Monday, 21 May 2018

Dunstaffnage to Tobermory

Hi everyone,
We boarded Zen Again for a two week cruise in western Scotland on Saturday 12th May after another Caledonian Sleeper rail adventure.  Happily the weather was good, so we immediately set about making final preparations for sea.  These included:

  • bent on the mainsail, boombag & lazy jacks (the new carriages are a big improvement);
  • rigged the mainsail tack and clew reefing lines;
  • hoisted and furled the staysail and yankee (the new headsail Profurl furler is good too);
  • rigged reaching sheets; and
  • tidied up below, restowing a lot of gear from out-of to in-commission locations

Luckily the wind was light, so hoisting and furling the headsails wasn't too exciting.

View of renewed lashing on mainsail blocks
Beefed up gooseneck
New StaLok rigging
New ProFurl furler
On Saturday evening we had a slap-up meal at the Widemouth Frog.  Very nice.

On Sunday we sailed from Dunstaffnage to Tobermory.  Initially the wind was very light from the SE and we ghosted along in bright sunshine.  The wind gradually built up to about 10 knots.  Along the Sound of Mull the wind came in from the W and continued to build.  It was so nice we even hand-steered!

Twas great to hoist our recently serviced mainsail which now features "AUS" above the previous "F88".  We were required to add the AUS to renew our IRC racing certificate.  Good to "show the flag" in another way too.

We had up to a knot of tidal current with us in the Sound, as shown by the photo below.  We were passed by one super yacht which was motoring (what's the point of that?) but otherwise no one overtook us.  Zen Again is marvellously slippery with a clean bottom.

May the tide be with you
We arrived in Tobermory harbour with the wind gusting up to 20 knots but once inside the harbour it was relatively calm.  It was wonderful to pick up a mooring in a place we last visited with my Uncle Ian in 1994 on a charter boat.

Zen Again in iconic Tobermory
Later in the afternoon we went ashore in the dinghy and strolled along the front.  We had a pint and fish & chips at the MishNish pub, where we ate with Ian so many years ago.

Tobermory Waterfront
We returned to Zen Again well fed and ready for a longer sail.  The weather was set to hold for another day so the Western Isles (Outer Hebrides) beckoned!

Here is our 26nm track...

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