Jane very kindly drove us over to Kyle and we climbed into our dry suits and cast off at 0930. The forecast wasn't brilliant - NE 4 to 5 occasionally 6 but the wind was light from the SE and we hoisted the full main. Once we passed under the Skye bridge there was a horrible tidal lop that saw waves breaking aboard from every angle but we put a tack in and sailed into clear water. The sun shone, the wind blew and the Nancy flew as though sensing that she was close to home! However it was not be too easy and the wind veered and forced us to start beating again as we closed Cat Island lighthouse. George Glasgow on Ceol na mara joined us to welcome us home and as we beat past the lighthouse in NE 4 Calum's seal trip boat Sula Mhor greeted us with all the tourists asked to give a loud cheer as we head for home. Off the wind now the Nancy surged up into Plockton bay with cars on the shore honking their horns and Dave McGhee and Charlie 36 taking snap shots of us as we sailed up harbour to tie up against the pontoons at 1230. Home at last to a great crowd of locals as a welcoming committee! We charged our glasses and gave a toast to "the Nancy" because she was the real star! Her sailing performance, her beautiful lines had been admired by all and staunchly she had stood up to a terrible beating despite her years. It was a truly joyful occasion and the end of a wonderful dream for me. I will take her on other trips though in the future. Perhaps to Stornoway, to the outer hebrides and around Skye. Plockton local boats are designed to cope with such conditions and she had done us proud. I hope that other owners of small boats will be encouraged by my endeavours to tackle longer voyages. Thanks too to all my crew members - to Neil, Angus. Gordon and Malcolm. Each had brought their own individual skills into play and had made the incredible journey possible! Grateful thanks to all my wonderful friends who have supported me in this mad venture and thanks too to all who have donated to Sports Relief - your contribution is greatly appreciated by me and has made the trip worthwhile - much more than a personal indulgence. But be aware - you haven't heard the last of the Nancy yet!
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