What's happening in 2021

The rag end of the season

17th September
Colin and Sarah came up for the weekend without the "puppies". We ate in the Old Inn at 19:30 excellent as always. The weather was fine so we popped down to Kererra for a wee jaunt. We got some sailing in and a wee wander round about. We even got a bit of a sunset and a few rainbows.

24th September
Iona and Lucy came for the weekend with Riley, and again the Old Inn was a hit. We left the wee dogs on the boat. We just pottered about as it wasn't great weatherwise. We did make it for a sail around Shuna between showers.

The weather has changed in that its wet and windy at times. The eider duck have arrived diving for mussels on the mooring ropes. Orion has appeared in the evening sky, and steadily one by one my neighbours are disappearing off or getting lifted out. There has been a bit of colour showing on the beech trees for a few weeks now.

Helene arrived up and we're having a party re-naming "Cantie Maa". It was a great privilege to witness Alastair administering the rites and giving praise to Neptune and his court with ample amounts of booze. Doug was there too in his red cape and drum. A grand time was had by all.

So in the final days of my season, it turns out Davie Whitelaw flies a drone so he shot some brilliant footage of Shard on her mooring. Thanks Davie!!

October 20th
Then the fateful day arrived and it was down to Loch Nell for a lift out on the evening tide. The weather got a wee bit breezy at times but it was dead on the nose so we were motoring like most of the season. Spent a pretty sleepless night on the slings of the hoist. The boat sounds strange and moves all wrong.

The end of a brilliant season just the same!!

Video of it all here.

Lucy and Andrew

30th August to 3rd September
Early September can be beautiful. We've been blessed with a week of very settled weather. So when Lucy, Andrew and Helene arrived we set off exploring.

First stop was Kerrera, this involved the usual ferry dodging consulting the Oban terminal timetables.

Then we went down to Loch Feochan. New territory for us. The entrance was to say the least tricky but, it was well buoyed. Ardoran marina has the essentials, but its a bit of a walk to the pub... and its hours are restricted. However the essentials of water, showers and fuel are there. We recognised a couple of boats out on the hard.

We set off up the loch (Loch Feochan) for a look see. There is a big hotel on the South shore that might bear a visit. Then the forecast remaining settled, we set off for the Garvellachs. Mostly under engine as there is very little wind. We anchored in the lee of Eileach an Naoimh with the ruined monastery. There was an option to cut back to the Eilean Dubhs, but the weather is just perfect to anchor overnight. Quiet overnight with a lovely clear starry sky.

The following morning Tom and Dougal went ashore. The weather was still glorious and as we were the only yacht in, we had this lovely spot all to ourselves. A magical place. Then the anchor was lifted and it was back to the civilisation of Oban using the Oban Yacht Club visitors mooring for an hour or so, to pick up some messages and then back across to Kerrera.

The last leg of the trip back to Linnhe was in cooler conditions... the Summer might be over?

Video of it all here.

Various folks

July 31st to 22nd August
Jen and Cal (newly wed last weekend) paid a visit with Matthew. The weather being warm swimming was on the cards, both at Linnhe and Port Ramsay

Iona and a couple of school collegues paid a visit around the 6th August.We just pottered about with the dogs.

Then Hamish paid a visit with his pals Jay and Keith in the week beginning 16th, and we put in a bit of sailing down to Achadun bay, Loch Spelve and Puilladobrain. We had Fergus (Hamish's dog) and 72 cans of "Keith's allowance". A good time was had by all, no swimming tho'... next time lads

Then on the 20th August Ross and Izzy paid a visit. Their weather was wet, but we made the best of it visiting Loch Corrie and Port Ramsay.

Video of it all here.

Des, Andrew and Ali

July 23rd to 26th
The weather is cracking warm sunny but, almost no wind. Des and a couple of his water polo pals (Andrew and Ali) arrive and get settled in. They have swimming on their minds. The decision is made to go round and anchor in Aird's bay where the water is clean and clean over a sandy bottom and swim they did!

We also visited Loch a'Choire and Port Ramsay. The weather was so good they stayed on a day longer. Which involved a re-supply mission to Port Appin, where "the kids" went ashore to the store. We used one of the Pierhouse inner moorings which was a bit on the shallow side for Shard. The Pierhouse was frequented for a small refreshment.

Video of it all here.

The Trip to Skye (Part Three)

Armadale to Linnhe

Friday July 16th
Helene is travelling up on the train and then ferry from Mallaig. The ferry is on time and arrives in Armadale at 14:00. The weather is a bit foggy. Anyway we successfully transfered her to Shard in the dinghy even tho' she was wearing a frock. We've decided to stay in Armadale for a couple of nights as the weather is very foggy. There is a wee landing pontoon for dinghys with an honesty box. They are asking for £5 to land and £15 a night for the mooring, which we felt was a bit steep. There are toilets at the ferry terminal but, thats only open when the ferry is due, there are no signs of showers.

Saturday July 17th
A rest day. We plootered about Armadale checking out the shops and the castle and there are gardens and forest walks for dogs. Iona treated us to dinner in the Inn at Aird a' Bhasair which was nice.

Sunday July 18th
Setting sail (well there was no wind really and a few big fog banks) for Eigg. The anchorage selected was Pol nam Partain. Eigg is an interesting island with the dramatic Sgurr dominating this end of the island. It was a wee bit of a trek to the ferry terminal and the cafe was shut (well it was Sunday). There was no hot water in the shower much to Iona's chagrin. The island is community owned and they all have an electricity allowance as its all solar and wind power. The sand in the harbour looked nice but its very soft so your feet sink in to the ankles when you step out the dinghy... not the best with two dogs. A lot of seals around.

Monday July 19th
Off back down to Tobermory today. Still a distinct lack of wind and a few fog banks so its a mixture of sail and motor to get us back round the Ardnamurchan point. The highlight of this leg was a minke whale and at long last a big pod of dolphins. The dolphins didn't pay us much attention as they were busy feeding but we changed course towards them a bit and watched from a distance. Back in Tobermory on a mooring we ate at Macgoghan's which was fine, and wandered round the bustling town for a bit. Aros park was on the dog walking list.

Tuesday July 20th
Heading back to Linnhe marine today as the wean has to be down the road to get a spray tan for a forth coming wedding. We had a favourable wind for once down the Sound of Mull, its the usual dodging the big boats. We were goose winged for a good stretch with Helene concentrating on the helm. Tom went forward at one point to secure the anchor and got bonked on the head by a backing foresail resulting in his hat going overboard. As we were being harassed (well Helene was) by a Cal-Mac ferry we couldn't go about to retrieve it. A major loss a 15 year old fore and aft bunnet! Rounding Rubha an Ridire we were back in the Lynn of Morven and into home waters. Wind still fair until we were well up the Lynn then the 2 knot rule was invoked and the engine went on to bring us home to Linnhe Marine.

An epic trip!

Video including dolphins!... here.

The Trip to Skye (Part Two)

Rum to Armadale

Wednesday July 14th
So we set off for Loch Scavaig with a fair wind and a fairly heavy sea. The weather is a bit dull and overcast. The sailing was comfortable enough but, the skipper being anxious about entering a new anchorage with such a strong sea decided to turn around and see what progress Shard would make into the waves and wind should that prove necesssary. As it turns out best speed under engine into the weather was about 1.5 knots! The decision was made to seek shelter on Soay for the night. An interesting jaunt ashore. No phone signal from the boat. Half a dozen of so large houses on the shore of Camas nan Gall most of which were semi-derelict and filled with fence wire and sheep feed. There are no roads just foot paths and quad tracks. We wandered through some damp woods to the ruins of the shark processing factory at Soay harbour. This would have been a good choice for anchoring but the tide was wrong for the shelf at the entrance with Shard's 1.8m draught.

Thursday July 15th
The weather was brighter and the wind had lessened and gone round to the West. Visibility was good so a second attempt was made on Loch Scavaig. The entrance had a couple of rocks to be dodged but with meg at the helm and the Antares charts this was negotiated without and problems. What a beautiful spot! Iona the Hooker deployed the anchor which seemed to set well. The girls took the dogs ashore while the skipper stayed aboard. Just incase. There was only one boat at anchor apart from us but within a few minutes a bridal party arrived, the bride all dolled up with her climbiing boots on, and the party headed round to Loch Coruisk. Next came a tourist trip boat with 50 passengers... so much for the brides photoshoot! It was a good call to postpone our visit as coming in the day before with the heavy sea would have been "interesting". All back aboard we headed off to Elgol after lunch to pass Meg into the care of her parents who were meeting us there with some provisions (Thanks Jim and Jackie). Once we'd picked up a mooring off Elgol we took Meg and Scout ashore and said our farewells as Shard set off round to Armadale where a mooring was picked up for the night. Helene was coming up by train to Mallaig and getting the ferry across to Armadale to meet us there.

Video of it all here. To be continued...

The Trip to Skye (Part One)

Linnhe Marine to Rum

Friday July 9th
Iona, Riley, Meg and Scout arrived at the Old Inn for 19:30, the dogs remaining in the car. We enjoyed three sirloin steaks of the usual high standard and a bottle of red, as well as a round of drinks the Skipper paid!

Saturday 10th July
Set out at around 11:00 for Loch Aline where we arrived some 4 hours later. We moored up and went ashore with the dogs. Of note was the yacht "Patrician" looking splendid alongside the pontoon. We had dodgy mince and pasta for tea.

Sunday July 11th
Setting off for Tobermory unfortunately there is very little wind so we were under engine most of the way, while dodging ferries. Along the way an unfortunate incident occurred. Lets just say that those over 50 ... should never trust a fart (as Billy Connolly said). We picked up a mooring, HP and the hooker working well as a team. Lots of dog walks up to Aros park. Our tea consisted of a very nice fish supper from the van on the front of the town. Anthony (Cadanza) and a couple of pals called past and took a dram. Riley took a great dislike to Anthony for some reason. England were playing Italy and the roar that went up over the town and pontoon when they lost was most amusing.

Monday July 12th
Off to pastures new, not for Shard, but for her skipper and crew. We are heading for Port Mor on the island of Muck. The weather is a bit grey and foggy with little useful wind at all. We successfully rounded Ardnamurchan point, which puts us in a new weather forecast area and onto a new pilotage guide. We got into Port Mor and anchored on the left hand side of the entrance. Again alot of dog walking on what is a beautiful wee island. Lovely beaches on the north side, a 24 hour gift shop (honesty box) and a tea room with a grumpy lady. Unfortunately for the dogs a great many sheep scattered over most of the island so they had to be kept on the lead. Fajitas for tea

Tuesday July 13th
Heading off today to the larger island of Rum, by-passing Eigg off to the East. The weather is a again a bit grey and foggy with a lumpy sea. Still no real wind. A Minke whale surfaced 10m behind us. Got into Loch Scresort after a lot of motoring. A great many yachts in but we got a mooring and scanned the code on the buoy to pay. Quite a busy island, with a couple of shops, a hostel, a campsite and a ferry terminal. Kinloch castle is a bit run down looking and was closed. More space for the dogs to run about off the lead part time at least. Fajitas for tea (don't ask!)

Video of it all here. To be continued...


July 3rd to 8th
Helene paid a we improptu trip to the boat and we visited Achadun bay, Loch Spelve for the mussels and had a couple of nights in Kerrera. We had a good wee jaunt ashore visiting the farm shops and enjoying a glorious bit of sunshine. Video of it all here.

Three Dog Trial

June 11th to 13th
In preparation for a trip to Skye we decided to have a wee test weekend with the three dogs (Dougal, Riley and Meg's wee Scout) on the boat. It quickly became a routine...

Wake up...
Take dogs ashore for a walk...
Feed dogs and have breakfast...
Take dogs ashore for a walk...
Go for a sail...
Take dogs ashore for a walk...
Have dinner...
Feed dogs...
Take dogs ashore for a walk.

The dogs all did very well, no fighting, well behaved for the most part. We left them on the boat while we went to the Old Inn for steaks and they enjoyed the bones we came back with.

Video of it all here.

Helene retires

June 1st to 5th
So Helene taught her last "Examination of the Newborn" class on Monday and came straight up to the boat. She caught me by surprise as I wasn't expecting her until late in the evening. Emotionally fragile probably sums it up. Our energy levels are not great so we're just pottering about really.

Around Appin and Cuil Bay for walks what more can you ask?

Video of it all here.

Des, Mahlie and Dylan

May 28th to 30th
Des arrived with his old school pal Dylan and his girlfriend Mahlie. The first task was to persuade these two "vegetarians" that oysters were vegetables. Dylan took to them with a will, Mahlie thanked me for the "experience".

We had a couple of days to play with so we went across the loch to Loch a'Choire and had a stroll around there. Then went over to anchor in Port Ramsay for the night. Back across to Linnhe Marine early on the Sunday to catch a ferry from Oban to Barra as they were cycling the Western Isles. Hope you enjoyed your time on Shard!

Video of it all here.

Wild swimming

Round to Aird's bay and anchored in about 3.5m. We could see the bottom!! The girls changed into wet suits and Tom got into the dinghy. Its cold, water temp around 8ºC. There has been snow on the hills. Sarah has organised a DOOK 100 event for LAMH and this is our wee contribution. After a swim round the boat, drying off before hypothermia set in, and a wee walk ashore its back round to Linnhe before we hit the bottom.
The girls get packed up and its time for them to head off down the road. It was a grand weekend, Riley and Dougal behaved well and the madness of the swim had us all buzzing. Dougal and Tom remained on the boat despite the somewhat dire NE gale warning.
Dougal and Tom remained on the boat having a rare old time. Scott from HEATWAVE was arranged to come up on Wednesday to service the cooker and check gas safety. Which went well. So all systems are now functioning. Down the road on Thursday to vote.
Video of it all here.

Home again...

Opened up the instrument panel to find a loose connection. Fixed and re-assembled, all instuments working. Iona, Sarah, Riley and dougal are due up this evening so the bunting went up and the boat taken alongside the pontoon by Helene.
Karen joined us for a walk then breakfast and mad cleaning from the girls to get the shore muck cleaned off topside. An excellent job.
All too soon its time for a shower then off down the track to the Old Inn. Miss Bridgerton put in an appearance. Two T-bones and two rump steaks later and it was as good as anticipated, soft drinks only at the table but otherwise perfect. Back at the boat drink was taken and dominoes played.

28th April 2021

After a bit of mucking about bending sails and organising of cars its off up the Loch to Linnhe. A NE breeze takes us out of Loch Nell on the foresail, but rounding the point the engine has to go on. Due to the lack of instruments Helene helmed all the way.

26th April 2021

So the travel restrictions and over night stay restrictions are lifted. Happy birthday to me! Off up to Loch Nell Boat Storage in the wee car with a bucket of anti-fouling. At the boat yard Andy is on good form. Shard has her new wind guage fitted and the new ignition panel complete with functioning stop switch. Then again the heating on the boat doesn't work and the cooker is acting up. Hey ho! There are occassional showers but the anti-foul goes on anyway. However I ran out of paint.
27th April
Creran Marine has some in stock but, its all spoken for, the wee chandlery at Dunstaffinage doesn't stock International paint. The big posh reception does have one can left. Back at the yard job done. Andy fixes the heating cleaning and coating the connections in the port locker with WD40. So we're good to go. Launch is on the evening tide Helene after dealing with a haemoraging child in Callendar just makes it as the boat is on the hoist. We get lifted in and its off to the mooring. Overnight on the mooring.