Aleria's Jaunt to Scotland: 16 July 2013, Loch Tarbert, Jura, Scotland

GPS anomalies and tricky unmarked routes

Aleria and Vagrant sailing toward Loch Tarbert. Photo by Vicki aboard Nokomis

All night and for days after, we imagined there were creepy little things crawling up our necks, down our legs and burrowing into our skin.  And in fact, Alex did have two ticks that burrowed.  A great remedy is to smeer them with Vaseline and wait about 15 minutes. They suffocate and release their jaws. Then you can pick them out with tweezers and they just let go without leaving any parts behind that can cause infection. Of course ticks can cause all kinds of infections anyway, including Lyme Disease.  Fortunately, Alex and I were both vaccinated when the Lyme disease vaccine was available for a short time in the States.
So good to be sailing again!
Paps of Jura in the distance

We had a lovely breakfast, the rain stopped, and we followed the fleet out of Pig Bay.  There was a nice breeze building. We hoisted sails alongside Vagrant and Nokomis. Within seconds, Aleria started to pull away. Within minutes we were gone. Vicky took some awesome pictures as Aleria galloped across the waters. We had never experienced quite how fast she is with her waterline and sail plan in these kinds of conditions. It was blowing a nice 15 knots. 

The first anchorage in Loch Tarbert
Some people sailed along the coast of Jura, others were heading across for a stop at Oronsay for lunch. We decided to head offshore toward Oronsay to keep the wind, then tacked once to avoid the Race overflow as we could see the standing waves out there.  The second time we tacked we came right into the entrance of Loch Tarbert.  We were the second boat there, just behind Little Else who had motored under the cliffs. As it turned out, we think everyone motored except us. The Paps of Jura had shielded the wind along the coast as we suspected it would, while we had 20 knots most of the way.
GPS anomaly on the left
As we picked our way using the sailing directions, depth sounder and chart to guide us, our GPS started stiching a zig zag on the chartplotter. Right at the worst time we had found a spot with an anomaly.  The same thing had happened in Maine once in thick fog. At least now we know this can happen and don’t panic. 

Somewhere through there is the Loch
There are three sections to Loch Tarbert. The outer loch is easy to navigate and has a lovely anchorage in front of a fishing lodge with spectacular views of the Paps.  The middle loch has enough water but a very narrow rocky passage to get into it. And it has an inner loch that only the most experienced shallow draft vessels should attempt. We originally wanted to go into the middle loch but with the gps anomaly, we decided to join Pleasure in the small anchorage between the outer and middle lochs. Wings and Shimshall joined us there. It was quite snug but once again the fleet got separated as half the boats continued on to find more swinging room in the middle loch.  Two parties took place that evening. One aboard Pleasure, the other aboard Vagrant, and we know which was more raucous. We could hear them all the way across the radio!
Onyx relaxing, which she does very well

What a beautiful place this was. Jura is amazing to be so unspoilt. Natural spectacular scenery, wildlife, dramatic landscape, prehistoric high sand beaches. And once again, no midges! But we didn’t go ashore, so we can’t say about the ticks. 

Nokomis doing a Pardey, coming in under sail

Shimshal documenting arrivals

Photos by Mark Howarth aboard Shimshal from here on. Thank you, Mark! Just beautiful.

A bit of fun with bumper boats

Aleria and Wings at anchor

The inner fleet. Spectacular. 

The outer fleet. Beyond amazing. 

Wildlife at home
Birds above

Seals below


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