Loch Drumbuidh

There are strong winds forecast again for tonight but in the early morning we could see the forecasts changing. We decided to go for it anyway. Loch Drumbuidh is a hurricane hole anyway so it’s a good place to sit it out. At least some of the forecasts were suggesting northerlies at least for part of the night so we didn’t fancy hanging on in Tobermory.

It was pouring all morning. We heard there was even flooding around the town. We had showers, met an otter in the marina and grabbed a few bits of extra food to cover us for the next few days.

It was an easy trip over to the loch. We did a quick survey in 25 mph winds and then anchored in the NE corner in 7m with good leeway in every direction as there is at least a chance of every angle of wind overnight.

Hot chocolates warmed us up. We watched crappy TV and I answered some work emails. The rain keeps coming down and the heater is on and warming the boat up.

Plan is to start south tomorrow and get as far south as we can tomorrow evening.

Kinloch to Tobermory

The weather forecasts were suggesting a ‘weather bomb’ with 30mbar drop in an hour and gale force winds twice in twelve hours. We decided to head into Tobermory and sit it out there. It was interesting, there were changes to the forecast every half hour all day but consistently there were gales coming through from the East. They didn’t happen but we had fun on Tobermory.

We bought whisky. In Mishnish we met the same Doncastrian couple that Martin and I chatted with last September. We ate at Cafe Fish. Linda had Halibut, I had seafood Mac n Cheese. We then went back to McGochans for one and bumped into Kirsty and Chris again.

Then we had a really good night’s sleep. The gales never really materialised. It got up to mid-20s only.

Mallaig to Kinloch, Rum

We had a fun time in Mallaig and enjoyed ourselves. On Easter Monday at around 08:30 we headed out of the harbour and sailed west towards Rum past the southern headland of Skye. It was pretty blowy with gust over 30mph and a weird cross chop that seemed to be coming from everywhere!

The sail over was uneventful and reasonably fun. It stayed dryer than we expected and we were over on Rum in a straight line in 2.5 hours.

We took one of the new visitor’s moorings provided by Rum Bunkhouse. They are big yellow buoys with heavy gauge pick up lines and gave us an excellent night’s sleep.

Late on, another yacht came in, then two MOWI boats moored up in the north of the bay.

We slept like logs.

15 miles 2.6 hours

Mallaig to Isle of Rum

After Easter Sunday off we were up for another sail. The whole of Sunday the weather forecast had been changing with storms moving around, disappearing and popping up. When we planned on Sunday night a sail across to Isle of Rum would be wet but 12-17 mile an hour winds from the south-west.

On Monday morning, it was then forecasting 15-22 mph winds from the south Bering south west around 11-12 noon.

The actual was a base wind around 20 mph with gists all the way up to 32 mph and 35 while we were mooring up.

The sail was a bit rough but we had rigged with a double reef in the main and an extra reefed foresail so it was under control the whole way but we did have waves coming over the bow and foredeck and even significant waves splashing into the cockpit.

The moorings at Kinloch are great; big yellow hippos with stout strops and pick-up buoys. As the wind picked up I managed to loose the blue boathook over the side. I had the rope-chain-rope prepared but we didn’t need it as the strop was so good. Tied up we went inside and had soup for brunch. 

There is a reason I prefer anchoring to mooring in Misha. There is no way to remove the anchor from the bow stem and the mooring strop always knocks against the anchor when the wind gets up. I have roped the mooring strop to the bow stem to reduce swinging but the anchor banging is annoying.

16 miles, 2.5 hours


Tobermory to Mallaig

Saturday 8th April we woke up with the alarm at 05:30 and were off the pontoon with the navigation lights pre-dawn at 06;00.

Off the pontoon we stowed the dock-gear then raised sail with a single reef. 

The dawn was just starting to lighten the north eastern sky as we sailed out of the bay and Ambience cruise liner motored towards us passing the Tobermory lighthouse. 

With the sun peaking over the hills of Ardnamirchan and Morvern we sailed out of the north of the sound into an increasing wind. Before we got to the Ardnamurchan Lighthouse we were on a double reefed main with an extra reefed foresail and still showing in excess of 9 knots over ground as we passed Santa Bay.

It was described as a bit of a sleigh ride as we flew northbound and passing Bo Faskdale we had consistent speed in excess of 8 knots.

Ambiance in the pre-dawn light.

We made it all the way into Mallaig under wind and in the whole day had used less than 30 mins of engine time.

We arrived in Mallaig at 11am and went shopping at the German Bakery, the pharmacy and the Coop (again t=for things we had forgotten)! 

There was a large seal who was being fed by the fisherman from Girl Aimee and she posed for photographs afterwards. Her name is Annabelle!

Dinner was pizzas from the Old Pier Bakehouse and they were great. Linda had goats cheese and I had venison pizza; a first for me. The pizzas were really great and we were soon in bed.

Easter Sunday was forecast to be wet with high winds all day so we had a day in Port. Of course it was dry, blue skied, and the winds didn’t turn up till very late in the afternoon.

We had showers in the marine centre and they were great. Only problem was the temperature of the water was too hot!

We had Charlie Bingham,’s Thai Green Chicken Curry for dinner and then went for an after dinner walk in the pleasant evening with only a light blow happening finding the Clachaign Inn at the hill very accommodating. We would certainly try the food there in the future.

33miles in 5 hours


Craobh Haven to Tobermory

Thursday 6th April we drove up to the boat once we finished work arriving around 6pm. It was good to see lots of folks around again and best of all; Lord of the Isles was open and serving food.

We were booked in for dinner and saw Duncan and Cairns as we went in, Barry and Kerry-ann were inside and we met Paul the barman for the first time.

We ordered steaks and they were great. The two of us were exhausted so it was back to the boat and into bed long before the pub closed!

Friday 7th was a beautiful morning with blue sky and light winds. It was a tad chilly overnight but we were nice and warm and comfortable with the heater on overnight. At one point I got too hot so powered it down. That inspired complaints in the morning!

We did the jobs we needed to do once we were up and topped up the water and the diesel before heading out towards Tobermory at 10:30.

We motored out and set full-sail. Through Cuan and up the Lynne Of Lorne the wind was low but enough to keep up moving in blue skies and calm waters. A ketch took up position just ahead of us as we passed Insh Island. It was still just ahead of us as we turned into Tobermory. We sailed over half of the way and motor-sailed the rest.

We arrived into Tobermory at 17:15 and moored up nice and easy with he help of another boater. A quick shop at the CoOp to pick up a few of the things we had forgotten and then we had dinner in McGochans before an early night again on Misha.

35 miles in 6 1/2 hours.