Monday, August 19, 2013

Aleria's Jaunt to Scotland: 14 July 2013 Croabh, Scotland

Lay day in Craobh with OCC friends


The Ocean Cruising Club 2013 Scotland Rally crew

The OCC burgee flying proudly
at the Currin's home
Being at a marina was such a luxury to us.  We had not had a chance to really scrub Aleria since she was on the hard in Westport.  She had weeks of grime and salt built up on her topsides, and lots of tidying to do below.  So Alex scrubbed the top while I set to work below.

Since Alex had the whole boat torn apart fixing things and installing things, many things were still out of their designated storage spaces and others were grimy from the sooty smoke or greasy from being touched with greasy fingers which cannot be helped. It took some time to straighten up. I was hoping that people wouldn’t feel that I was being antisocial. I just couldn’t face continuing on without cleaning up.

Bikes proved a good mode of transport
from marina to party

When we finished, she was finally presentable.  We took luxurious showers in the marina building, and I checked out the shop attached to the bar/restaurant.  I was told if it wasn’t open to go into the bar and they would open it for me. Well it was open but had very little in the way of supplies. I bought a few rolls to add to our stores and was once again grateful to have provisioned in Ardfern.

Spectacular view from the Currin's deck
We prepared to go to Sally and Simon Currin’s house for the OCC meet up by setting up our folding bikes that we keep onboard for such occasions.  It was a couple of miles to their house so it was perfect. But we didn’t know about the off road path that led between the marina and their house which runs along the shore, flat as a pancake. No, we huffed and puffed over hills and dales along the road where cars took no prisoners.  Suddenly, 11 knots felt very slow.
Lovely crowd and good company

Simon and Sally have a lovely holiday home they are slowly modifying into the home of their dreams. The site is spectacular, high on a bluff overlooking the harbour, marina, and broad waters.  The weather was once again cooperating and the light rain that had fallen on and off throughout the morning gave way to brilliant sunshine and dramatic lighting.

The crowd had already started to gather and more were on the way.  The house was brimming with activity, and lots of food was migrating to the table. There were burgers and sausages, vegetable kabobs, salads galore, and plenty of libations.  Alex took to the barbecue while I helped with the table set up.

New friends and old gathering and sharing
Lots of good food and camaraderie
Some people had met before; others were new to the OCC. That’s what’s so fascinating. You can come from any walk of life and any part of the world and find common ground. There were people giving advice about where to winter over in Norway, how to deal with VAT issues in the Med, and how to anchor in challenging conditions. We had three American flagged vessels, one from Ireland, two from Scotland, one from Wales, and four from England.  A nice gathering of new friends.

Gus and Alex studying the charts
on Simon's iPad
As the sun started to dip lower, we all congregated in the drawing room for a discussion of the following week’s sailing plans. Simon and Sally pulled out their framed charts to show locations of potential anchorages, the iPad gave weather updates and harbour close ups, and people with local knowledge provided advice. 

Simon & Sally pointing out
key navigational points
The most critical thing for the first day would be the tides and currents as we were planning to pass through Gulf of Corryvreckan between the islands of Jura and Scarba.  It is known the world over for its whirlpool and tidal race that runs at 6 knots or more and can create huge standing and breaking waves and massive whirlpools that can throw a boat onto the rocks. Timing the passage through at slack water and with the wind if possible is crucial.  We all calculated and recalculated the time when slack water would occur and the tide would shift to be with us through the Sound.  When all were satisfied, we realized that some people had not checked out of the marina and since its office did not open early when the current was favourable, we’d have to separate into two groups. One group would pass through on the morning tide, the second would pass through on the afternoon tide. 

1 comment:

  1. It's a nice place for adventure. Specially corryvreckan whirlpool. It's nice to go on boat trips there with friends. Pretty exciting.

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