Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Loch Drumbuie to Oban

Hi everyone,
On Friday 25th we sailed from Loch Drumbuie to Oban to complete our brief cruise of W Scotland.  We had a great sail down the Sound of Mull in a nice N-NW breeze.

Initially the wind was quite strong, gusting to 25 knots, but it gradually faded to be very light for our arrival.  We gybed to and fro down the sound in bright sunshine.

Through the race off Lady's Rock
Entering Oban Bay
We berthed Zen Again in Oban Marina for the night.  The marina is actually opposite Oban on Kerrera Island.  Sunderland flying boats were based here during WW2, including an RAAF squadron early in the war.  More recently, the marina has been under new ownership for several years.  We had a very nice dinner at their Bar & Grill.

Zen Again in Oban Marina (off Kerrara Island)
Here is our 28nm track...

Our two week cruise was fantastic fun.  The first week was very, very cold but we got to see at least parts of the Outer Hebrides.  The second week was less cold, sunny and provided little wind.  Here are the overall statistics...

  • Log = 350 nm
  • At Sea = 55 hours
  • Average Speed = 6 knots! (perhaps the new log needs calibrating)
  • Engine = 30 hours
  • Gas = 2 litres (approx, for both cooking and heating)

And here's our overall track...

On Saturday friends Anne and Graham arrived from New Zealand.  They are going to be sailing Zen Again in W Scotland for the next month.  We spent the day briefing them on the boat's systems and then motoring over to Oban town marina for them to load supplies.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Loch Moidart to Loch Drumbuie

Hi everyone,
On Wednesday 23rd we sailed from Loch Moidart to Loch Drumbuie.  Happily we had wind for much of the passage and had a great sail tacking along the N coast of Ardnamurchan.

We spent the morning exploring Castle Tioram.  The weather was perfect.

The castle in calm conditions
Zen Again from the castle
We departed at 1130 and once again slowly motored around Riska Island and down the loch into the open sea.  Always less stressful retracing one's own track.

Once clear of the loch we hoisted sail and were hard on the wind, tacking along the peninsula towards Ardnamurchan Point.  Twas a great sail in a 6-10 knot WNW breeze.  The wind died as we approached the point and we motored for a while before it returned as we approached Loch Drumbuie.

Approaching the point
Motoring E towards Loch Drumbuie
The entrance to Loch Drumbuie is narrow and rocky.  We once again put the Antares Charts to good use.
Approaching the entrance to Loch Drumbuie

We anchored at 1830 in 5m over fine silty mud, very close to where we anchored in 1994.  Tis a very nice location but sadly we only had time for a quick overnight stay.

Here is our 29nm track...

Canna to Loch Moidart

Hi everyone,
On Wednesday 23rd we sailed from Canna to Loch Moidart.  Once again winds were very light but it was a nice sunny day and the scenery was fine.

We departed at 0800 after weighing anchor.  This showed the harbour bottom to be kelp over fine silt.

Kelp bottom! 
Heading out of Canna Harbour
We passed the islands of Rum, Eigg and Muck, all of which are interesting in different ways.  Sadly there was no wind whatsoever.  We logged 31nm.

The entrance to Loch Moidart is "interesting", requiring a course snaking between rocky islets and shoals.  Many of the islets were covered in seals basking in the sun.  We then motored very slowly over a large shallow (1m at chart datum) area around Riska Island to reach the anchorage on the south side of the island and directly opposite Castle Tioram. 

Approaching Loch Moidart
Rounding Riska Island and approaching the anchorage
We visited Loch Moidart in 1994 with my uncle Ian.  Back then there was no road access to the castle and very few buildings.  Now there is a road, accommodation and camp site.  That's progress I guess!

Here are three tracks in increasing detail...

Overall Track
Track within the Loch
Antares Chart detail
We have CM93, Navionics and Garmin charts aboard.  None of these show the actual situation around Riska Island.  We also have Antares Charts aboard which display in OpenCPN.  These high resolution charts are produced by enthusiastic amateurs and we have found them to be very accurate. Highly recommended for Scottish cruising.