Thanks to Henry and Maggie Crow we had free run of their house last night and a good nights sleep. We arranged for a taxi to take us from Ardrisaig to Crinan as the buses only seem to run on tuesdays, thursdays and at weekends. By 10.00 we were out the sealock and picked up a mooring to allow us to hoist the main and were soon underway heading for the Dorus Mor. The light South westerly allowed us to sail a good course and soon we were reaching at about 5.5kn past Scarba. We by-passed Cuan and eventually found our way into Seil Sound with the flood under us. The last (and first time) I had passed under the Bridge over the Atlantic at Seil Sound I was about 12 years old and it was on a 38 foot long gaff rigged Cornish lugger called "Para Handy". It was a hairy trip North to South on the ebb and we managed to run aground on most available rocks twanging the telephone cables on our way past! Fortunately we cleared the bridge and the 3 phase electrical supply to the island of Seil! This time should be a piece of cake in a boat drawing less than a foot. Alas it was not to be so as the channel North of the bridge was full of shingle shoals and although we had entered the 4th hour of the flood tide we soon ground to halt! With our dry suits we leapt in and started to drag the boat through the shoals but gave up after a hundred feet or so and just had lunch to allow the tide to rise further. After about 30 minutes we had another go and by canting the dinghy over we eventually dragged her about 300 yards into deeper water. It wasnt a lot of fun! Unfotunately, while aground the flood tide which was still sluicing past us forced the rudder over so far that it forced the top gudgeon on the rudder fixings off and it was lost overboard. A jury rig was made with some lashings. However the wind held well and we made good speed to Oban Marina on Kerrera where we arrived at 1530 with about 25nm under the keel. Our dry suits came off and we got the ferry over to Oban where we were joined by Bob for a few pints and a curry. We caught the ferry back at 1930, pitched our tent and had an early night.
This spring I am intending to sail "The Nancy" back to Plockton from Bowling on the Clyde. Like her owner, she is quite old being built in 1934. Its an exciting and potentially dangerous trip but I have been inspired by Eddie Izzard and his 43 marathons to attempt to make my own contribution to Sport Relief.
If you feel you can sponsor me - Great! If not because money is tight or for any other reason - dont worry! I won't take offence. I'm really looking forward to the trip. All I need is some really benign weather. You can donate on my own web site. Just click on this link