed 2 nights. Walked to Dunskey Castle at the top of the cliffs. Fresh mackerel for evening meal caught by boat next to us. Originally sailing straight to Islay from here. Complicated passage plan so decided to cross over to Glenarm, Ireland, tomorrow (4th), 30 NM, 285 degrees.
Attachments
Sailing up the Cumbria coast
Sailing up the Cumbria coast
Sunset at Whitehaven
Sunset at Whitehaven
Opposite the pontoon at Kirkcudbright
Opposite the pontoon at Kirkcudbright
davidb
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Portpatrick

Unread post by davidb »

Hi John and Jean, great first post thanks.!

Those leading lights into the harbour are not very clear without binoculars. Goodness knows how a stranger would go on entering in the dark in a blow.

Cheers David
"People who can breathe underwater when knocked unconscious dont need life jackets"
paradox
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

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Sunday, 4th July
Set off from Portpatrick at 8.10 am heading for Glenarm in thick sea mist. By the Maidens Lighthouse, a ship passed on our stern. Neither were visible but noise of the foghorn alerted us to the ship's presence. Very eery!!! Sea mist cleared as we sailed up the Irish coast and arrived in Glenarm in sunshine at 12.50. Good stopping off place but not a lot to do.

Monday, 5th July
Off to Ballycastle. Left Glenarm at 9.40 am. Good sail with decent amount of wind. Arrived at Ballycastle at 12.40 and filled up with red diesel. Last place we will be at for a while with red diesel in the harbour as heading west. Enjoyed fish and chips for lunch at renowned 'Mertons' fish shop. Had first rain since setting off in the afternoon but was on the boat. Cleared up later and lovely evening.

Tuesday, 6th July
Left Ballycastle for Glenarm at 9.30 am. Great sail with the tide past North East Lighthouse on Rathlin through MacDonnells Race. Arrived at Port Ellen at 14.00. Lovely friendly Marina. Lots of boats arrived later in the day. Had a quick bike ride round the village then Jean couldn't resist trying out her paddle boat as perfect conditions. Scallop boat came in later and given a bag full which we shared with our neighbours. Enjoyed for our evening meal.
Attachments
Mull of Kintyre in the background
Mull of Kintyre in the background
Cycling at Port Ellen
Cycling at Port Ellen
Jean on paddle board at Port Ellen
Jean on paddle board at Port Ellen
chrisb
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by chrisb »

Love your posts. Thanks for allowing us to sail vicariously! As Ann Johnson said when traveling on our narrowboat "Isn't it great when you don't have to worry about tomorrow's weather forecast".
I hope that the weather is kind to you, and you get to visit al the places on your wish-list.
C
dr.syn
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by dr.syn »

"We were informed that it was the Skipper's duty to do this but awkward once launched" .
John, Very awkward at times, as most sailor's know.
It's the skippers duty to see it's done, doesn't matter who does it. Have a good trip
I spent most of my money on Booze, Women and Boats. The rest I wasted.
We're born naked, wet and hungry - then things get worse
dr.syn
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by dr.syn »

Us that are stuck in need a sailing fix John, where are you now
I spent most of my money on Booze, Women and Boats. The rest I wasted.
We're born naked, wet and hungry - then things get worse
Duncan
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by Duncan »

Great posts John & Jean!
paradox
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by paradox »

Wednesday, 7th July
Left Port Ellen at at 11.30 to catch tide through Sound of Islay heading for Loch Tarbert, west coast of Jura. Great sail reaching 10.3 knots. Waited for high tide to negotiate our way through to the top pool aided by leading lines. Came back out and anchored by Cruib Bothy.
Thursday, 8th July
Full day exploring. Visited bothy and wrote in visitors’ book. Moved anchor later in the day to walk across amazing raised, shingle beaches. Then on to the bay by Glenbatrick House to anchor for the night. Spotted white tailed eagle on walk to headland. After spotting us, landed down the coast which must have been near to some nesting gulls which began to bombard it.

Friday, 9th July
Sailed across the bay to check out other anchorage near to Buantaillain Bothy. Went ashore for quick visit and wrote in visitors’ book here. Would be a mega walk to arrive on foot. Off now to Oronsay. Lovely spot and popular anchorage. Walked over to check the channel between Oronsay and Colonsay at low tide. Wondered if it would be possible to sail through.

Saturday, 10th July
Visited the priory. Later John went fishing from the dinghy. Stopped off to give mackerel to yacht next to us (had a good catch!) and invited on for drinks later. Enjoyable evening. Interesting couple who inspired us with their story of sailing 57 days non stop to Brazil and then down to the Falklands. Two years and 13000 mile trip.

Sunday, 11th July
Off to Colonsay to watch football at the hotel. On arriving at pier, big notices saying ‘no berthing’. Renewing timbers on the pier which was started before Covid so locals not happy with yachts not being able to berth. Distracted reading the signs, touched a rock in the harbour!!! Jean not happy with the Skipper. Came alongside the wall by the slipway. Good night in the pub made funnier by the presence of just one Italian. Fairly well stocked shop and bought a new gas bottle. Glad we had changed from Gaz to Calor gas as noticed Gaz not readily available.

Monday, 12th July
Left Colonsay for Balfour Bay, south west corner of Mull. Great anchorage unless wind is from the south. Three boats anchored there on our arrival. As bilge keel managed to find space.

Tuesday, 13th July
Balfour Bay to Iona. Sailed through Tinker’s Hole. Four yachts anchored all with stern lines attached as there is little swinging room. Exiting Tinker’s hole is quite tricky as a lot of submerged rocks. Managed to anchor at Iona between the two underwater telephone cables. Went ashore. If you wanted to visit Cathedral pre-booking was essential due to Covid. One of the ladies working in the gift shop only lived about 5 miles from us - small world. Back on board and moved to Ulva pontoon to fill up with diesel and water. On way several shoals of fish showing on fish finder. Caught a decent catch of large whiting which was very nice in a cheese sauce as can be bland.

Wednesday, 14th July
Left pontoon for Arinagour at Coll. Stopped at Lunga Island, one of the Treshnish Isles and went ashore to see the puffins. Lucky the 2 large tourist boats were just leaving as we arrived so only a couple of other yachties there as can be like Blackpool promenade. Great to see puffins so close to. After lunch over to Coll. Uncomfy crossing due to swell and arrived in mist. Very busy here. All visitor buoys taken and several yachts anchored. We managed to anchor well in. Not had a signal on the boat for several days so now up to date.
Attachments
Entering narrow passage to Top Pool
Entering narrow passage to Top Pool
Shingle beach on Loch Tarbert
Shingle beach on Loch Tarbert
Beach on Oronsay with Paradox in background
Beach on Oronsay with Paradox in background
Cloisters at priory on Oronsay
Cloisters at priory on Oronsay
paradox
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by paradox »

Photos of the write up above.
Attachments
Inside priory
Inside priory
Slip way at Colonsay
Slip way at Colonsay
Balfour Bay with Paradox in background
Balfour Bay with Paradox in background
Iona Cathedral
Iona Cathedral
dr.syn
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by dr.syn »

WOW
I spent most of my money on Booze, Women and Boats. The rest I wasted.
We're born naked, wet and hungry - then things get worse
chorleyjohn
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by chorleyjohn »

nice to read about your adventure please keep up reporting when you can.
paradox
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by paradox »

Thursday,15th July
Quite a swell here yesterday evening and overnight. Settled in the morning and most boats had left. Went ashore for some provisions. Had hire bikes outside the gift shop/P.O. and made a last minute decision to have a couple of hours ride round the island. Looked more like sailors than cyclists with the gear we had on. Enjoyed the ride. Good decision to hire bikes as I think it would have been ‘a step too far’ on our fold up bikes as lots of hills and section over sandy path. Late afternoon caught the north going tide to Eigg. Stopped off at Muck for a quick look round and made a quick meal. Great community sports hall here with lovely sitting area above but was locked on this visit. Set off again for Eigg to arrive on rising tide just before high water. Tight entrance between two marker posts. Tricky grabbing the ladder on the wall due to boat in front and sailing cradle on our stern. Successful on second attempt. Harbour dries out. Disappointed as bar was shut as there is normally musicians playing. In the morning John cleared seaweed from the propeller.

Friday, 16th July
Strong wind forecast for Saturday so decided to head for Mallaig. Sea mist once again and ferry due so waited until ferry had left. Called the Marina at Mallaig one hour before arrival to be informed all berths taken. Allowed to stop off for short stay to fill with fuel. Very cheap here - 66p a litre. Friday is busy due to charter boat crew changes. Thankfully managed to find us a berth later for 2 nights. 5 star facilities here but launderette not good.

Saturday, 17th July
Caught the train to Fort William. Scenic journey over Glenfinnan Viaduct where Harry Potter filmed. Hogwarts Express train looked very full as it passed. Biked up the cycleway to Caledonian canal and Neptune’s staircase. Quite a feat of engineering. On way back stopped off to watch local teams playing shinty.
Attachments
Puffins on Treshnish Isles
Puffins on Treshnish Isles
Entrance to Eigg inner harbour
Entrance to Eigg inner harbour
paradox
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by paradox »

More photos.
Attachments
Yacht washed up on beach by cycleway
Yacht washed up on beach by cycleway
paradox
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:04 pm

Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by paradox »

This photo is entrance to Eigg inner harbour.. Last photo posted is exiting.
Attachments
Entrance to Eigg inner harbour
Entrance to Eigg inner harbour
paradox
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by paradox »

Sunday, 18th July
Sailed from Mallaig to Arisaig. On the way caught some fish for dinner. Anchored in the bay on landward side of moorings. Anchor trip deployed which proved a problem on leaving. As there was no wind we drifted over the anchor and anchor trip line tangled round propeller and rudder. After a bit of cursing (John not Jean), we eventually freed it by deploying two other anchors to take the strain off the main anchor.

Monday, 17th July
Left Arisaig for Loch Moidart. On the way stopped off at Ardtoe to see friends who have a small croft and campsite. Used Antares Charts to navigate into the rock strewn bay. Left late afternoon for Loch Moidart and to see castle Tioran. Lovely sheltered anchorage by the castle but as it was very calm chose to anchor on the south side of the loch so we could watch the sunset over Eigg and Rum.
Attachments
Beach at Ardtoe
Beach at Ardtoe
sunset on Loch Moidart with Eigg to the left and Rum to the right in the background
sunset on Loch Moidart with Eigg to the left and Rum to the right in the background
Castle Tioran. At low water can walk across causeway to castle.
Castle Tioran. At low water can walk across causeway to castle.
paradox
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by paradox »

Last post should read Monday, 19th not 17th!!

Tuesday, 20th July
Early start, 6.00 am. to Salen Marina on Loch Sunart. A very calm rounding of Ardnamurchan Point. Another great sunny morning but no wind. Very picturesque Loch with interesting properties on shoreline. Friendly marina with fuel at the pontoon and good facilities. Did a bit of exploring by bike but several walks possible from here.

Wednesday, 21st July
Set off to anchor at Loch Teacuis on way to Loch Aline. Great anchorage by the channel which goes into Loch Drambuie. At high water went in the dinghy through to Loch Drambuie and back before the tide went out. Ended up stopping for the night here as could see the sea mist in the Sound of Mull which meant an early start in the morning to catch the tide.

Thursday, 22nd July
Off at 6.00 am. So calm it was easy to have breakfast on the way. Arrived in Oban North Pier pontoon which has access to Oban centre. Mega supermarket shop ready for family arriving on Saturday. Really hot with not a breath of wind.

Friday, 23rd July
Another mega hot day. Moved round the corner to Dunstaffnage Marina as family arriving here on Saturday. Then setting off to sail (probably lots of motoring as not a lot of wind forecasted) round Mull for a week.
Attachments
Coming up to Ardnamurchan Lighthouse.
Coming up to Ardnamurchan Lighthouse.
On the pontoon at Salen Marina
On the pontoon at Salen Marina
Biking in the forest overlooking Loch Sunart
Biking in the forest overlooking Loch Sunart
Shelter in the forest
Shelter in the forest
paradox
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by paradox »

More Photos.
Attachments
Anchored at Loch Teacuis
Anchored at Loch Teacuis
Passing Lismore Lighthouse
Passing Lismore Lighthouse
dr.syn
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by dr.syn »

If this doesn't inspire us, nothing will
I spent most of my money on Booze, Women and Boats. The rest I wasted.
We're born naked, wet and hungry - then things get worse
paradox
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:04 pm

Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by paradox »

Sat 24th July to Sat 31st July
Set off from Dunstaffnage with family (son and his partner) for sail round Mull. Apprehensive as both non sailors and also how they would cope with confines of the boat. Good time was had by all. Full on sailing experience from point of view that at anchor except last day, Friday, at Tobermory. Very little wind. First time we have managed to go ashore at Staffa and see Fingals Cave and puffins. Been too rough to anchor in the past. We tried to enter cave in dinghy but definitely a no-no. Far too much swell. Had 19 knts of wind down Sound of Mull on our return to Dunstaffnage albeit on our stern.

Sat 31st July
At last some decent wind. Best sail so far from Dunstaffnage to Oban. Re-stocked again with the help of Richard and Kerry who had driven round to Oban.

Sun 1st August
Surprise, surprise. Recognised Jetwind with his new sun canopy on the pontoon. Needed today as glorious sunshine. Managed a quick chat with Dave and family before leaving. Destination - home.
Attachments
anchored at bay just before David Belfour Bay.
anchored at bay just before David Belfour Bay.
Enjoyed Tobermory.  Family not visited before.
Enjoyed Tobermory. Family not visited before.
paradox
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by paradox »

Sunday, 1st August
Left Oban at 11.00 am. Had a great sail to Gigha arriving at 18.30. Through the Sound Of Jura reached 12.4 knts. Had decided to make the most of the good weather so only very brief stopover on pontoon to wait for tide turning to carry on to Portpatrick. Left Gigha at 20.00 to arrive at the tip of Mull of Kintyre at slack water to catch the full force of the flood south.

Monday, 2nd August
Good sail down the Mull of Kintyre until we had to alter course for Portpatrick when wind direct on the stern. With a lumpy sea we had several hours of being tossed around in the pitch black. Decided this had not been one of our better planning decisions. Arrived in Portpatrick at 6.45. Very picturesque harbour to sail into now we could actually see it this time. Space on the wall as one yacht had left early to catch the ebb tide going North. We arrived on the last of the flood. Off to sleep to recover as leaving on next tide at 13.30 for Ramsay. Good sail and arrived at Isle of Mann at 20.00. Both moorings vacant but decided to anchor as could be nearer the shore. Later in the evening a yacht came on to one of the moorings. Checked it out with binoculars and decided it was Mick (the other woman).

Tuesday, 3rd August
Chatted to Mick on his way over dropping family off in the dinghy. Departed Ramsay for Piel at 13.00. Motored hard at the end as little wind once again and arrived in Piel at 20.45.
Attachments
Dave & family on pontoon at Oban
Dave & family on pontoon at Oban
Leaving Portpatrick
Leaving Portpatrick
Mick transporting family ashore
Mick transporting family ashore
paradox
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by paradox »

Wednesday, 4th August
Have reported problem with the moorings re floating strops and taken co-ordinates. Lovely day at Piel with many visitors to the island. Went ashore later. Strong winds forecast and a local recommended using one of the buoys on north end of the island to give shelter from the wind. Stopped for a drink and then decided to move boat to one of the buoys. As light was fading, struggled to find the narrow channel to the mooring buoys and ran aground on a sand bar on a falling tide. Definitely a lesson learnt.

Thursday, 5th August
Alarm set for 4.00 am to put anchors out at low tide to pull us off the bar. One on to the main cockpit winch and the other two from the windlass. Lots of sand dug with the danforth anchor from around the keels. Anxious wait for tide to come in and whether the plan would work. One of the anchors (danforth) did not hold even though it had been well buried. Fortunately, the other two - the folding bruce spare anchor and the new main spade anchor did the job. Phew!! Big relief to be off the sandbank.
After speaking to Andrew Calvert, decided to go to Barrow and picked up one of the moorings he’d mentioned by the gabion baskets just before the bridge. Very windy, wet afternoon with not a lot of shelter in southerly wind. Not been this way before so good to see and always grateful for advice.
Change of plan on being lifted out as strong winds forecast today for Sunday when tide high enough for us. Booked the marina but working on the lock gate on Friday so can’t enter until Saturday. Currently forecasting 23 to 33 knts of wind and 5.1 ml of rain for when we need to be on the go to arrive at Glasson dock. The few hard days sailing from Scotland in order to ensure home for a funeral on Monday and to avoid bad weather hasn’t worked and in hindsight we should have booked to go into marina sooner. Three days in marina - £44.10. In future, we would not hesitate to do this. Average price in Scotland £3.00 a metre per night.
Attachments
Aground on the sand bar
Aground on the sand bar
Co-ordinates of mooring nearest shore opposite castle
Co-ordinates of mooring nearest shore opposite castle
Co-ordinates of mooring near fairway
Co-ordinates of mooring near fairway
Serendipity
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by Serendipity »

What a great read. It has brought back memories as I have been to a lot of the places but not all on the same trip. I hope you have a safe trip back.
Best wishes
Andrew
davidb
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by davidb »

.
Thanks very much John and Jean for your efforts sorting the Piel moorings out - it is great when somebody takes positive action off their own bat!
.
Cheers David
.
"People who can breathe underwater when knocked unconscious dont need life jackets"
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pj
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Re: West Coast Of Scotland - Paradox

Unread post by pj »

davidb wrote: Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:34 am .
Thanks very much John and Jean for your efforts sorting the Piel moorings out - it is great when somebody takes positive action off their own bat!
.
Cheers David
.
Yes thanks from me as well.
pj
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