Early August 2015 - Tobermory and Kerrera
We started the season hiding from gales in Tobermory, and so it was fitting that we ended the season in the same fashion. Not that it was really necessary, but we planned our passage from Canna to Tobermory so that there would be favourable tides around Ardnamurchan Point which meant a 5 a.m. start. The conditions were overcast but a brief break in the cloud over the Skye Cuillins produced a pretty pink sunrise (below) which foretold of the weather to come, and gave a new spelling to the old saying "Red Skye in the morning, Shepard's warning".
The gales and associated rain kept us in Tobermory for several days. As an illustration of the awful weather we have had this summer, the footpath from Tobermory to Rubha nan Gall Lighthouse (see more pictures) has been closed due to several landslips. It traverses the steep headland passing through attractive deciduous woods, but with the hugh quantity of rain even the extensive root systems could not hold the soil in place.
We did get out somewhere most days, even if it was only dodging the showers to get to the bakery for their delicious bread. The "Tobermory Cat" was much in evidence, he is often found on the roofs and bonnets of cars either snoozing or watching the world go by - safe out of the reach of passing dogs and small children.
We left Tobermory on the morning of the arrival of the "West Highland Yachting Week" fleet. Crowds are not our scene. After a night in Drumbuie, the plan was to head for Port Ramsay at the north end of Lismore. The sail south down the sound of Mull was most pleasant, especially as we could listen to Test Match Special on the radio and England we trouncing Australia in the 4th Ashes test. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves until the wind died and we tried to start the engine. It really struggled to start which has never happened before. We decided it was prudent to divert to Oban Marina on the island of Kerrera to see if we could find the problem and get a second opinion.
Typically, while waiting for the engineer, we had a perfect day for sailing, sunny, warm and with a good breeze. So while Tim waited for the engineer, Judith escaped to walk around the island. There are good views all around, and this time there was the added bonus of the sight of the end of the final race of "West Highland Yachting Week" (see banner). Unfortunately as it was late in the day the tea garden had just closed, their unique sign (right) is posted on the track from the main ferry and is good motivator.
The only other event of note before Innisfree was lifted from the water for the winter was running aground at low water in Loch Creran about 25m from our goal of the Marine Resources Centre pontoon. We were going very slowly so it should have been a simple reverse off, but we were stuck fast. Two helpful people in dinghies tried to tow us off also to no avail so we put out bow and stern anchors and put the kettle on. An hour later we floated off with no damage except to our dignity. Overall, its been a wet and windy season in 2015 but we've enjoyed ourselves and are already looking forward to 2016.