Monday, May 27, 2024

2024 May 27th Day 59, Around Cape Wrath to Loch Eriboll

 WIP Place holder.

Confusing forecasts and difficulty getting them

Delayed getting to Cape Wrath a bit due to sailing in light and variable winds. Sea along N coast.

Rained on when anchoring for the second day in a row.

Cape Wrath

Just before………

Rather bumpy 

The Ard Neackie Anchorage.

Difficult to plan tomorrow, Hoy Sound not “open” till 20:30, east or north east winds likely, Scabster anchorage exposed? Trying for Sandside bay then Stromness via Hoy Sound Wednesday , if Sandside not tenable (explain) think again, Scabster, Hoy Sound direct, Dunnet Bay?

35 miles in seven and a half hours

2024 May 26th Day 58, To Tarbet Lagoon, Handa Island

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Sailed from offing to offing (explain).

10 - 20 knots, very variable, lots of reefing. Quick, cleaned the hull a bit - explain.

Describe anchorage.

guilimots on Handa Island.

Google AI description 

Handa Island, a Scottish nature reserve in the Highlands, is home to the UK's largest population of guillemots and one of the most important seabird colonies in northern Europe. In the spring, tens of thousands of seabirds migrate to the island's Torridonian sandstone cliffs to breed and feed in the surrounding waters. The best time to see the seabirds in action is April to July, when they are reproducing.

More and pics to follow.

41 miles in nine and three-quarter hours.

Click here for Cape Wrath and Loch Eriboll.

2024 May 25th Day 57, Portree to Loch Ewe.

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More and better quality pics to follow

3 visits, always good sunsets.

Motoring again. ☹️

39 miles in 9 hours.

To Tarbet Lagoon, Handa Island.

2024 May 24th Day 56, Lochcarron to Portree

 WIP place holder.

Mainly under engine.

Ashore for supplies.

Decided not to go to Shiant Islands and Hebrides due to likely wind and lack of.

Pics and more to follow.

30 miles in six and a half hours.

Click here for Loch Ewe.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

2024 May 21st days 53 - 55, Kyle Rhea and hiding from another gale.

Bad news on Wednesday morning; on Tuesday the forecast had been for strong northerly winds and I was planning to shelter on one of several anchorages near Rassay, probably Churchtown Bay, but this mornings this was the inshore forecast at 07:00:

24 hour forecast: Variable 2 to 4, becoming north or northwest 3 to 5 later. Smooth or slight. Showers, fog patches in west. Moderate or good, occasionally very poor in west.

Outlook for the following 24 hours: North or northwest 3 to 5, increasing 5 to 7, perhaps gale 8 later. Smooth or slight becoming slight or moderate. Rain and showers. Good, occasionally poor.

And worse the met office model I downloaded showed gusts of 50 knots Wednesday night.  

With the direction of the wind not 100% certain I changed my plan and went to Upper Lochcarron, the best anchorage in a northerly that I know of in the area, sensible depths, there would be a reasonable distance behind in case of problems, mountains to windward are some distance away reducing the chance of mountain affects and there is good protection from wind and sea from the NW to NE and some from every direction.

Anchored at the red circle, chart by Antares.

Getting there required passing three tidal gates in one tide, The Kyle Rhea, The Skye Bridge narrows and Strome Narrows at the entrance to the loch. To do this I timed my arrival at the south end of Kyle Rhea for slack water, easy enough to do as I was only about 7 miles away, leaving at 10:50 I was there on time at 12:35 and went through with only a modest maximum tide of 2 knots. 

Sandaig, home of Gavin Maxwell and the Otters.
Annoyingly a nice sailing breeze set in as I entered Loch Alsh but it was dead on the nose and if I tried beating against it I would miss the tidal gate at Strome Narrows. So I motored on.

A unique sight for me, Skye bridge and a clear sky.
Naturally the wind died as I went under Skye bridge when I could have sailed so it was a motor all the way. I arrived at 16:35 in time to get 10 litres of diesel, a few items from the shop - a long row up wind, and again failed to replace an empty Gaz cylinder.

The entrance to Strome Narrows centre left to Plockton right.
Strome Narrows.

On Wednesday it became even more apparent that the change of plan was a good call, all forecasts in the area were worse  and looking further out, as is normal with a passing depression up here the wind will veer, from N or NW to NE which could cause a problem in some anchorages.

With the possibility of gusts of 40 - 50 knots some additional precautions are in order, either backing up the anchor, putting out two anchors or both.

A significant change in wind direction makes having two anchors out problematic so the first job  on Wednesday, before the heavy rain arrives was to back up the anchor with 10Kg of anchor and 5 metres of 8mm chain that should stop the anchor from being jerked out. Hopefully the anchor will reset by itself as the boat swings from lying to the west to NW, but that should happen soon when I will be awake.

Ready to go
In action with the normal shock absorber to stop the chain
“Grumbling” against the roller. The wind is c 18 knots less
than 10 minutes after it being zero.
The lull before the somewhat delayed storm. Coincidently
its 3 years to the day since I last rode out a storm here.

Hopefully I will be able to move out on Friday.

Lots of pictures to follow.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

2024 May 20th Day 52, Tobermory to Camas Croise.

Another lovely morning, but no wind.

With bad weather now forecast on Wednesday afternoon it was either leave or be there for the rest of the week and be on a mooring somewhat exposed to the north winds, so off I went.  

A light breeze came in from the east as I entered The Sound so up went the cruising chute. It actually got quite windy as I approached Ardnamurchan point reaching Force 5, only acceptable with the chute on a very broad reach, I would have to head up when past the point so down it came and a few minutes later the wind completely disappeared so on went the engine. 
At 13:40 a south-westerly wind crept in and the chute went back up until just short of the anchorage when the wind moved backed to the SSW and the chute would not work on the dead run, there was no point in rigging the pole or hoisting the symmetrical spinnaker  so I motored the last 2 miles.
The Hebridean Princess mini cruise ship, I have seen her at least
once on every trip to Scotland and multiple times in the Scilly
Isles and the West Country. The Isle of Rum in the background.
The anchorage at Camas Croise.
39 miles in 9 hours.

Slide show with lots of pics to follow, probably when I get home.

Click here for a rush to Lochcarron for shelter.Click here for a rush to Lochcarron for shelter.