So Shard's first guests of the season arrived just after 13:00 and boarded from the pontoon. After a wee briefing we set off for Loch Corrie. Sailing was a bit rubbish as there is not much wind. Picked up a mooring (one of the outer ones). Someone went for a swim. Going ashore for a stretch of the legs we popped into the Boat House Restaurant on the off chance we could book a table for four, they prefer to know well in advance if you're coming, but thought we'd chance it. Our luck was in! There is an interesting walled garden further along. The meal was excellent. A sharing platter of smoked venison in various forms, mains of Steak pie, Pork steak and Salmon were all greatly enjoyed.
Saturday May 27th
Weather flat calm warm and sunny to start. Decided to motor round Lismore, do a complete lap. After about an hour the engine cut out, after getting it re-started and running it at high revs it threatened to cut out about every 20 mins or so. Not the best! Clouded over and feeling distinctly thundery, only a few spots of rain tho'. Navigated round the south of Lismore between the two lights (Lismore Lighthouse and Lady's rock). The currents here are quite impressive, turning Shard through nearly 90 degrees at one point. Engine issues continuing. Going up the east side of Lismore we called in at Eilean na Cloiche anchored in 4m using the Antares chart. The island is uninhabited and too over grown to explore in shorts and sandals. Boots and long trousers required. We had a spot of lunch here. On then back to Linnhe Marine, through the channel, engine cutting out at the most "interesting" times. Dinner at Old Inn Wonderful bit of steak and a very enjoyable pint of Punk IPA..
Sunday May 28th
Much fresher feel to the day, the wind was westerly and the air clearer. Headed out onto Loch Linnhe just looking for wind with which to sail. Across the mouth of Loch Corrie there is a lovely fresh breeze. Both sails up and sailing across the wind we got up to 6.7 knots. Absolutely ideal. Stopped for lunch anchoring in 4m of water (tide rising) at Rubha na h-Airde Seilliche. Guests heading back down the road, so after lunch popped out the foresail and in a broad reach back across the loch until the wind died then motored in. Docked at pontoon to unload.
Well if all of Shard's guests turn out to be as generous and easy to please as the Fergusons I'll be well pleased.