Lazy Weekend

Linda and I went up to the marina on Thursday night and spent Friday working then dinner on Friday night in LOTI. We headed out to Airds Bay (Acharanich Bay) to bob for the weekend in zero wind,
10 miles, 2 hours, all diesel.

Oronsay with Steve

Last weekend I had managed to damage the stern shower. For some reason it had stopped working at all by the end of the weekend. I took the opportunity when I had finished work on Friday to spend a little time looking into it. The hatch to access the stern shower is at the rear of the port aft cabin and it requires some obstacle avoidance to squirm through into the stern. As soon as I managed that I could see the problem. It is a flexible plastic hose on the stern shower and it was kinked stopping flow. With Linda on the outside twisting it and me on the inside unkinking it, it was working again in no time. This was important because we were planning on swimming this weekend in Oronsay with Steve!

Cairns Birrell popped by and it was great to see him. We sat around in the heat of the sun drinking coffee, nattering, and generally putting the world to rights! We made commitments to get together over the off-season socially and I am already looking forward to it.

Friday Evening

Misha was all sorted out Friday evening. Linda and I had pasta and insalata caprese on the deck in the evening sunshine and we went up to the bar for a quick nightcap. It was great to see Hannah and Shona working away and to bump separately into Noah and Duncan. We sat out in the beer garden at Lord of the Isles and sipped G&T in the evening warmth.

Steven was driving up from Manchester and we thought we were getting to meet Jacqui too but due to childcare issues Steve arrived by himself at around 10:30. By which time, were were all exhausted but we had an extra nightcap and retired for the night as the sunset bathed Craobh Marina in beautiful light.

Saturday Morning

Early on there was a mist in the marina but its quickly lifted and was gone when I started making tea and coffee around 07:00. The morning was simply stunning. There wasn’t a breath of breeze and the water was so still you could see the clouds perfectly reflected in the marina. There was a shoal of mackerel swimming around between the boats and there was no more perfect definition of a still summer’s morning.

We left circa 08:35 heading for Port an Tiobairt under diesel. With only the three of us on board this weekend (half of the crew last week) Misha seemed roomy again. While it is a lovely experience to have six folks on board for a special weekend, it is ‘tight’ and she is much more comfortable at 4, or 3, or 2!

We motored out of the marina and south-west towards the tip of Jura. It was spring tides. With yesterday’s super-moon these are amongst the biggest of the year with a swing of 4m and the inside of the Corryvreckan was fair shifting as we approached. Although we were heading for the northern tip of Jura, when we got close we were being pushed heavily south east by the inflow through the maelstrom and it was spectacular to see the river of current flowing around us.

We anchored up in Port an Tiobairt and there were only a handful of seals basking on the rocks while we had breakfast of toast, boiled eggs and Italian meats. There were plenty of boats speeding around but very little life other than that handful of seals but as we motored out and headed for the Corryvreckan when the tide had slackened at 11:45 we watched a pair of sea eagles flying from Jura across to Scarba through the deep blue sky.

Port an Tiobairt to Oronsay

Through the Corryvreckan we had hit it perfectly on the very end of the incoming current and we lost one knot as we passed outbound. The channel between Jura and the island Eileen Mor was still fair pumping though and we decided to head around the north of it before setting course for Oronsay.

The good news was that a little bit of breeze had set from the west so were able to rig full sail and give the motor a bit of a rest cruising slowly towards our destination.

Although there was alight breeze it was still very warm and we spent most of the journey topping up liquids and topping up sun creme. Although I hadn’t yet got the dampness smell out of my floppy hat I stuck it on as I didn’t want to burn in the intense sun.

There were many boats moored up in Scalasaig area and, closing on Oronsay, we could see a few masts. There were two anchored up in the Strand and coming through the reefs there were four boats anchored in the Bay. A couple of them were lifting anchor and departing as we arrived.

We set the anchor in 4m with an expected rise of 3m and laid 30m of chain. We made sure it was well in with a good reverse and making sure it was deeply set. With the anchor firm it was time to get into our swimming togs and cool off in the crystal clear water of the bay. One of my favourite features of Misha is the sugar scoop stern which provides a great platform for dangling feet in the water and climbing in and out from a swim.

Swimming and BBQ

Linda is very concerned about cold water shock so insists that I go in slowly and carefully to avoid stress on my overweight heart! But I do as I am told, and slowly lower myself into the water. Blooming heck it was cold! It was colder than loch Spelve last weekend! That said, it might just be the hot air temperature and the contract to the chilly water temperature. My watch was telling me the water temp was 9 Celsius and the air temperature was around 24C.

Linda and I went in first and Steve enjoyed laughing at us panting as the water went over our gonads. I saw down and checked on the anchor but it was truly well set with all three spines deep into the sandy base. Linda did a few laps of Misha, I just swam about and back and forth to the tripping ball.

More yachts came in and anchored up behind us and in the north anchorage while. we were swimming. Further, the two motor boats who had been right in on the beach in front of us departed. The first one went way too fast through the anchored yachts setting a wash against them and I was scared they hadn’t seen us in the water given how close they passed and the speed they went past us! The second one passed much slower and I was grateful.

Steven came in for a dip and Linda climbed out. We swam around the boat again and out to the tripping ball and back then climbed on board. I was able to shower off using the recently repaired stern shower and Linda had a proper warm shower in the Head.

It was a great feeling to be all clean, with core temperature stabilised and a little breeze keeping us refreshed for the remainder of the afternoon. We sat around, enjoying the views, listening to music and sipping on bubbles.

We had our first BBQ on Misha this year cooking Burgers with cheese, pasta caprese, salads and accompaniments. I have to say, I do love a BBQ on the boat and it is certainly one of my ‘happy places’. I really enjoyed dinner and probably ate too much as I didn’t fancy any desert which is most unlike me.

Steve and I went onto Rum and Coke; Cuba Libra, and we stayed on that for the rest of the night. I will be the first to say I drank too much as we sat up late watching the sky for the full-moon and the Perseids meteor shower. We also got to see satellites and someone fall overboard of a yacht in the northern anchorage (all ok, they were laughing).

I have no memory of going to bed, nor most of the natter as the night descended into a rum-soaked, slurred, two man party, Linda having sensibly gone to bed long before Steve and me. We did get some good photographs and we had a good time. My liver, however wishes to lodge a formal complaint!

Sunday back to Craobh

We were up at 07:00 on Sunday morning with tea and coffee made to lift the hook and head back towards Craobh. We wanted to catch the tide through the Corryvreckan and we wanted to get Steve back to Craobh in good time to allow him to travel home safely.

The hook came up easy out of the thick sand and hadn’t moved an inch all night. Linda motored us out of the bay and Steve took over as we travelled between Our and Colonsay north easterly. What little wind there was to be had was bang-on the nose so it was motor all the way back to the Corry.

I cooked us bacon butties for breakfast but we were all a little quieter than usual. Have I mentioned my hangover? I really am not used to drinking too much these days and really need to start acting my age and not my shoe size!

We spotted some debris in the water about 2m off Scalasaig and called it in. It was at East three wooden pallets tied together and floating just at the surface. We called it in to Coastguard as it was enough to damage someone’s hull or prop if they hit it.

On the way across to Oronsay and on the way back we saw spectacular feeding congregations of seabirds so there was plenty of life below the surface but we were complaining that we hadn’t see the usual dolphins or minkes. We had only just said this when I called for the throttle to be stopped. I spotted a minke about a mile behind us and we sat and watched as the critter made two more breaches travelling towards a feeding congregation in the distance.

As we were approaching the Corry I spotted a pud of dolphins and they came over to see us and spend a few minutes playing in our bow wave. It was commented on that I sang to them. I was always told to sing or white to dolphins as it keeps them entertained and they stay longer. I don’t know if its true or not, juts what I have been told in the past. They did stay and play for a good while although they didn’t seem all that impressed with my off-key singing!

Storm over Jura

Approaching the Corry there was a large thunderstorm over Jura and it was flashing lightening and giving the Island a good rainstorm to boot! It hit us while we came inbound through the maelstrom with the foresail catching the breeze and going 14 knots under sail and current.

We were able to sail all the way back to the bottom of Shuna when the storm passed to the north west and we had to motor again. I quickly prepped the boat for berthing and did a bit of the cleaning in advance of getting in to the Marina.

As we approached the mouth of the Marina, Linda spotted a log in the water right at the entrance. It was about 5 feet long and 4 inches wide. It was a serious bit of wood and enough to do damage to someone’s hull, prop, or rudder so we decided to grab it on our way in. I went onto the sugar scoop, brought it near with the boot hook and then tried to grab it. I don’t know how I did it, but as I brought into onto the boat I pulled a muscle in my chest leaving me quite sore. Once tied up we took it up to the office who identified it as one of the supports they use in the yard for shoring boats on the hard-standing. Someone musty have been playing ‘toss the caber’ into the marina!

Tied up ashore the next rain shower came in and it was torrential soaking us and everyone else. I decided that Misha was getting a natural wash down and didn’t need me to hose her down and concentrated on cleaning inside. I was turning off the engine’s seacock when that chest muscle complained again leaving me flat on the floor and in quite a bit of pain. I also managed to break the door restraint on the port aft cabin door! Guess that is a job for Friday!


My chest muscle has quit complaining now. My hangover lasted all Sunday; I gotta learn!

78 miles over 11 hours.

From Craobh to Port an Tiobairt

From Port an Tiobairt to Oronsay

From Oronsay to Craobh

Weekend Timelapse

CCC Loch Spelve Mussels

Linda and I had travelled up Thursday night after work and enjoyed our usual arrival dinner in Lord of the Isles. As usual, I had the Crayfish Mac&Cheese and, as usual; I really enjoyed it. The plan for the weekend was to visit Inverlussa Seafood, on Loch Spelve for the annual Clyde Cruising Club Loch Spelve Mussel Muster

We had never really recovered from the homeward bound journey last week. It was an extra two hours as a result of a serious accident around Tayvalich. Linda had helped with the extra driving but all the same it had taken the last bit of energy out of the two of us and the whole week had been spent trying to ‘catch up’ with ourselves.

It was good to be back on Misha, it was good that she was all clean and tidy and we could literally just jump aboard, make our bed, and that was everything sorted. The two of us slept like logs when back on board and being up in Craobh Marina, plus a good night’s sleep really recovered us from what had been a tough week.

Our Guests

This weekend we were joined by James and Denise who have been before and Jonathan and Shona who were new to Misha. Jonathan had been sailing once or twice before but Shona had never been on a small sailboat and was only convinced to come by the photos of previous trips.

Everyone arrived late Friday night. We met Jonathan and Shona in Lord of the Isles and then retired back to Misha to prepare a supper of baked camembert and fresh crusty bread. It was ready for James and Denise’ arrival and we sat around scoffing and discussing the plan for the weekend at length before I had to admit I was ready for my bed.

We were up bright and early at 07:00. It had rained heavily overnight but had dried up by early morning. There wasn’t an awful lot of preparation to do, but the water needed topped up and James did a great job at that while I prepared some light breakfast for us. We had muesli and yogurt, toast and cheese and cold meats, coffee, tea and orange juice.


It was bang on 0800 when ropes came off and we motored out of the marina. Sails went up quickly with a double reef in the main and we had a gentle sail across Loch Shuna towards Seil. As we turned up towards Sail, we had harbour porpoise and we had slack water through most of Cuan Sound with only a bit of ‘bumpy water’ at the exit towards Easdale.

The weather was heavily overcast but we had glimpses of sunshine and it was bright enough to keep spirits high. Lets put it this way, I stayed in shorts all day and throughout the evening. The sail was enjoyable and we rotated everyone on and off the wheel, and when I could we had our visitors doing little bits with the rigging.

Approaching Loch Spelve it was as busy as I have seen the area. We had a ferry coming out of the Sound of Kerrera, the London Barge; Prudential sailing from the Sound of Mull towards Puldhorain, several pleasure boats and one of the big fish farm vessels; ‘Settler’ coming into the Loch Spelve behind us.

I didn’t want to be slowing up a working boat, so I radioed them and said I would keep out their way and allow them to overtake before the entrance which they did.

Four ‘boys’ in the water.

Loch Spelve

There were already more boats than had booked for the event anchored up in the NW corner of the Loch when we arrived and I carefully surveyed the area and thought there was just enough room for us to safely anchor between two of the vessels and the shore on the south west of the bay. We dropped the hook, tested it and settled in for our afternoon fun.

James, Jonathan and I put on our swimming shorts (well, I did have visitors) and climbed in. We swam around Misha and out to our tripping buoy and back. After the first minute, the water was very comfortable and it was an enjoyable swim in no noticeable current. Linda got a good photo of the three of us relaxing in the water out at our tripping buoy.

Jonathan had brought Misha a bottle of welsh whiskey and when we climbed back on board we had a nip each to warm the cockles and then we had some of Shona’s cake to keep the wolf from the door. The whiskey was very good. There was a distinct apple background and some zesty fruitiness along with noticeable alcohol strength. It is a very accessible whiskey and I was delighted to try it.

We were spoiled rotten with our guests’ gifts as James and Denise had topped up the rum and red wine supply and brought a tray of muffins, donuts, and biscuits too. It was amazing we achieved anything with all the alcohol on board. I have to admit I had to resist the temptation as I was the ferry driver for the excursion ashore. I need to update my ‘joining instructions’ to tell people to stop bringing so many gifts!

The afternoon was very pleasant; we ate, drank and enjoyed ourselves while watching the other members arrive by yacht. It was clear that there were very many more participants than there were registrants as only seven boats were registered for the event (including Clive who had pulled out as he was getting his new hip; get well soon Clive). I was astonished to see some of the anchoring techniques deployed and two boats anchored between Misha and other boats when I believed us only to be at a safe distance when we anchored there. One chap anchored practically on our tripping buoy and appeared only to put out a very short rode. I was very grateful that the conditions overnight were genteel.

Mid afternoon Geoff arrived in ‘Contender’ and there were a few other boats we recognised from Craobh Marina or our travels and at 17:00 I started ferrying out team across to the event. Because our dingy is only small it takes a maximum of three people. James commented it was like the puzzle of ferrying the carrots, the bunny and the fox across the river. But we got everyone there without any incident. Jonathan and Shona went first, then James and Denise and finally Linda and our Picnic box.

Clyde Cruising Club Mussel Muster on Loch Spelve

The event description had suggested BYOB so we brought some red wine, some Diet Coke and our own reusable glasses to avoid single use items. When we arrived there was a table full of wine, huge pans full of mussels and BBQs stocked with burgers. James was very grateful of the burgers cooked by Geoff as he is allergic to seafood but the rest of us dug in and enjoyed mussels.

I have to say they were the best mussels I have ever had and Inverlussa Seafood did us proud. They explained that they have an honesty box where yachts can come ashore and buy mussels even when they aren’t around and we will certainly pop back for some in the future. By far the freshest ever, and certainly the tastiest too.

We met some interesting people and enjoyed the event. It was great to meet the owners of Inverlussa Seafood, and hear how they use single lines that can be up to 12km long to grow the mussels for up to three years before harvesting and how the conditions in the Loch are carefully managed to remain ideal for the cultivation of the harvest.

We headed back to Misha and I did the ferry runs in reverse order. Into the wind and fully laden I managed to get quite wet on my shorts but otherwise the journey was uneventful. I should have taken Linda back first rather than last, but that’s a lesson for future similar exercises. We left the dingy in overnight but popped the outboard safe away.

Downstairs we enjoyed cake and wine. My ferryman duties over, I shared a glass of Prosecco and then a cracking Cuba Libra before retiring to bed at the back of eleven. We never did get out the games we bought for Misha but we had a great evening anyway.

Sunday Morning

On Saturday Afternoon we had debated the plan for the departure. The options were:

Tacking back to CH
Tacking back to CH
  1. Long lie, more swimming, late brunch, 1400 departure from the Loch and directly back to Craobh for at 17:00 departure from there to home, or
  2. Early breakfast, out the Loch before 8am, and a more meandering sail back to Craobh.

We democratically chose the early departure and coffee was served at 0700 and we were out the Loch by 0800 as planned. Linda was the first girl up, followed by Shona and then Denise. It was a damp morning with showers sweeping over us and low, deep cloud with only occasional glimpses of blue.

James and Jonathan helped us getting the anchor up and everything sorted to motor out of the Loch. The rust on my anchor chain is now causing it to jam, so I must get round to that new chain I have been promising myself.

Once out of the Loch we raised sails with a single reef and made good pace. I made bacon butties but it was a bit bouncy and I am not certain the crew enjoyed them. Between the five of them they drank enough tea and coffee and we finished most of the cake, leaving only enough for Linda’s post-yoga snack on Monday evening. The wind was more southerly than forecast and we had to work to make it south. We debated going round the Garvellachs but folks were cold and damp and it was decided to head in through Cuan at 11:00 then circumnavigate Shuna instead.

Our trip in through Cuan was bang on slack water and pleasant and pretty. Once ‘inside’ the barrier of Seil, Torsa, Luing, Scarba, (and Jura) the water was calm, the breezes were light and everyone who wanted to had more time steering and playing with sails.

My laziness of not trimming the spare reefing lines caught up with me on the gybe at the south of Shuna when they caught on the binnacle but James who was on the wheel handled it perfectly and no damage was done. I have to stop being lazy about such things!

Once we made our turn successfully, I prepared the yacht for berthing while James helmed and it was a good docking into Craobh.

James filled the tanks once more and he and I cleaned outside while Linda, Shona and Denise sorted inside and Jonathan ferried kit up and down to the cars. Linda cleaned the front head while I cleaned the Saloon head and the Galley and we all packed up and headed home. I even found my wallet which had fallen down by the Navigation Station.

A successful weekend of 59 miles over 9 hours sailing. The fullest Misha has ever been for a sail and overnight and everyone appeared to enjoy themselves. Misha is all clean and ready for her next adventure.