In the last update, many of the fleet were in Cambpeltown and we catch up with them as they explore a variety of routes through the islands on the south west coast of Scotland on passage to Oban.
‘Lahloo’ has spent some enjoyable time in the Clyde and having passed Cumbrae Elbos is waiting in Largs Marina for a crew change before heading for the Crinan Canal to reach Oban. ‘Minstrel’ and ‘Indian Runner’ also intend to use this ‘most beautiful shortcut in the world’. ‘Charlotte Elizabeth’, ‘Recipe’, ‘Hilda’ and ‘Moon River’ have sailed from Campbeltown to Gigha, planning to make passage to Islay and Craighouse, Jura. On passage to Gigha, ‘Recipe’ reported “an average of 4.5 knots, despite the sudden stop at the Mull of Kintyre, and saw a big humpback whale just in front of the boat. Impressive! And very slow compared to dolphin.” The group has now sailed on towards Loch Tarbert. ‘Bonita’ has now caught up with the fleet on Gigha.
“As far as is practical I have tried visit new ports on this trip rather than going to places we went to last time round. Gigha, an island north of the Mull of Kintyre however is a bit special and is well worth revisiting. John and I left Campbeltown at about midday to get the tide round the Mull. The guidance is that to avoid the worst of the turbulence its best to stay within quarter of a mile of the cliffs, which does provide some spectacular views. Once again we had light winds and motored for much of the time. We picked up a buoy in Ardminish Bay in Gigha about 7pm. One welcome change since we’re last here is that they have installed a very fine new dinghy pontoon.”Mike Beckett, ‘Bonita’
‘Oystercatcher’ is sailing to East Lough Tarbert from Cambletown reporting wind and tide on the nose but plenty of sunshine and the chance to have another pint at a pub ashore with skipper and crew of ‘Letty’. ‘Susan J’ reports” ‘”leaving westwards from south end of Gigha, some northeast wind last night, Ardminish was fine on one of many vacant visitor buoys. Grey and calm across the sound of Jura. Next day, moored at Craighouse, Jura and the Paps of Jura are sunlit at last!”
’Cygnet of London’ is still in Neyland Marina, South Wales and hoping to catch up with the fleet in the next week or so. Planning to leave on Sunday, there’s 300 miles to reach Oban, so they might be a little late for the party! ‘Onward of Ito’, awaiting crew in Belfast, also hopes to reach Oban in time for the party.