BBQ in Loch Spelve

On a beautiful Saturday morning we set sail southbound from Craobh in light breezes and a strong tide we ended up in Loch Spelve eventually but went via Crinan. We made good progress and almost immediately were seeing seals and porpoises. Approaching the Dorus Mohr with hefty currents Misha was being swept around and with an easterly we went past further south then tacked up and in through the gap.

We were swept into the Loch at 8kn and you could see the westerly counter-current clearly as a river running through the water.

Blue skies and sailing buddies
Blue skies and sailing buddies

We had to beat into the easterly wind to get into Crinan and anchored up outside two yachts in the middle of the bay between the pier and the island.

I prepared a lunch of baked camembert with berries and blueberry compote served with crusty bread and a glass of wine. We stayed until we were sure the tide had turned and we would have the current with us through the Corryvreckan outbound.

The whole time we were swapping round with Neil, Karon and Linda getting shots on the wheel so everyone felt they had a fair share and leaving the Loch Neil was on the helm most of the time with Karon taking it just as we went into the Corryvreckan.

As we passed through at a good 9kn on the start of the westerly tide a pod of porpoise were fishing nearby and they had two very small juvenile with them. One of which still had a pink underside they were so small.

Porpoise in the Corryvreckan

We sailed out towards Garvellachs but then headed north before we got within shooting distance and replanned due to the lighter winds. A bit of tide calculations later and we were heading into Loch Spelve.

We anchored up in the NE corner and initially the wind was a bit stronger but soon settled and I set up the BBQ. Dinner was burgers and bratwurst with salads and boiled corn on the cobb. As dinner was cooking there was an otter swimming about us and fishing for a total of 45 mins. His torpedo surfacing was of particular note! No photos though so ‘it didn’t happen”!

Misha’s calorifier (hot water ‘boiler’) decided to throw a wobbly! The water was flowing out the emergency pressure relief valve and we didn’t notice until it had emptied the whole forward tank into the bilge. Thankfully the bilge is very clean so we were able to just pump out using the bilge pump without fear of contaminating the Loch. It also meant we had no hot water and when we used the water pump at all it was sending our second tank into the bilge too.

We had a lovely early night, slept well and grabbed the 09:30 tide out of the Lock in the morning heading back to Croabh. A good sail was enjoyed and we got all the way back to Loch Shona under sail including a fair trott with the tide through Cuan.

Back at the marina, I worked out the calorifier is knackered and have ordered a new one. Which replaces next weekends sailing trip with a bit of marine DIY.

Craobh Marint to Crinan

Crinan to Loch Spelve

Loch Spelve to Craobh Marina

Total 52miles over 10 hours sailing.

Lochaline and a Storm

Linda and I headed up to the boat late on Friday and, as usual, had dinner in Lord of the Isles and then an early night upon Misha. We knew that the forecast was for wet weather all weekend and also that there was a blow forecast late on Sunday but we planned on visiting Richard and Marie-Ann of Gabriella up in Lochaline. So, after a short long lie till 9am, on Saturday morning we filled up the water and headed out towards the Sound of Mull.

I would like to say that the breeze was constant but it wasn’t. It was up and down and down and up all the way there. That said, we had a good trip enjoying seeing eagles, dolphins (far away) and seals. We timed Cuan well and swept through on a nice tide. With full sail set we made a decent 5 kn out past Easdale and northward up the Sound of Lorne. However the wind started fluking and we ended up on motor on and off all the way up into the Sound of Mull.

We arrived in the NE corner of Lochaline about 15:30 and met up with our friends. I cooked a meal of Mediterranean Chicken and Vegetables, and Marie-Ann brought a ginger crepe-cake and some lovely wines. We had a cracking evening with them then an early night as we planned on a 04:30 departure on Sunday.

I got up with the alarm on Sunday morning at 04:15 and I immediately noticed there was more wind than forecast at this time. The forecast predicted 3-5 mph until around 11am which it would increase up to gusts of 35mph in the afternoon. As I motored towards the mouth of Lochaline I was recording 18mph on my (frankly dodgy) anemometer.

Out in the Sound, with Linda now awake and by my side, I was very glad I had rigged up fully reefed as we were experiencing 23mph with stronger gusts. All the way round the Sound of Mull we made great speed while fully reefed with reported Speed Over Ground in excess of 8kn.

In fact as we rounded the Easdale Point we were doing 9kn and had a 35mph gust with 1.5-2m waves.

We were safe and tied up in Craobh before 9am and no worse for wear!

Circa 50 miles over the two days.