Passage 27, Craobh Marina to Gigha Island

My stay in Craobh marina was a productive one. I’d arrived midday so I had time for a nice exploratory bike ride round to the other side of the peninsula to a place called Ardfern on Loch Craignish. I went the longer, proper way on the way there but took a shortcut, smaller road back. Unfortunately, this smaller road turned into a rough track for most of the time which was hard work for my road bike. I’ve got bullet proof tyres, however, and all was well. Anyway, it was nice to get out and about and see the country a bit. No dramas.


The next day, Monday, was the big day to fix my masthead. A new aerial and windex. The lads did a great job. We got the boat positioned such that a large mobile crane could be manoeuvred to drop a line over it. James then got into a bosun’s chair and got hauled up to the top of my mast by the crane. It appears that my aerial had simply unscrewed from its mount and blown away. So James was able to fit the replacement relatively easily. I called the Coast Guard for a radio check once fitted and they could hear me “loud and clear”. Job’s a good’un.


I spent the rest of the day doing a few jobs of my own on the boat and planning my next 3 trips. The first of which was to position myself for the hop from Scotland to Ireland.


This passage was rather tiresome because it involved sailing against wind mostly in the pouring rain. It was a miserable day for most of the journey. But I’d planned my tides nicely dodging between islands to pick up local currents. The tidal systems around here are quite complicated and I was pleased that my routing successfully picked up tide flows as planned. I needed it as the wind was very light - F3. Mind you, my boat is particularly good at sailing to windward in light winds - being able to coast along at 5 knots easy in a force 3. Very satisfying, even if was raining.


When I was about 10 miles away from Gigha island the wind had died down to a whisper. I alternated between motoring and sailing a couple of times as the wind seemed to come and go, but eventually it died completely so I motored the rest of the way during which time the sky brightened up and out came the sun. Ardminish bay has loads of visitors buoys and I picked one of those up and enjoyed another pleasant evening in my new surroundings. Pretty place with it’s little ferry going back and forth to the mainland. Each stop is always such a delight to sample.


Summary

42 miles (8.5 hours) in total having sailed 27 of them in light (F3) contra winds under a leaden sky and rain. Involved a fair amount of tacking but took good advantage of tides. Buoy caught in Ardminish bay in good weather.


Passage 28, Isle of Gigha to Glenarm