Friday, August 23, 2013

Aleria's Jaunt to Scotland: 18 July 2013, Tinker's Hole, Isle of Mull, Scotland


Morning brings dense fog yet again

Bumper boats and and crystal waters

Onyx watching the action 
We decided it was so beautiful, we’d stay an extra day in Tinker’s Hole. Besides, overnight a fog settled in so we used that as an excuse – we wanted to be able to actually see Iona! We’d been moving about every day and sometimes twice a day, and we just needed to chill. That’s what cruising is supposed to be. Drop anchor and stay awhile. So we were permitting ourselves an extra day. It was a beautiful sultry morning, people postponed departure until the fog lifted, but all the boats eventually left except one other.  


Cleaning the waterline
 
Young girl rowing dog ashore and back
 The wind had died completely as predicted, and we were now just floating aimlessly, drifting around in circles with the current. At slack water, however, things changed. We were on overlapping circles and with no wind, we were now heading toward each other.  Fortunately, things like that happen slowly, and Alex happened to go on deck and was able to fend off. We decided that we would move because the other boat had been here before us. As we describe in the etiquette chapter of our book, Happy Hooking, the first boat has precedence.  We have to follow our own advice! So we pulled up anchor and found another, much better spot a bit further back. Perfect. Now we could swing and not encounter anything solid along the way.  As long as no one else came in.

Boaters swinging, fishing, and relaxing
Kids climbing and jumping in


Boats leave as fog lifts to reveal stunning beauty
It got progressively warmer as the day went on. One boat came in, anchored, then left. Another of the original boats came back after a visit to Iona. So we were three for the night. How fortunate. It was hot and humid and still.  We sat and read and enjoyed each other’s company all day.  Alex, as usual, futzed with projects as he got antsy, and I toyed with the thought of a swim but never got past my toes.  Instead, I made great progress in reading, having finished Lin Pardey’s Bull Canyon and moved on to the next Game of Thrones book.  I imagined being surrounded by wildlings high above us along the walls of rock. It was a perfect day in the perfect anchorage.

A group of kayakers passing through

 
One other boat spends the night
We get the anchorage almost to ourselves 

We thought about going for a hike up the rock walls, but watching people scramble up the giant boulders looked like too much work for such a fine day (and for bad knees).  We learned later that the vistas from the top of Erraid down to the anchorage and across the Sound of Iona in one direction and to the Paps of Jura in the other, are stunning.  There is an old observatory at the top of Erraid that used to be for communications with the Dubh Artach Lighthouse.  It is unlocked and contains a bench in front of the windows where you can gaze out and imagine waiting to see the light back in the days before radio.  Oh well.  Another time. This time we did not feel compelled to do much at all. 
Seaweed in crystal waters

The water here was crystal clear and the most beautiful shade of blue against the red rock canyon. Seaweed forests were swaying seductively in the current, beckoning from below.  I suppose that snorkelling here would be delightful, but neither of us could bear the thought of cold water, even though Alex had brought his wetsuit.




Beautiful night in Tinker's Hole

Another beautiful day. Another gorgeous sunset. Another night in the cradle.  Onyx was happy once again.

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