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#1 2022-03-13 20:37:43

Anna_Matthews
Member
From: Anglesey, North Wales
Registered: 2021-06-21
Posts: 2

SULA Scotland Honeymoon trip (V34)

West coast of Scotland, from Anglesey May/June 2021

Bangor - IOM
And we’re in and off! Set off from Bangor at 11.30 yesterday and arrived in the Isle of Man just less than 12 hours later. En route to the Scottish Hebrides on our honeymoon ? ? with a few welcome gatecrashers. ❤️

Ready to go!

IOM - Glenarm
Perfect sail yesterday from Isle of Man to Glenarm, Northen Ireland. We stayed two nights in the IOM to wait for the wind to be behind us and we’re very glad we did, despite not being allowed off the boat (Covid rules). We zoomed up the North Channel with the wind and tide on our side enjoying the sunshine. Quick pint in an Irish pub before a lovely nights sleep in the calm waters of a marina after a few bouncy nights on a mooring! Next stop Isle of Gigha, Scotland. ?⛵️



Glenarm - Gigha & up to The Corryvreckan
27th - 29th May

A second day of great sailing from Glenarm to Gigha with a bit of entertainment thrown in as we sailed past and had a hilarious fumbling chat to ‘Warship Lancaster’ on the radio. Later we arrived at the south twin beach on the Isle of Gigha, Scotland. All four of us were immediately amazed by the crystal clear waters, our anchor easily visible in 5m of water. Scoobs and George took off in search for some fish whilst Fran and I cooked up a yummy supper.

The following morning I went for a paddle board and came across 3 small black guillemot playing. I managed to get so close to them that I could see them diving and propelling themselves under the water. Later George and I went for a walk ashore, there were lots of cows lounging on the beach. As we came back to Sula on the tender we were welcomed by a small pod of bottlenose dolphins ? in the bay, likely chasing the sand eels.

 

We set off at lunchtime ish up the sound of Jura aiming for the Corryvreckan. The wind had completely died down rendering our sails useless. We enjoyed identifying the different sea birds as we motored up the sound.

Half way up we we had a quick half hour stop off at tiny island Eilean Mor, religious retreat and pilgrimage at the end of Loch Sween. This island is the legendary retreat for 7th Century Saint Cormac. We walked to see the Chapel, Cross & Cave St Cormac used as a hermitage, it’s only 3m x 1m! Early Christians really did find the most beautiful pilgrim locations.

   

From here we continued our journey up, not wanting to miss slack water coming into the Corryvreckan. We arrived a little early so anchored up in a small bay 1nm south of the entrance where huge numbers of seals lounged on the rocks in the sunshine.

We made it to the Gulf of the Corryvreckan for slack tide and motored through and into the amazing anchorage on the south side, a sea eagle flew above to welcome us in.  Truly spectacular surroundings! Fran and Scoobs went for a snorkel, I sat on the bow of the boat and painted the surrounding landscape and George hoisted himself up the mast to fix the windvane before we all enjoyed a bottle of champagne and some tasty food! We enjoyed the sunset over supper then went ashore to walk up a hill to our west and enjoy the beautiful orange sky and views of the Scottish Hebrides. Pretty good day!!!



         
Corryvreckan - Seil (best anchorage in the world)
30th May

We woke up to beautiful blue skies and all went for a refreshing morning dip before tucking into some yummy breakfast cooked by Capt. George ?. After breakfast we went for a lovely walk to the headland to watch the Corryvreckan in full flow, the forces of nature are quite something, fast waters flowed creating rapids, whirlpools and standing waves. On our way back to Sula was stopped off to chat to a lovely family on a beautiful Rustler 32. They were local to Scottish waters and gave us some useful local info.
 

Off we headed across the Gulf of The Corryvreckan when slack water arrived, I always get nervous we’ve got it wrong! It’s never really slack always bubbling and swirling in different directions, just more gentle now, a resting beast. We headed North to ‘Seil’ where, according to my book is ‘the best anchorage in the world’. The wind was weak and we motored most of the way, passing close to other small islands on route.

On arrival at ‘the best anchorage in the world’ we quickly decided it was definitely not as good as our previous nights anchorage, but still pretty special. It was busy but we managed to sneak up the inlet past all the other boats and park right at the head where the other boats hadn’t dared go.

We walked over the hill to the pub by ‘The Bridge over the Atlantic’ and enjoyed a few drinks before returning to Sula for some grub at the best restaurant in the world (at least that’s what we told ourselves because the pub was fully booked for food). There’s something about sea air that makes you sleepy and we all crashed out soon after supper.

Seil - Tobermory (UH OH)!
31st May

George made an early start (5am) out of the anchorage whilst we all slept. This meant we’d have the tide with us all the way up the Sound of Mull. We gradually woke and had breakfast on the go, I napped again after brekky and woke on arrival into Tobermory! I think George was pleased not to have any input from me for once!

We enjoyed a pleasant meander around Tobermory and had some lunch by the sea. After much deliberation it was decided that we’d stay the night and have some evening pub grub. During a fuel up in the marina Scoobs noticed some air in the fuel/ water separator and went about trying to get it out. Turns out it was an optical illusion, however during the process of trying to ‘wind’ Sula, a whole load of air was sucked into the fuel system, doh! Many hours later after much tinkering by George & Scoobs the engine still wasn’t working. I was getting increasingly stressed (poor Scoobs) about the situation and eventually told them to stop before they broke it (they say they almost had it) I got the engine manual out and step by step gave instructions. 5 minutes later and viola she fired up nicely! Fran arrived back having sensibly stayed ashore for the ordeal and we high-fived to girl power! I also earned myself the nickname ‘Emanuel’ for using the manual. Scoobs earned a few pints of relief that night ?. We enjoyed a nice pub supper then headed off early the next morning for the Small Isles.

Tobermory - Isle of Canna
A good start out from Mull but the journey slowly got slower and slower as we headed close to wind. Spectacular scenery (as always) of the small isles. We arrived just as darkness fell upon us into the anchorage at Canna.

Our Isle of Canna quick visit summed in a few words, beautiful white beaches, Cafe Canna and  Minke Whales with a backdrop of Skye Cullin. Pretty special.


Vartasay Island, Outer Hebrides.

We had a really lovely sail from Canna over to Barra. Lots more seabirds and some more minke whales just before we arrived! Definitely felt lucky with all the wildlife we’ve seen. Arrival into Castle Bay, Barra was a bit of a tricky being wide open to the prevailing strong breeze! We just about made it onto the pontoon without crashing!

Here we met Sam, 5th crew member who had just spent 5 days on Pabbay climbing! The next morning we sat out the rain with a long game of monopoly before heading slightly south to Vatarsay. Just through fisherman’s passage, a narrow shortcut between the rocks, the engine cut out, luckily we were quick to haul the sails, navigate away from any danger into the bay and anchor under sail, it was surprisingly fun and I managed to contain my stress levels well! Engine still had some air trapped in it following a mishap in Tobermory a few days previously, we bled the system successfully and all was well on that front, phew! Always learning, it’s very satisfying! #emanuel

Vartasay is basically two big bays with white Sandy beaches, one facing west, the other east. We enjoyed two nights anchored in the east bay and walked over to the west facing bay for some lovely sunset surfs and walks before departing for Coll and Tiree. There’s never enough time for each destination, we’ve got a busy itinerary, need more time off work!!!


Vartasay - Coll - Loch Sonart

From Vartasay we sailed over to Coll, it was a good sail, quite a bit of Swell and poor Sam lay curled up feeling very sea sick for the whole journey (he wouldn’t be forgetting his sea sick tablets again). We arrived in good time and bobbed about for a bit waiting for the tide to slacken to get through the gap between Coll & Tiree. We anchored in a small bay called Loch Breachacha. All the swell coming over meant the crew were excited for a possible surf so we all nipped off across the island to beautiful Feall Bay where there were some small surfable waves rolling in. Everyone was sharing one surf board, George went first and the rest of us walked or played cards. A local lady en- route over the island told us to look out for otters ? and lucky us we spotted one so dashed off to watch it from the rocks, they’re shy creatures it seems! Sam went for a surf and later we retreated to Sula for some grub before another sound night sleep.
   

Next day we’d hoped to go and explore the Treshnish isles by foot (puffins galore) but after quite a few hours of sailing into wind we decided to abort mission and turn up towards the Loch Sonart. We were joined by a huge pod of dolphins which provided much excitement for sometime and then enjoyed the scenery as we sailed around the North of Mull.


We spotted another Vic 34 just as we were approaching our final destination (Loch Na Droma Buidhe) and raced them in (little to their knowledge). It was nice to meet them later on and have some boat chat!

We went for a nice walk on the headland that evening. Next morning Scoobs & Fran went diving and caught some enormous scallops! Much to Scoobs’ delight as we’d had slim pickings of freshly caught food until now. We moved around the corner later on to have a change of scenery for the next evening. George and Sam found some rocks to climb above the water. Fran and I found some beautiful swim spots nestled into the rocks and scoobs didn’t find any more Scallops.

       
Loch Sonart – Oban

The last leg for Sam, Fran and I. We sailed down the sound of Mull in less than ideal wind direction after an early start, popped in to Loch Aline for lunch and wait for the tide before carrying on into Oban. We all enjoyed a pleasant last night together in Oban at a local restaurant. I spent much of the final morning deciding whether to stay with George and Scoobs for the sail home or depart for the M6 with Sam and Fran. G & S fancied some night passages and windier sailing, I’d not really been up for that sort of thing being 5/6 months pregnant so decided to let them get their adrenaline fix and left them too it. Not without a few tears!

Oban – Gigha – Bangor – IOM – Menai
Following the departure of the rest of the crew George & Scoobs sailed around to Seil to spend the night. They set sail for Gigha the following morning, arriving just after dark where they kipped a few hours before setting off again into the North Channel, they had a great sail down with wind and tide and ended up at Bangor NI where they stopped for a walk and dinner to wait for the tide to be back in favour. They set off just after dark aiming for home. Soon into the journey it became clear they weren’t making good headway and decided to head for the IOM instead, after a long sail into choppy waves they made it, got some rest in the early hours and then set off again for Anglesey, a much better sail that saw them pick up Sula’s home mooring in Menai Bridge just after dark.


I haven't managed to upload any photos on here, do follow us on Instagram if you use it, you can find us at 'coastal.compass'

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