Fore-running to Tobermory

Overnight the clear skies sucked all the heat out of the world and the temperature dropped low. Inside it dropped as low as 7c, outside it went down as low as 2C and they were warning of frost and ice on untreated roads.

When I awoke at 06:20 a pastel coloured sunrise was blessing the eastern sky above Oban. A soft orange faded to yellow and transformed to a sapphire blue while the western sky still sheltered frosty stars.

The only sound this morning were the geese flying overhead before the ferries started traversing out of Oban Bay to the north of us.

I enjoyed a breakfast of toast (burned) and leftover sausage casserole from last night (waste not, want not) and Linda had mueslis and yoghurt. There was, of course, lashings of tea and coffee.

I spent a fair chunk of the morning before we set off arguing with myself about the optimal sail configuration for the day. Half of me was wanting to get the main up. But the sensible side of me was saying, with the wind almost wholly behind us all day, fore-running was the obvious choice. The sensible side won again.

We had dropped all the anchor chain as it was going to be blowy overnight so we had over 40m to pick up and when the chain went vertical those 40kn gusts had dug the anchor in deep. It took a few minutes for it to come up and when it did it brought a huge chunk of mud and shale with it.

Linda brought her out of the bay and out into the Firth of Lorn. I got the foresail well trimmed and we were doing 7-8kn across towards Lady Rock and Lismore Lighthouse. We had Lord of the Isles and then Isle of Mull pass to the north of us as we went through the dancing water at the lighthouses.

From there, we turned more northerly and went through the north passage at Glas Eileanan. Gybing the foresail on tot he starboard side we then ran all the way north west along the sound all the way past Salem Bay before we gybed again.

Lord of the Isles passed us again heading out towards Coll and Tiree as we approached Tobermory. With the low tide and high pressure we didn’t dare risk going in via Aros Bay so headed for the main entrance.

The gusts were getting quite strong as we turned into the Bay and I had already reefed the foresail to about half its size and we were still doing over 7kn as we entered the bay. We got her furled away, radioed in, and berthed up nose in on the NW of the main pontoon.

All tied up, we paid and headed towards the CoOp. We were however way-laid when the manager of the Distillery Shop recognised us. He had to give us a taste of a couple of their special bottling and it would have been rude not to! I ended up with a bottle of 23yr old with a Manzilla finish that is just perfectly genteel and full of sweet caramel notes.

Linda treated us to dinner in McGochans and then I dragged us to the Mish’ for a nightcap as we planned our exploration of Loch Sunart .

Karrera to Tobermory
33 nautical miles, 4 hours and 20 minutes.

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