Sunday, May 21, 2023

2023 May 20th, Day 36 Vatersay Bay to Cornaig Bay

  WIP with very poor bandwidth @ Castlebay, Barra, pics to follow.

Fog bound with visibility less than 150 metres and no phone signal on O2 or Vodaphone so the only forecasts I had was the downloads via satellite for wind, rain and pressure and a general warning on the slightly out of date shipping forecast of some fog banks in the Hebrides. 

I could see that I needed to be in shelter by Tuesday evening because of strong westerly winds, I would be OK at Vatersay Bay and a couple of other places but did not want to stay here that long especially if the weather was poor, so I called my wife on the IridiumGo satellite app only to find there was no mention of fog in the domestic forecast for Barra Airport just up the coast. So I would just have to wait and see.

The fog lifted to give about a mile visibility so I moved north through the Fisherman’s Passage with the option of going to CastleBay or an anchorage at Cornaig Bay on the north shor of Vatersay, I was hoping to get a phone signal from a mile off of the village of Castlebay which is a ferry port and the main settlement in the southern Outer Hebrides and could then decide what to do.

The Fisherman’s Passage is very narrow and a bit of a white knuckle ride as it looks far narrower due to lot of seaweed on the channel side of the partially submerges central rock and the islet to the east, I’ll write that and the two a anchorages up later.

No such luck, no phone signal, and Castlebay anchorage and pontoons are a bit exposed to the SW wind only F3 – F4 at the time but could get stronger and whilst I could do with a shower and a bit of shopping I opted fore comfort and headed for Coraig Bay where, by late afternoon I was again fog bound.

The current plan (Saturday evening) is to go into Castlebay on Sunday when the wind is due to be northerly, briefly explore and anchor in THE Sound of Barra on Monday and head for Loch Boisdale, S. Uist on Tuesday for a night or two until the strong-ish  winds have passed through on Wednesday or Thursday, there is no worthwhile grocery shipping there but showers, laundry and a hotel which served some decent fish and chips when I was there last year.

Four Miles in an hour and a quarter.

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