Scottish Trip By Clare & Bob Harland

In May 2009 we headed North for a Scottish sailing adventure in our Wayfarer ‘Septimus Fry’, here is a (very) brief log of what happened.

Launched at Oban and after an encounter with a sea plane (how do you know where the ‘runway’ is and once it is air borne at low level who has right of way?) headed up the Sound of Mull to Tobermory. Then, with a gale warning in Hebrides, headed out round Ardnamurchan to the Small Isles paddling a good chunk of the way due to lack of wind, ending up at Canna.

We have reached this point several times before but at last had a good weather window for the much anticipated leap across the Minch to South Uist (Loch Boisdale). Had a meal at the hotel to celebrate & recuperate and met the crew of a 50ft boat that had been next to us in Tobermory, who were a bit surprised to see us out there! Then off up the east side of the Outer Hebrides as far as North Uist (Loch Maddy).

TheWestern Isles were wild and wonderful, friendly people and loads of potential exploring of lochs and smaller islands. We were tempted tohead further North but realised that the weather would only be on our side for a couple more days & decided to get back to the ‘mainland’ while we could. Therefore hopped back east across the Little Minch (sounds so cute but to quote the pilot ‘the bottom is uneven & the sea may be very rough’) to Dunvegan in North West Skye before the forecast strong winds arrived. Explored the Loch with it’s scattering of little rocky islands & anchored in a small sheltered bay with a backdrop of the castle.

Wind blew up in the night from the least protected side so a dawn (which is v. early at that time of year) pack & dash in the rain to the nearest bit of land, pulled the boat above the high water line & pitched the land tent. Next morning blowing even stronger, tent poles buckling, extra guys rigged etc. Waited in vain for sunshine & light winds. Next sailing option 40 miles clockwise round the top of Skye with a couple of tricky headlands &no plan B safe havens. In the end we opted to pull out at Dunvegan so did an epic but scenic car & trailer retrieval from Oban.

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