Weekend trip to Gigha

Craobh to Keills

With a weekend free, we slipped the ropes and sailed south down the Sound of Jura. The weather was beautiful blue sky with good breeze from the NW Force 3, gusts of 6. Full sail set and Misha made good speed south towards the Corryvreckan heading south.

We had initially planned to head out the Corry and over to Oronsay but on approach to the Corry, we realised that the wind over tide we were fearful of in the Sound of Jura was unlikely to present any problems as the conditions were so placid. We made the decision to press south down he Sound of Jura and made 6kn past the Corry. We altered course to track towards Keills.

The weather swept in from the Firth of Lorn and over Scarba with one snow storm and then a hail storm before a little rain, more sunshine and then a final snow shower. It was the definition of Scottish Spring Sailing!

We spotted a white-tailed eagle (Sea Eagle) soaring high overhead but it was otherwise an uneventful voyage and around 6pm we approached the south of Keills Bay, engaged the engine and motored up into the very north corner of the Bay anchoring in 6m just SE of the moorings and the Jetty.

White Tailed Eagle soaring.

By 18:30 we were safely anchored in very think mud. I had been preparing and cooking a chicken and vegetable pasta bake while we were sailing so as soon as we were settled we served dinner and fired up the heater. The temperature had started to drop about 17:00 and now it was positively chilly so the heater was well required. We did note that it seemed to take a long time to heat up but it (and cooking) got the saloon nice and comfortable and we enjoyed a tasty dinner and then watched some crappy telly on the iPad before an early night.

Keills to Ardminish

It was an excellently protected anchorage with fantastic 4G on EE & O2 and we had a very comfortable night. The only noise which we noted overnight was the passing of geese overhead. The morning was fine weather but hardly any breeze and what there was (all 2-4mph of it) was on the nose as we headed south.

Keills Bay looking south at sunset
Keills Bay looking south at sunset

We motored south out of the Bay and through the McCormaig Islands after a breakfast of bacon sandwiches. Again it was a peaceful and easy journey. Visibility remained clear and it was warmer than the sail down to Keills although there remained not a puff of wind for the duration.

As we approached Gigha we spotted MV Finlaggan rounding the top of the island coming in from Port Ellen to Kennacraig. As we rounded the top of the island ourselves it was clear that the fish farm in the NE of the island had grown somewhat since we were last there and we had to do more avoidance than we used to.

Approaching Ardminish I was convinced that the pontoons would be in at Ardminish, so I rigged the mooring ropes and the fenders but as we turned into the Bay we could see the pontoons moored to the visitor moorings on the south side of the Bay. The good news was that we were certain the Boathouse was opened. So after anchoring in the southern anchor spot in 2m we blew up our new dingy and headed in.


Lattes on the deck and we were smiling already in the arming sunshine. Just then I stopped a well ken’t face. James, who used to run the Boathouse until 2019 with his wife Sharon, was walking in. The last time we had met was at Jura Music Festival in Sep 2019. It was great to see him and meet his mates.

Linda and I went to a stroll up to the Post Office for cake. We bought a Jam Rolly Polly! We headed out towards the Gardens via the craft shop where Linda found some bangles and I bought some tablet. On the way out towards the Gardens we spotted a Raptor being mobbed by crows before we bumped into the local Chickens who were intent on making sure we visited the book shop.

The Gardens were still in ‘spring’ mode but there were some beautiful flowers and all the new paths look great. We decided to bring the bikes back and explore them thoroughly.

Returning to the Boathouse via Vie’s Beach and the new paths we ordered up Gin and Tonics and sat reading our books all afternoon before dinner in the Boathouse which was as good as ever.

Gigha to Craobh

Linda happed up for the cold.

We had a peaceful night at anchor in the Bay. One other boat had come in and initially anchored by us before moving to the moorings as the evening progressed. Our lobster dinners were out of this world, as always, and its good to see that despite changes in management over the last couple of years the Boathouse have managed to keep up the standard of service and food as much as they have. It is well recommended for a visit.

We had a good long-lie in the morning as there was no reason to leave early and in fact a departure around 9am was perfect and we ran the tide all the way home. The other yacht trailed out behind us as we departed and was tracking our progress as we went north throughout the day.

Over the weekend we did a total of 74 nm and 13 hours of travelling. There was a fair chunk of motoring and a lot of heater diesel used.

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