What happened in 2018

Gillian, Iona and Helene

Matt and Margaret

Monday Waiting "patiently" at the top of the pontoon were Iona and Gillian our guests for the next week. We were considering a circumnavigation of Mull. They'd brought so much grub that we had to bring Shard alongside to load up. Then off to the mooring. We went for a wee orientation sail, then as the pub was shut we ate aboard.

Tuesday Set off to Loch Aline, motoring down to the Sound of Mull in a SW breeze. Then attempting to sail, but the fresh breeze we'd motored into died down and we had to put the engine on. Helene was persuaded to take the tiller and bring us onto the pontoon. The girls fended us off and Tom jumped about a bit and we were safely in. A visit to the shop, and dinner of pork and lamb. A game of cards then bed.

Wednesday Helene took us off the pontoon, the stern kicks to port in reverse. Safely out, its out into the Sound of Mull and new ground for us going up to Tobermory. A mix of motoring and sailing, an uneventful trip up the sound and motoring in to pick up a visitor's mooring. Some knotting practice, and into Macgochan's for a bite to eat and a wee drink. The forecast is windy for tomorrow, so we might have to revise the round Mull trip.

Thursday Yes it's windy. So windy the dinghy took itself away for a trip to the pontoon, Blue Damsel had caught it and announced it on the radio, but as we were not listening we'd missed the call. The next boat over (Rawana II) was just departing and very skillfully went over to Blue Damsel to retrieve it for us. Dinghy retrieved ashore with Bob. Breakfast, and decision time. Our friends (Rawana II) who were departing returned, it was too rough for them in the sound so we decided just to spend the day in Tobermory buying stuff. Colouring books, specs, sandals and a spare chimney for the paraffin lamp. Alongside the pontoon arrived Alba Venturer, which Tom had sailed in the Clyde with the OYT. Also in town was Capricorn, with Keith Scott and his son. So counting, Shard that's three boats Tom had sailled in harbour. Coming back from the shopping another boat full of Swiss folk had lost their dinghy... so Tom set off to assist. A round of applause and a bar of chocolate was the reward.

Friday Well the crew have to be back by Sunday, so its back to Loch Aline today. The wind has lessened so we're hopeful of a sail, but of course its blowing up the Sound and the sea is lumpy (wind over tide). Tried a bit of sailing, but the crew are not happy so its engines on most of the way. Back into Loch aline to a mooring this time. Ashore for a couple of walks and then off round to the Loch Aline Hotel... strange place, bar looks a bit dodgey, the dining room was OK tho' and so was the food.

Saturday Still a bit breezy and somewhere in the shuffle the dinghy painter broke and we lost the dinghy (again) Radio on and there is a call from Stornoway coastguard. A navigational warning on Ch 67 about a grey dinghy proceeding up the Sound of Mull at speed. So Tom calls in to confess to being the owner, the dinghy gets recaptured by Osprey, who is proceeding to Dunstaffinage. The radio's fuse blew. The forecast is for the breeze to freshen to F9 later in the day so we're not for hanging about. Its back to Linnhe Marine and we'll take the car down to Dunstaffinage, to get the dinghy back. Alongside at the pontoon, into the car, down the road, stopping in at the Pink Shop for a bottle of wine for the Osprey. Call in at reception, cute French girl directs us to Osprey, alongside the pontoon exactly in the spot we were in last year when we had our collision. The chaps were very pleasant. Carried the dinghy up the pontoon and out to the car, deflated it and put the thing in the boot. Back up the road and a steak tea is booked in the Old Inn. (Gillian's fish looked nice too). Back to the boat.

Sunday A very noisy night, but the boat was steady enough. Walk the dog, breakfast, and then the ladies are leaving me. The weather forecast is too wet for Helene. The BBC reports that the Coastguard were busy last night, boats dragging achor and going aground in Loch Aline, Port Ramsay, Loch Feochan and Puilladobhrain. A good call to come into our home mooring.

What an adventure, not boring, but the crew's knots, dinghy and boat handling are all improving.

The video is here

Matt and Margaret

Matt and Margaret

Saturday Matt, Margaret and Helene arrived about lunch time on Saturday. Unfortunately the Boathouse in Loch Corrie was fully booked that evening, so we took off for Port Ramsay. Out through the channel and we got a bit of sailing in. Not many seals to be seen, but it was a good sail. We decided to go for the big rusty buoy for our mooring so Tom took the tiller puting Helene into the dinghy. After nearly losing the dinghy and a few aborted attempts we succeeded. A bite to eat then ashore for a walk round to the pedestrian ferry port. We got back just in time to find the dinghy afloat. Safely back aboard, Matt cooked us up a lovely chillie.

Sunday Booked into the Boathouse for a Sunday roast. So we set off for Loch Corrie, capturing the mooring on our first attempt. Quite a few boats coming out of the loch... it had been busy last night. After lunch we inspected the walled garden, Bob stayed on the boat.

Monday Off back to Linnhe Marine and after a wee walk to view the castle, Matt and Margaret set off down the road. Our next "crew" were sitting waiting to board.

Its always a joy to share Shard with some of your favorite people!

The video is here

Alana and Fi

Alana and Fi

Monday The ladies arrived in the afternoon after a somewhat circuitous route (John o'Groats and Lands end) We had our briefing and adjusted the split new life jackets to fit. Then we headed off across the Loch. There was a wind so we hoisted the foresail and put it to good use. It was a Westerly mostly and was fairly howling out of Loch a' Choire. The restaurant was closed, but we used a mooring anyway. (eventually... was it 4 tries?) Lasagne made with quorn mince, thanks Fi. The whisky bottle took a bit of a hammering, and a game of cards.

Tuesday Set off for Port Ramsay in not much wind at all. There is a nice new mooring buoy, but it was occupied the middle yellow buoy has a pretty deadly looking bit of rope off it, but we secured to the buoy using a pair of warps, with only a little difficulty, from the boat. Ashore for a walk round to the foot ferry terminal in the rain. Got back just in time as the dinghy was afloat. It was pizza and left over lasagne for tea. Then a short shufty onto Eilean Ramsay to empty the dog. Washed up dead seal pup on the beach.

Wednesday Again not much wind just a case of motoring past the seals and back to the marina through the channel. Back on the mooring (First time, this time Alana!) by noon, and they left with clear directions!

Great to see you ladies thanks for the whisky, wear those t-shirts with pride! Come back soon!

The video is here

Hamish, J and Keith

The boys

Friday Helene decided to pull a sneaky visit, cracking weather and forecast, so that was nice.

Saturday The boys eventually arrived, someone was late! Life jackets and a briefing and off for a wee sail, foresail only back in time to go to the pub, after some of Keith's allowance. Great stuff that Brew Dog!! After the best steak in the world we walked back and more drink was taken. Helene was keeping order, but some how some ear biting took place.

Sunday Set off for Port Ramsay, and had a wee walk ashore after Hamish secured us to the mooring buoy. All too soon it was back to the marina, and they were off down the road

Great to see you boys come back anytime and for longer!

The video is here

Ian and Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Tuesday Elizabeth and Ian arrive at Rose cottage and walk up the road to the marina. Shard was on the pontoon so boarding was easy. After a wee bit of briefing we went for a motor round Shuna as there was no wind at all. Back in the marina, we had a wee refreshment while waiting on Ryan to turn up with the prawns. One of which attacked Ian, drawing BLOOD! Still the prawns were very tasty.

Wednesday Motored over to Loch a'Choire as we had a lunch booked at the Boathouse fine platter of meat and a double platter of fish. Much enjoyed and washed down with Arran blonde. It was so hot we had to eat indoors! Back in the boat and across to the marina, Old Inn at 19:45 for more beer and the best steak in the world.

Nice to see you Ian and Elizabeth, thanks for the gifts, maybe get a sail next time!

The video is here

Dog sitting

Jellyfish

So a wee hiatus from the boat. The weather was a bit dodgey anyway... storms and rain. Hamish and Katie went down to Manchester and needed someone to look after Fergus and Izzie. Back up to the boat on Thursday.

7th June to 10th June

Jellyfish

Friday Tom has been here all week and the fine weather continues, but there is a distinct lack of wind. The MacDonalds paid a flying visit in Telo. Helene and Iona arrive about 18:00, and after a couple of refreshments, we head down to the Old Inn as Iona didn't get her steak last time. Our table was booked for 20:00.
Saturday The plan is to go down the west side of Lismore (motoring I'm afraid) and anchor around Bernera for the night. First time for some doing an over night anchor, but the weather is settled and the wind is light. We picked the south bay as it has more room and we anchored in 7 to 8 m of water with plenty of chain out (40 m!) With the tides being neep(ish) we should never have less than 5 m under us. Anchor set Tom and Bob head for a wee beach on the Lismore side and visited Achadun castle. Pork steaks for tea. Seals for entertainment, we would have had pictures from the good camera, had we a memory card in it.
Sunday After a peaceful night, skipper and purser in the forepeak, it was easy to check every couple of hours that we hadn't moved and the depth finder was left on with deep and shallow alarms set. The guests took off for some dinghy practice to the shore, and the farmer moved his sheep across the passage between Bernera and Lismore. Then we set off round the bottom end of Lismore, current noted but not too bad. We had the chance to sail for a bit, back up the loch with the wind at our back. The tug Goliath, towing some fish farm bits, kept us on our toes. Just at Eilean Dubh the 2 knot rule was invoked and we put the engine on for the last leg. Helene at the helm most of the way. The ladies left at the back of 15:00 and peace was restored after a visit to the Co-op in Ballahulish. The video is here


1st June to 3rd June

SSS club

Iona, Rachel and Meg The lovely weather continues and Shard waits on the pontoon for the girls to arrive. They eventually rock up at the back of ten. Off to the mooring, some drinks and making plans.
Saturday A leisurely start, an award of t-shirts to Meg and Rachel who are the latest members of the SSS club, and a wee trip round Shuna, no wind really to speak of. Then on the way back into the marina from the North, we encounter "Our Christine", Ryan and his Dad with a puckle of prawns. The deal is struck then its back to the mooring for some cooking. What a laugh that was... Rachel juggling flying prawns. All cooked up and eaten, we set sail (yes sail) for Loch Corrie, country music and an expert mooring pickup, Meg on tiller, Iona on the boathook, where we have a meal booked. The Scallops and Black Pud starter was particularly good. Thanks girls! Dinghy to and from the Boathouse.
Sunday The girls didn't fancy going to kirk, so we motored down to Port Ramsay, where Iona got in the dinghy and secured us to the big rusty buoy, with barely a ding in Shard. Just a scratch. Dinghy to the island and a wee walk among the flowers of Lismore. Bob was very lame so it was a slow stroll. All too soon its back to Linnhe marine, where we dinghied to the pontoon and they were off.
I hope you three ladies had as much fun as I did, good food, good company and good weather, and as always you are more than welcome to return anytime. Here is the video


21st May to 26th May

Land-locked

So... The weather is lovely, warm dry and sunny all week, with a steady Easterly breeze. A lovely week for sailing, however... There is a trip to Carronvale to pick up the President's badges, there is a trip to the Doctors to get the blood pressure checked, the gas man is coming to service the boiler, and its Helene's birthday. Then there is a BB meeting on Friday night and a family BBQ on Saturday night.


Then from Sunday I'm FREE!! hope the weather holds.

13th May to 17th May

Picture of portside winch

Monday. So its just Bob and I. The weather is set to steadily improve which is good as I forgot my rain jacket. The bluebells are starting to appear, the wild garlic is out. The canada geese have chicks. I bought some t-cut, and car wax.

Tuesday. Started cleaning the cockpit with the t-cut to remove the teak oil stains, and also going round the hull. There are quite a few wee dings and nicks that probably need patched with epoxy. Walked the dog, went to the pub. The "boys" Nick and Davie are puting in a power of work launching boats, and attaching addition "fingers" to the pontoon.

Wednesday Decided to phone and postpone my doctor's appointment, the weather is just glorious, dry and sunny. Although there were a couple of light showers around lunchtime. In the morning I got the power drill out and using the power socket on the toilet/shower block drilled out the bolt holding the tiller onto the outboard. Started with a fine drill bit and stepped up. After lunch I got some help from Paul and his tools to tap a new thread into the engine, with a "new" bolt from the box of bits. All sorted by about 15:30. Just need to be gentle with it. Removed the 'leisure' radio, as the SoundJam works fine. Then thought the wire running to the port speaker could be repurposed to power the final light in the saloon. That works. The over all effect is great in that the old ugly speakers are away and the cludge that was the radio is gone.

Thursday. The weather is glorious again. A bit more polishing a coat of the demon white paint on the gas box, a quick varnishing of the tiller to clean it up a bit. Then down the road back of lunchtime. Bob is a bit on the lame side, had to increase his dose to threequarters of a tablet. BB display tomorrow night. Totals for awards, video to do etc. However, just the mainsail to sort out and the boat is in fine fettle for the season... until something else breaks ;-)


4th May to 9th May

Panorama of Port Ramsay Saturday. Arrived at the boat around lunchtime and there was Helene. She'd managed to get aboard, find the keys, get the electricity on work the lights etc. AND find the wine. Decided to top up the water and someone managed to fill the bilges!!! After pumping out we set sail across to Loch Corrie where we had a table booked at the Boathouse. Two bottles of red wine, a meat platter to start, a venison steak and a rack of lamb. Superb at £75. With a view to die for. Back to the boat which had run out of gas.

Sunday. Back to Linnhe Marine... no wind to speak of. On the hunt for gas, Gunn's garage (Appin) was shut, the campsite office at Barcaldine was shut, but the camping shop/garage at Benderloch was open. Bacon roll at Ben Lora Cafe & Bookshop, then a wee stop off at Sutherland's Grove at Barcaldine to let Bob stretch his legs. Lovely spring woodland and the burn was high due to work up at the reservoir. Back at the boat we decided to motor down to Port Ramsay on Lismore. There are two old mooring buoys there so we tied up to one. Somehow Tom ended up drifting off in the dinghy... literally without a paddle or outboard. Rescued by a passing dinghy as they were heading back to their anchored boat. A lesson learned? Pork chops for tea. A lot of seals.

Monday. Very still, no wind a lot of fog and mist. Went for a walk ashore, what a beautiful place, loads of primroses, a few bluebells starting to show... very "Katie Morag". After a late lunch headed back to Linnhe Marine. Moored up... Helene on the engine, then off to the Creagan Inn for tea as the Old Inn's kitchen is closed on Mondays.

Tuesday. The weather forecast isn't so good so Helene decides to head down the road, a lazy morning and nothing much done. The Jam Bluetooth speaker seems to work well and as the mobile signal has vastly improved in the area, it might be possible to ditch the old car radio weather forecasts are available from the NavText and VHF, so that might be a plan.

Wednesday. Windy getting and then the rain came about 11:00. Tidied up the boat and decided to head down the road myself. More pictures here.

30th April to 3rd May

Monday. Arrived at the boat around lunchtime... a glorious day. Cold but, dry and sunny. Got a coat of oil on the toe rail and various other surfaces. Launched the dinghy. Walked the dog, went for a pint..

Tuesday. What a difference a day makes, cloudy cold but dry in the morning, squally and wet in the afternoon. When going ashore stopped to talk to Ryan, after a chat re-starting the outboard the starter chord snapped. Ryan towed me in and I set about using the tools in Linnhe marine's shed to remove the engine covers and retrieve the end of the chord. An hour later and all was fixed, the cord is a bit short, but hopefully long enough.

Wednesday. The weather's not so nice went down to Creran Marine to get someone to look at my diesel (with the oil pressure light problem) The suggestion was that I buy a new Beta Marine Oil filter and see if that fixes the problem. At £14.99 this seems fair. Also called in at the Alba Sailing at Dunstaffnage to buy a new bailing pump (ours went missing) and a replacement bucket for the one I lost. Supermarket in Oban... Liver and Onions for tea. Fitted the new oil filter... no difference. Contacted Creran again and they recommended Robert De Sadeleer as an engineer. Texted Robert who said he'd be up at Linnhe anyway and would get back to me tomorrow (Thursday). The handle for the outboard broke off the bolt had sheered, a drilling out and replacement required.

Thursday. A bit milder but, still wet and squally. Gaffer taped up the tiller on the outboard... it'll do just now. Robert texted to say he'd visit after lunch, if I brough Shard to the end of the pontoon. The boys are busy adding in two more branches to the pontoon, and Nick broke off from the work to catch my ropes after my aborted first attempt. The amount of wind makes it a challenge (my excuse). After lunch Robert arrives. We take off the engine cover and as he goes to fit an oil pressure meter to the engine asks if I'd removed the connector. So the bit where the oil pressure meter would be attached and was open. Hence the low oil pressure! Robert had the necessary in his van, and fitted it problem solved. (£30!) Headed down the road leaving Shard on the pontoon for Helene who's on Mull, and would be coming to the boat on Friday evening.

Start of season blues (I hope) Thinking about the leisure radio, I might just go for a bluetooth speaker instead. Draws less current, and all the radio I'd listen too is available on the phone... There's a thought.

24th-25th April

So a quick trip with Sarah and Bob. On the road up Sarah needed a wee comfort stop. 10 minutes to the Green Welly stop we got caught at road works, out jumps the bold lass to find a suitable bush... the lights change... of I go catching a glimpse of Sarah walking up the road (through the road works) ... she disappears only to turn up at the end of the works. She'd only hitched a lift from the convoy van. We arrived at Linnhe Marine at the back of lunchtime and we got a lift out to the boat. We set off in showery weather with a nice SW breeze to Balnagowan, saw 5 or 6 porpoise on the way, borrowed a mooring in the NE bay for a cup of tea and to watch 2 playful seals.
Wind not helpful for getting back, popped the engine on and motored back to the marina. Oil pressure warning light flickering! Plenty of oil, wondering whats going on? Arrived back in time for a glass of white wine then a dinghy trip to shore for dinner at the Old inn... steak of course. It was nice to see the old faces again. Back to the boat and more drink was taken.

The following morning it was WET cold and WET! So we pottered about fixing the cockpit bumpers, fiddling with the knackered radio and so on. Down the road just after lunch arriving back in Glenmavis just after 4 pm. Sarah has now fulfilled all the criteria to earn a much coveted Shard T-shirt.

The Launch

We put Shard in the water from the Loch Nell boat storage facility at 08:00. Magnus was epic (as always) on the hoist and we were assisted by Sarah and Colin T. The lift in went well the tide being nice and high. Engine started ,but not much water coming out the exhaust. Made it to the mooring buoy, and then investigated. The impeller was still disconnected. A couple of minutes with the screwdriver and jubilee clips and it seemed fixed. I let the impeller cool down while we inflated the dinghy an launched it. Engine restarted first time and a healthy flow of water was noted.
We motored out of Ardmucknish Bay rounding the point we popped out the foresail in the breeze, and shut down the engine. Good progress was made in a pleasant Southerly. On reaching Appin Point we had a bit of wind over tide lumpishness and our speed dropped to 2 knots, time for the engine. This took us to the entrance to the channel and into Linnhe Marine. A wee spot of cleaning up and re-arranging, the deck light and leisure radio are not working a job for an electrician?
Heading back down the road at 15:00, big thanks to Magnus and Graeme (the shipwright) for all their work.