Passage 24, Tobermory to Loch Aline

I left Tobermory at noon, but not before satisfying my desperate need for explorations. My back problem had completely gone away, only to have been replaced by a left bum/leg problem. But the bum/leg problem was by no means incapacitating. I could sail, run and cycle. Standing and walking was a problem. So wandering about town or visiting museums is, unfortunately, off the cards for the moment. But I can cycle, no problem.

Now various medics in my family are clamouring for me to take it easy and I’m doing my best, honest, but since cycling doesn’t hurt I’m darned if I’m going to take it that easy. So I had a gentle 15 mile ride out of town down the south east coast of Mull. Ah, the freedom. It was warm, sunny and gently windy and my bike ride was a pure delight. Made all the more enjoyable by the fantastic views it afforded over the Sound. On the way back I got a call; my autopilot had arrived. Major news as this meant I can get going. I went straight to the chandler to collect it and went back to the boat and fitted it, then wasted no more time to get going.

This passage was the first of three short ones by usual standards. About 13 miles. But all of them are going to be “longer” because the winds are consistently against me and I have to tack. So my total miles covered was actually 22, zig zagging down the Sound of Mull. Everyone else going south motored except for one boat that lasted for half the way and then clearly grew impatient. Wind was not the only element against me; tide was as well. So the going was slow. But I knew that and that’s why I made it a short passage.

This and the following 2 passages are all short as I am pacing myself to arrive at a place called Craobh Haven Marina on Sunday as I have arranged for them to fix my masthead arial and windex on Monday. Hooray.

I’m not complaining about the wind or tide because this sail was the most loveliest sail I have had to date. It was warm, sunny, clear, breezy and the scenery spectacular. It also felt good to be amongst dozens of holidaying sail boats going this way and that. Such a change from being the only madman out there in the North Sea! So, let me re-iterate: Best and most delightful sail so far on this venture.

I got into Loch Aline by 5pm and anchored up and drank in my new spectacular surroundings. My God, you could spend a lifetime exploring and enjoying the West Coast.


An exploratory bike ride followed by a 5 hour, 22 mile sail down the Sound of Mull. A perfect day even though wind and tide were against. And the new autopilot worked!

Passage 25, Loch Aline to Puilladobhrain