Monday, June 17, 2024

2024 June 16th Day 79, Loch Gairloch to Sandaig Bay.

A cold damp sail but with wind all the way. Although I had the engine on to protect the batteries I sailed from the anchorage and apart from c half a mile under Sky Bridge did not use the engine until entering The Kyle Rhea.

The F5 wind soon increased to F6 as I came out of the Loch and generally remained there until a few miles short of Sky Bridge. Unfortunately it was almost directly behind and with a choppy, sometimes rough sea I tacked down wind, taking the helm for an hour or so as the autohelm had problems with a breaking sea just off of the stern, not dangerous, as it was coming from Stromness, but uncomfortable.

Despite loosing about a knot of speed due to a fouled hull I was well ahead of scheduled and put in one and a half reefs to the headsail (I was not using the mainsail) to slow down so as not to go through the Sky Bridge narrows with a strong adverse tide against the wind. I was still a bit early and it was a little choppy with over falls but not her serious as helpfully the wind dropped to F4 as I approached and further after going through.


A bumpy video passing Skye bridge, the vessel ahead was a glass bottomed
tourist boat that poked its bow out past the bridge and quickly turned back.
Unfortunately some water on the lens but it gives some idea.

Leaving Skye Bridge.

It was still early to head down the Kyle Rhea where the tide would turn fair at 16:00, I had thought to anchor but decided to go through a little early as it was a neap tide so wasted some time sailing up and down, naturally the wind came back up to F5-6 and even with just a little of the headsail showing I had to double back.

I entered at 15:30, I had a fair tide to the entrance and just beyond on an eddy, then a knot or so adverse most of the way through.

I had started to sail as I came out of the narrows but with gusty winds coming down from the mountains I gave up on that and motored the last 3 miles to anchor at Sandaig Bay where Gavin Maxwell lived with the otters documented in “Ring of Bright Water”. I was the first boat to arrive so got into position A although not exactly where I wanted at the wind which had been about 12 knots increased to 25knots as I started to drop the anchor and the boat dropped back quickly. 

The anchorage as the 25 knot wind dropped but
still quite windy.

Two hours later the wind dropped completely: 

44 miles in 10 hours.

2024 Loch Gairloch to Sandaig Bay.

Click here for Eigg

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