Saturday, June 3, 2023


 Posts to follow on each leg but in brief I made St Kilda on Tuesday and now (Saturday) am at Loch Aline off the Sound of Mull, resting after several long days and am on my way home.

Sancerre in Loch Finsby, Isle of Harris, (best viewed full screen) with thanks to Ann of the yacht Slipsteam (also in the vid) - we kept meeting up and came back from St Kilda in very loose company. Coincidentally I sailed on a RAFSA yacht (a S&S 34) called Slipstream back in the 70s.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

2023 May 28th, Day 45 Lochmaddy to Opsay Basin, Sound of Harris.

WIP pictures to follow.

With the weather looking reasonable from Tuesday or Wednesday I planned another couple of short legs, the first is a very small anchorage with excellent protection from any swell or waves coming in from the Atlantic, there is little protection from the wind but that is likely to be around Force 3 so is a non issue.

Opsay Basin, the red circle is Sancerre shortly after arrival.
note the scale! Also the narrowness of the exit to the NW that
is part of the Grey Horse Channel to the NW of tje Sound.

8 miles in 3 hours in light winds.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

2023 May 25, Days 41 - 43 to Loch Keivagh and Lochmaddy.

 WIP, very poor internet, more to follow.

My plan was to spend the night at Loch Keivagh then Friday and Saturday nights at Loch Maddy either both in the marina or on there and one at anchor depending on exactly when some strong winds went through.

[Pics of the entrance, route etc.]

My track in and out of Loch Keivagh.

The entrance was a little problematic due to the fish farm and lobster pots, and once though the narrow entrance it was quite bleak, had limited swinging room in the shallower bits and the wind was funnelling down the loch, so went on to Lochmaddy. 

Likely to be there for 3 nights as F4-6 winds are forecast for the Minch (F7 in the north) but looking OK for next week with seas < 1 metre by Wednesday for several days but NE winds on Thursday could mean a long trip back to the Sound of Harris. 

22 miles in  three and a half hours.

Click here for Opsay Basin.

2023 May 24, Day 40 To the Wizards Pool, Loch Skipport.

 WIP, v poor internet, more to follow.

[Pic of boat in position “A”.]

The best spot was taken by a boat staying all night so I chose to anchor between Wizards Island and a rock that uncovers almost to windward. 

The Wizards Pool, position A in the given wind was in the NW
corner but I had to settle for where the red circle is with the
anchor towards the small rock. Note the scale.
It was a bit closer to the island than I would have preferred but the wind would blow me clear and the wind was likely to back giving a good long way behind, this is a good safety measure as it can be problematic getting anchor up in a breeze single handed if there is not room do drift back when the anchor breaks free as I need to be on the foredeck to flake the chain into the shallow locker.

In my view a much better the next door Kettle Pool that I used last year, except probably in a north easterly.

[Pic: Channel to Kettle Pool]

My track going out, the initial move west is largely hauling
the anchor up.

15 miles in 4 hours

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

2023 May 22nd, Days 38 & 39 CastleBay to Lochboisdale.

WIP with very poor bandwidth everywhere pics to follow.

With fresh or strong winds forecast I decided to move on to Lochboisdale which is well sheltered and hopefully would have hat water in the showers - they did.

I had planned to go into the Sound of Barra for a look round but the wind was a very cold force 4 - 5, I was wearing gloves for the hole trip despite bright sunshine, so I decided not to and got to Boisdale at lunch time..

Back in 1978 whilst sailing on the half tonner Green Dragon we and another boat hit a supposed Basking Shark off Portland Bill, just past the Sound of Barra I almost did it again; I was sailing so not making much noise and it was fully underwater so I could not see it then a big tail briefly appeared close off of the port bow  and then all that was to be seen were a lot of swirls in the water as long as the boat only 4 or 5 yards away.

I spoke to Dr. Simon Keeling the boss man at who do a lot of work on medium and long term forecasting and there is a reasonable to good chance that the weather and sea state will be ok for St Kilda early / middle next week. So I will leave Lochboisdale tomorrow and have planned a number of very short legs to get me to the Sound of Harris ready to leave on Tuesday.

There is no grocery shopping here and the only shopping point on route is at Loch Maddy and that is very limited so it looks like I will be on tinned food for a while from later in the week.

21 miles in 6 hours.

Click here for the Wizards Pool

2023 May 21st, Day 37 Cornaig Bay to Castlebay.

 Very much WIP, no phone signal and poor wi-fi, this only possible due to my wi-fi extender.

After days will little or no internet access I have found that "marine traffic's" ground stations lost contact with me half way to Vatersay, I have manually updated my position today and will do so in the future IF I can get an internet connect.. Providing I remember to switch on the IridiumGo, tracking withour paying for Marine traffic's satellite tracking service should be available from "Track Sancerre" above.

Just a couple of miles to Castlebay marina for a shower and shopping. Disappointed on the former as there was no hot water so it was very quick and no hair wash, the latter was much better with the best Coop I have seen north of the boarder.

A small cruise ship arrived early on Sunday putting a number of tourist ashore then got them back and set sail at lunch time as everything opened up. As least they, including the Coop opened in the afternoon, they don't everywhere in the Western Isles.

pics and probably more to follow.

Why its called Castlebay, the castle is on an Island.

Click here for Lochboisdale