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Only a few weeks after my last sailing adventure in Scotland I've just got back from another expedition up there. This time it was a "bare boat" trip, where you hire a boat for a week and go off on your own. "Your own" in this case was Jennifer, Jenny, Hugo and me.

Jennifer, Jenny and Hugo as we head towards Tobermory up the Sound of Mull
Jennifer, Jenny and Hugo as we head towards Tobermory up the Sound of Mull

Both Jenny and Hugo own their own boats about which I've written in the past as I've been lucky enough to crew for both of them on various adventures along the east coast.

This time we were into new waters for Hugo and relatively new ones for Jenny (she'd passed through them on her around the UK trip last year). I'd sailed them once before, on Longbow with Ted and Jane back in 2007 and that provided us with some useful tips for some places to go.

You can see our (rough) route below1. Yellow markers are places we spent the night, blue are places that we anchored.


View Scottish Sailing - June 2009 in a larger map

Stopping at the Garvellachs on Sunday was one of the highlights for me: our first adventurous anchorage, on an island where we were the only people ashore. And some of us, although not me I confess, even went in for a brief swim.

Panoramic photo from the top of Eilach an Naoimh one of the Garvellachs
Panoramic photo from the top of Eilach an Naoimh one of the Garvellachs

The other place which really impressed me for its isolation was the inner loch on Loch Tarbert halfway down Jura, where we spent Sunday night. A fairly tricky entry through the narrows led to a vast expanse of water where just us and one other boat spent the night.

View across the inner loch at Loch Tarbert
View across the inner loch at Loch Tarbert

Tobermory was as welcoming as ever providing just the place to pause for a day and the fish and chips from the van on the fishermen's pier were so good that we ate there both nights. We also kept bumping into people we knew: having met Jane at Oban Tesco and passing Longbow itself in the Sound of Iona we met Ted and Karl (who Hugo and I know vaguely) in Tobermory where the latter was having a week's diving with a group local to home which included my GP.

Heading back was harder work. The sail from Tobermory down the Sound of Mull on Thursday was not so bad but as we turned into the Firth of Lorn it was very bouncy and head to wind but Red Jem coped well.


Crossing the Firth of Lorn but through the worst of it (video by Jenny, belch by me)

It wasn't much better on Friday either heading south from Puilladobhrain but once we were into Cuan Sound it all calmed down and we had a pleasant potter home.

Anyway lots more photos (and some video of when it was rough) by both me and Jenny, with narrative below, can be found here. I was particularly pleased with this one:

Sunset on Loch na Lathaich
Sunset on Loch na Lathaich

So all in all a rather fine trip and I was only ill once in seven days so that's good. We'll have to do it again some time.

  1. For some reason it's wrongly centred from Firefox, but not IE, Chrome, or Opera. Just drag it to re-centre it.

Tags: Mull, sailing Written 22/06/09

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