8th July 2010
13.30 - Departed Carrick Castle mooring.
15.35 - Arrived Holy Loch Marina, Sandbank (MWF 3+)
Great sunset that night. Spent two nights (£27.75 [inc. 2nd night half price]) in the marina giving the yacht a good clean up the next day following the winter on her mooring, particularly as the forecast for the next day was cyclonic, strong winds up to F 6.
Sunset at Holy Loch Marina, Sandbank, Argyll
09.45 - Departed Holy Loch Marina for Rothesay.
13.47 - Arrived Rothesay Marina (£18.00) after a good sail (MWF 5).
We visited Rothesay Castle and then had dinner at the Indian Restaurant on the front with friends from Rothesay.
We went by bus to Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute in the morning - incredible house and garden and a nice walk through the gardens back to the bus.
15.46 - Departed Rothesay Marina.
19.45 - Arrived Lamlash and picked up a visitor's mooring no. 17 that said 'Fee to pay' but no indication of how much, where to pay and no one came out to collect the mooring fee? We had a good sail to Lamlash (MWF 5).
09.50 - Departed Lamlash mooring to go across the bay to Holy Isle.
10.00 - Anchored off Holy Isle in 6.9 m in F 1.
We climbed to the top of Holy Isle (about 1,000 ft up to the main summit) and then scrambled and walked down the far end and back along the coast path to the yacht stopping off for a cup of tea at the Boathouse Information Centre. It was a hot sunny day and the walk was strenuous but great views from the top...
15.20 - Departed Holy Isle for Campbeltown. We had a fair sail under genoa and mizzen but had to motor sail for part of the way. The engine cut out three or four times but started immediately. In view of this we felt we should have a marine engineer look at what the problem was when in Campbeltown.
19.15 - Arrived Campbeltown pontoon and rafted up (MWF 3).
We stayed in Campbeltown for three nights (£48.00) and during the two full days there we managed to get a marine engineer to check over the engine. The cause of the problem was dirt in the primary fuel filter blocking the flow to the engine. This was probably caused by topping up the diesel with old diesel from the previous year that was in small cans. He replaced both fuel filters and the engine ran again perfectly and we managed to obtain another spare primary fuel filter from the chandlery in Campbeltown. Whilst in Campbeltown the wind got up to gale force and most yachts stayed in port for the first day whilst on the second day there were a few that had to get back to Ireland so left in unfavourable conditions.
08.25 - Departed Campbeltown.
14.50 - Arrived Portavadie Marina (MWF 3).
Whilst we attempted to sail, we had to motor sail as the wind was too light most of the time. It was an interesting marine wildlife voyage however, seeing two basking sharks and a Minke whale off the west coast of Arran. At Portavadie, we had an excellent dinner in the Portavadie Marina Restaurant. Again, with more unfavourable weather, the next day we had a second night in the marina (£42.74 for two nights) as it was blowing very strongly yet again... We took the ferry from Portavadie to Tarbert, did some shopping, walked up to the castle and bought some scallops from the seafood place by the ferry terminal that we had when we got back to the yacht that evening - they were wonderful! The showers in the marina are the best you will find anywhere!
11.15 - Departed Portavadie Marina.
14.10 - Arrived Otter Ferry and picked up an Oystercatcher Restaurant mooring buoy (MWF 6).
We had originally planned to go to Loch Gair and anchor for this night but the Coastguard weather forecast was for high winds yet again, so we stopped off at Otter Ferry and had dinner outside the restaurant in the sun - a very pleasant change from cloud and rain.
10.15 - Departed Otter Ferry mooring.
15.25 - Arrived Loch Fyne Oysters visitors' moorings at Clachan, Cairndow at the very head of Loch Fyne (MWF 4).
En route to the head of Loch Fyne, we circled the Loch Gair bay to check out where to anchor on the way back and went via Inveraray. When at the moorings we were just 35 minutes away from home (by car) but 74 nautical miles or two days by sea... We visited the Loch Fyne Oysters shop and the Tree Shop by dinghy with the outboard on as it is quite a way from the moorings and purchased some smoked salmon and other items. In the 24 miles up Loch Fyne that day we only saw one yacht dried out at Inveraray and excluding those on mooring buoys or at anchor in Loch Gair - very quiet considering it was July.
12.26 - Departed the mooring at the head of Loch Fyne once the visibility had improved.
17.00 - Anchored in Loch Gair in 6.9 m using tripping line with buoy and anchor chum (mainly for practice as not used for a long time!) (MWF 5).
We had to motor sail most of the way as either not enough wind or wind on the nose. There are lots of castles & big houses (Tarbert Castle (ruin); Minard Castle; Inveraray Castle; Dundereve Castle; Ardkinglas House & Lachan Castle) on the shores of Loch Fyne and photographs of some of these can be seen in the Gallery (2010). We decided to spend another night at anchor in Loch Gair and so rowed ashore to Ardcastle Woods and did the shore side walk where there were some good views down Loch Fyne.
10.00 - Weighed anchor at Loch Gair.
The day started in thick mist, but the visibility improved to about half a mile, so we put on the radar! It then rained and rained... We were originally going to call into Portavadie Marina again and then Rothesay Marina, even anchoring again a night between these marinas at either Loch Ranza on Arran or at Burnt Islands at the Kyles of Bute, however the weather was foul so we decided to give up and head for home... We headed home via the Kyles and to our amazement just off Burnt Islands we spotted a roe deer swimming across the sea to Bute. We captured a photo of the deer swimming and then resting on the shore that can be seen in the Gallery in 2010. We then stopped off at Holy Loch Marina in Sandbank to refuel with diesel and water. It just kept raining... We didn't get much sailing in just a short burst off the south end of Cowal before entering the West Kyle.
21.03 - Arrived at our mooring in Carrick Castle (MWF 3).