Thursday, May 20, 2021

2021 Round GB Day 30. Loch Eriboll to Loch Ned

This was another leg requiring good weather and timing to avoid rough seas off of Cape Wrath, as last year I was quite lucky with reasonable weather and a sensible start time to make Cape Wrath at slack water (c 13:00) before the south going tide would help me down the west coast. Strangely enough Cape Wrath is not named for wrathful seas but is derived from old Norse for "turning point".

It was a day of three parts.

Motoring I could have reached the Cape with a later start but preferring to sail as much as possible I was off at  08:30, after the almost obligatory motoring part up the loch I caught a reasonable breeze and used it reach well out to sea to hopefully keep clear of rougher seas off the Cape and to make better speed.

I had two routes planned, one offshore for heavy weather (shown)
and one inshore for good weather, in the event I split the
difference, starting offshore due to the sea state then coming
inshore for the run down the west coast.
Leaving Loch Eriboll
The wind did not last and in the second phase of the trip the engine had to come on for a couple of hours to north of the Cape by which time it was clear that the seas were not as bad as feared and conveniently the wind  came up to around 14 knots from the north east and I was off reaching under headsail only at good speed. "Flying Fox" that had shared the anchorage at Eriboll almost caught up to me at the cape but then headed offshore towards the Outer Hebrides.

Biggish but not excessive seas coming into Cape Wrath.
(Big seas rarely look as big in pictures!)
Coming into Loch Ned there was an unwelcome announcement by Stornoway Coastguard that a GPS jamming exercise would shortly start as part of a huge NATO event and I was 5 miles inside the area that could be effected. And just as I would be looking for the entrance to the loch which is not that easy to spot. 
Meall Mor, three miles from Loch Ned, the entrance to which
is just to the right of the island.
Less than a mile to run and its still tricky to see the entrance
even with binoculars.
Fortunately I was navigating boats well before GPS was even a twinkle in the eye of the US Dept. of Defence and I still carry lots of paper charts. The chart plotter and iPads would display charts without GPS but its much easier to get your bearings with a large scale chart, in this case a 1:25,000 chart of Eddrachillis Bay. As things turned out my GPS was unaffected but GPS spoofing (introducing positional errors rather than jamming) can be subtle so caution was needed even with good visibility. 

Less than half a mile out, the entrance is just to the right of the
shroud and above the guard rail stanchion.
Entering Loch Ned
Looking out from Loch Ned pictured in 2020.
Seals basking on an islet at the top of the Loch. 

48.5 miles over the ground in 11.5 hours.

Slide show all of my pictures from Loch Eriboll to Loch Ned, page through by clicking the arrows or click in the centre of the pic to view from Flickr in a new window or full screen:

2021 Loch Eriboll - Loch Ned

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