Scotland 2009 - Isle of Arran to Oban

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After looking at the Isle of Arran from the deck in Ardrossan for a few weeks as we worked on Milvina, we sailed to Arran and anchored in Brodick Bay.  We climbed Goatfell to get this shot of the Bay, with Holy Island in the background.


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The day on Goatfell included enjoying the flowers near Brodick Castle, and ducking out of the sun in the afternoon.

Diane Norwood sailed with us for nearly 3 weeks, including climbing Goatfell on Arran.

She and Helen are here on the top, and again at the pub at the bottom.

We spend a day at Kildonan, on the South end of Arran, where Neil's grandmother is from.

This included a shore walk, past the seals, along to Bennan head, then climbing up beside the waterfall there.


We sailed North, up Loch Fyne to the Crinan Canal, which cuts across the peninsula of Kintyre, avoiding what would have been a rough passage round the Mull of Kintyre that day.

The Clyde Cruising Club was holding their major regatta of the season at Tarbert, as we passed, so we has to thread our way through the racers, hopefully without annoying any.  At least, we never heard any swear words.

These two seem near collision, but all went well.

The Crinan Canal is largely user-operated.  At each lock we had to close the water valves, by cranking a handle for a minute or so, then after the water level had equalised, push the lock gates open manually, just as lock-keepers did in all the 19th century canals. 

It all worked well, although the weather was drizzly.  It took all of one afternoon and the next morning to go through.

The notorious Gulf of Corryvreckan lies between the Isles of Jura and Scarba, near the North exit from the Crinan Canal.

Strong tidal currents make whirlpools and standing waves that periodically sink boats rash enough to be in the Gulf and the wrong state of tied and wind.

Neil took a tourist trip in a large RIB which is equipped for such conditions, and fond it quite impressive, although not as bad as the stories.  There was a good breeze against a spring tide at the time, but by no means a gale.

We spent a day in the delightful anchorage of Puilladobhrain, on the island of Seil, and hiked over to the Tigh-an-Truish Inn for dinner.

Reputedly the name refers to the fact that the Highlanders changed their (then illegal) kilts to trousers before crossing the adjacent bridge from Seil to the mainland.

We spent a few days in Oban which is a great town with well sheltered moorings.

Diane left us form here to return to the real world.


The shot to the left is Ben Cruachan.

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