Tuesday Heading out from Oban today probably in the direction of Loch Aline no wind forecast so probably a motor but only 12 miles so shouldn't be long. Having breakfast when we get there so more tide entering the Loch. Well lucky for us the forecast was wrong. Had a cracking sail all the way. 14-19knts on the beam for most of it. Bit variable in the sound of Mull where it went from off the port beam to off the starboard beam as we got past Glas Eileanan rocks. Helpfully tho as we could then harden up and sail right up to the pontoons. Now berthed and Rob doing breakfast at 1352pm. Some debate now on what is the appropriate beverage to accompany a full Scottish breakfast at this time of day. Sure we will all be agreed on something. Ok decision was a nice bottle of German beer. Off for a wander to the local village in a bit to have a nose around. Just waiting for Chris to finish his post breakfast nap, well it is 3pm. Chris and Doug just been for swim, darn I was asleep and they forgot to wake me. Water was refreshing apparently. (actually it was bloody freezing), after that we turned the boat to windward and later headed of to the pub for a couple of pints. After advice from a couple of local guys we tried to book a meal in the local pub, unfortunately they were fully booked so we had to go to the local restaurant. Food was excellent if a little pricey.
Wednesday Up late due to late retirement last night. Left Loch Aline about quarter to 2 with a reasonable 10-12knot south westerly breeze. Sailing down the sound of Mull until the wind went right round the other way so still sailing the same way but on opposite tack. Left the sound and wind died completely so fished for a bit then put engine on and headed for Dunstaffnage, arriving at 5pm. Ashore for pint but only coke for me as been a tad under the weather all day. Can't remember why!!! Heading up the Wide Mouthed Frog for dinner as it wasn't open last time Doug and James called in. Ben arrived at 9.45pm and joined us in the pub for a pint. Robs last night as heading back home tomorrow for work on Friday. Our plan is to start heading south via the Crinan canal weather and tides permitting. Bedtime now.
Thursday Had breakfast at Frog and Rob took Ben and I to do provisioning at local shop. Headed out of Dunstaffnage at 1130am bound for Crinan. Nice South Westerly wind so full main and number 1 up for a cracking sail. Took us just past the sound of Mull before wind died and put engine on. Got to the end of Kerrara and wind picked up again so Jenny back up and sailing. Making good speed towards the sound of Luing when things went wrong and hit a submerged rock just off Insh island. Stuck for half hour when finally got free. Taking a bit of water so dropped jenny to check bilges etc. A local dive boat came over to assist after we were off, diver went down and said no holes visible but some damage to bottom of keel. Offered them some cash which they declined but did give us some scallops ( about 20 ) did get them to take 20 quid eventually. Taking in a bit of water so rang Oban and headed in so they could lift us in cradle to check bottom. Looks like keel seal has cracked so need to ring around tomorrow. Nice crowd of onlookers waiting to see damage, news travels fast here too. Had a nice meal at marina and the chef even cooked our scallops for us. Back at boat for cards and whisky now. Need it too.
Friday Sorting boat and trip home. Very deflated now cos trip is over and Maelstrom is damaged. Priced up trains and one way car hire so heading to Glasgow on the 0811 train to pick up car and drive home. Will be nice to see missus again but disappointing too due to boat problem. Hope to be able to do return journey when boat is ready but for now this blog is over. I thank those that have read it and hope you have enjoyed my short insight into life away on Maelstrom.
To be Continued!!!!!!!!!!!!!