After Corinna and Philip made it to Oban where the new crew, Cathy, Dan, Ellen and Linda, came on board, the quite creative epoxy job on the diesel return line finally put an end to our engine problems. From Tobermory on we had quite nice weather and enjoyed the amazing landscapes of Western-Scotland. Highlights of this roughly 550nm long leg, include Loch Moidart (with the old castle ruin at the end of a tricky to navigate body of water), Loch Scavaig (impressive views at the southern shore of the Isle of Skye) and the Crinan Canal (where the locks are operated manually by the crew), as well as many beautiful towns, distilleries, breweries, Irish pubs etc.
All this combined with numerous overnight sails and weather changes when we needed them made this a very memorable trip.
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We had carefully moved our way around the southern corner of Norway avoiding the storms that kept moving across the North Sea. When we finally navigated the oil platform jungle, we were actually looking for wind.
After inch size hail we were happy to reach Inverness, get some of the engine problems fixed and navigate the Caledonian Canal.
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Tioga leaves Campbeltown harbour as an emergency crew tries to raise a sunken fishing boat. The captain maneuvered Tioga flawlessly out of the tight pontoon area, and we set off to Dublin. As we are sailing due south 175°-180° with a northwesterly wind, it should be a 24 hour sail and cover 120 miles. Thankful for no rain and sunny skies in the distance, the crew settled in nicely.
We crafted a greeting in the hopes that another sea worthy vessel would come upon it, put it in an empty wine bottle, and tossed the message into the Irish Sea with a kiss.
Message as follows:
August 4, 2016
“With a crew of six on board,
We are heading from the Nord;
On our way to Ireland,
As we leave the Isles of Scotland.
We are lucky for this wind,
And sunny skies abound,
You should feel lucky too,
As you are the one who found.
Tioga made her journey from Nahant,
On a fine June day last year;
As she tracks her way back home,
She wishes to leave some cheer.”
Tioga 1444 Crew
Follow us @ tioga1444.wordpress.com
Today began with rain in Campbeltown, once proclaimed the “whiskey capital of the world.” The captain and crew set out to tour Two very distinct distilleries — Springbank and Glengyle. As it turns out, Springbank is the oldest independent family-owned distillery in all of Scotland and still embraces an old-fashioned manual distilling process. Glengyle has been rebuilt and is now the newest distillery to surface here in over 100 years. Funny how we should find ourselves here!
After the tour, Philip treaded off to work in a cafe equipped with Internet access and got in an honest days’ work. Dan went in search of propane as we ran out of one of the two tanks on board — but alas, no luck due to our foreign valve. Exchange of tanks only in the Scottish land, no refills. With the luck of the Irish aboard, we will try our luck in Ireland as we set sails tomorrow to Dublin.
Corinna, Cathy and Linda walked the village, toured some shops and kibitzed with a few locals.
Ellen stayed back to fulfill her scholarly deadline in our Kuchenbude sunroom where rain and sun meandered throughout the day. We are awaiting a burgee swap with a prominent sailing club in Campbeltown and have the Dory Club burgee ready for the exchange.
A boat sunk in the harbor approximately 100 meters from us. As the Scottish Coast Guard contemplates what to do about this situation, we prepare a dinner of fresh salmon, green beans and Corinna’s famous potato salad. Our after dinner libation will be a hard choice as we journey to the Ardshiel Hotel Restaurant and Whiskey Bar where there are over 700 rare and exclusive malts to choose from. We were alerted by the harbour master that this is the place to go as he referenced the “poor buggers” that clean the bottles 3 times a week.
We left Tarbert under sunny skies. The day was uneventful for the most part, except for the dark ominous clouds in the distance. We covered 35 miles sailing the Firth of Lorne and Kilbrannan Sound. We sailed close hauled along the Sound with periodic, startling wind blasts, where the air was channeled through the mountains. We tacked our way to Campbeltown Harbour in moderate drizzle and misty fog. We were met by a jolly Scot, who assisted us with a very tight pontoon docking.
The Kuchenbude was set up, since the rain continued. We noticed that one of the hatches was not closed properly in the v-berth, so clothes, sleeping bags and mattresses got a wee bit wet, as one would term it in Scotland. This German/American crew would refer to this as “soaked”, so Corinna and Linda went to the launderette to dry the gear. We ended the day with a hearty, warm dinner of chili, dressed with shredded cheese, chives and sour cream that was warmly welcomed by captain and crew and took the raw out of our chilly bones. Aye!
What a place!
We had arrived in Tarbert in the evening (after sailing from the Crinan canal for about 2hrs) and tied up in the large and relatively empty marina (right next to our friends, Terry and Sharon, from North Ireland).
The way into the cove very picturesque and the floats were new and relatively large.
Showers were free and internet very fast.
The crew enjoyed the fantastic weather, went shopping in town, replenished food for the next 5 days etc.
Dan spent some time cleaning the outboard (with vinegear and water and a large trash can) and we said good-bye to Terry and Sharon.
The scenery of this old and very protected fishing harbor was impressive and we were glad we stopped for a visit.
A very nice meal at Starfish rounded of the day.
The plan is to leave Tarbert in the morning before the wind turns south and make it to Campbeltown (our jump-off point to Ireland).
Studying the weather for a while, it looks very likely that we will cross over to Ireland on Thursday – keep your fingers crossed that the weather will indeed provide NW winds then.