Passage 23, Loch Sunart to Tobermory

I had anchored in a fantastic little sub-loch of Loch Sunart called Loch Drambuie. It was spectacular and I drank up the surroundings in the warm evening breeze watching the sun set. This was the first time that it felt like summer and I tried to enjoy every minute despite feeling a tad lonely.

A few things had gone wrong on the previous passage and I had managed in the afternoon to sort them out: The foresail roller reefer jamming, the starboard winch (I took it to bits and put it back together) and I unblocked the drain to the anchor locker - which was full of water and may have been contributing to my sodden cabin. So I felt a good sense of achievement as I finished the evening lying in the cockpit after sundown watching the full moon come in and out from the skimming clouds (it was still windy up there).

My passage to Tobermory the next morning, Wednesday, was not difficult. 5 miles of easy sailing under foresail alone. Simples. This was the HOT day. I know in the South it was mid thirties but up here it was a good 20 degrees which is boiling by comparison to the recent past.

Tobermory has all the facilities so I could clean up and do my laundry. I also checked with the Chandler that my autopilot was on its way. I need oars for my dingy but sadly they didn't have any left. Tobermory is a most fetching town with different coloured houses lining the harbour front. But I decided not to stay on the pontoon (saving the berthing fees) and beetled back to Loch Sunart and had a nosey round other parts of it before settling back into Loch Drambuie where I was before.

That evening was far from lonely. There was a yacht club posse of 4 yachts around me who were having a barbecue on the shore and they invited me over to join them. So I had a great evening chatting with them all eating their pork, chicken, burgers and sausages as well as downing a couple of their beers. Yum.

In a bizarre twist of fate I also purloined a second oar (I was missing one) from one of them and that full story is separately blogged.

The next morning I awoke with a bang. One of the yacht club boats bumped into me as they were leaving. I rushed on deck in my underwear to inspect for damage and converse with the guilty party. Fortunately there was no damage and I could hardly come across all pissed off as they'd supplied me with a full meal the night before. So I bid them all happy sailing and they went on their way.

Unfortunately, yesterday was the Scottish Summer and today, Thursday, seems like we're moving swiftly on into Autumn. I motored back to Tobermory where I knew I could conduct some comms with family and get wifi. I spent the afternoon planning my next few passages - it's complicated but I'm going to do shorter hops partly to see the coast more but mainly because the wind will be constantly against me and I can only put up with that for so long at a time. I also identified a boat yard further down who could fix my masthead arial and windex (wind direction indicator), both of which blew off in a gale!

As I make progress going round it seems like I have a steady stream of little backward steps (things going wrong) that need to be recovered with little forward steps. There's never a point where all is working as it should.

My autopilot had still not arrived so I stayed the night on the pontoon here at Tobermory and sat comfortably in a hotel bar with my laptop blogging and catching up electronically while enjoying a wholesome beef burger. Naughty but nice.


Essentially a 5 mile sail from the Loch to Tobermory. But I did this trip back and forth again waiting for my autopilot to arrive. Can't go without it.

Passage 24, Tobermory to Loch Aline