Aleria's Jaunt to Scotland: 15 July 2013, The Gulf of Corryvreckan & Pig Bay, Jura, Scotland
The Race, whirlpools, swell and ticks…dangers all around.
|Gulf of Corryvreckan between Scarba and Jura|
|Water boiling and whirlpools |
at slack water
We anchored in hard sand and weed in gorgeous Pig Bay (Bagh Gleann nam Much) just on the inside of the top of Jura with the Race's waters rushing past the opening to the Bay while inside it was calm and secure. The Race extends out quite a distance, which is called an overfall here in Scotland. Luckily, there wasn't much wind, only about 10 knots, because when wind opposes tide, it can get very nasty, with standing waves and square chop intertwined.
The nice thing about sailing with such experienced people is that you can trust their judgement. All have completed at least a 1000 mile offshore passage in a boat of less than 70 feet. Most have many thousands of miles beneath their keels. Just watching everyone come in and anchor was such a pleasure. You could see everyone preparing, thinking through, and choosing exactly the right spot for their boat relative to others. It was a joy to experience. Mind you it took us two attempts to anchor here as in the first attempt, the anchor dropped into an uncharted hole and took all of our chain rode straight down! It was the first time we had actually gotten to the end of our rode. Luckily we had followed our own advice and had the rode secured to the bulkhead! The second attempt was actually a two and half, as the first spot had too much weed so we just lifted and drifted until we were over a more weedless environment. We’re sure everyone was watching; but we were comfortable in the knowledge that we did not succumb until our boat was securely anchored.
|Onyx supervising the anchoring |
It was a beautiful morning, so Alex and I took the dinghy ashore and went for a hike to search for the lookout point from which you can see to the other side and watch the Race at its height from a secure vantage point. We never did find that spot, but had a lovely picnic at the very top of the steep hills overlooking the harbour and all the boats anchored below. Beautiful.
|The crew of Calypso building |
Although we knew there were ticks on Jura because of the deer population, and we had taken precautions (long sleeved shirts and long trousers, socks and hiking boots, all sprayed with 50% deet) we came back to the boat crawling with hundreds of ticks. We spent the next several hours grooming each other to get to the ticks before they got to us. Ich! Creepy. Crawly.
|Rain greets the second half of the fleet|
|Pleasure coming through gives |
a sense of the scale
Some crew managed to get ashore for a walk. Others just relaxed onboard as the wind shifted and a light rain started to fall, the first in many days. A planned get together aboard Pleasure was postponed. A gentle swell entering the harbour made for an unpleasant night for some of the smaller boats, while we slept peacefully as usual.
It would be a relatively early morning again the next day to catch the slack water coming out of Pig Bay.
|We took the opportunity to hike up the hill in sunshine.|
|Climbing through bracken taller than me|
|The magnificent view of Pig Bay from the top|
|Venus Fly Trap in the wild|
|Alex unknowingly being infested with ticks during lunch|