Wednesday Foggy morning today. Still, spirits lifted by Rob's full Scottish breakfast. Egg, black pudding, Lorne sausage, toast and instead of beans we had some tinned chilli tomatoes. (maybe Chris should take his glasses shopping with him) . Started with a bowl of tinned grapefruit. Departed Port Patrick a tad later than planned due to the yacht rafted to us. Got away at 11-15am hoping to have favourable tide all the way. Wind was South East so popped kite just outside harbour and carried it for 5 hours. Strange phenomenon where you see no other boats and then in comes the fog and suddenly engines and fog horns are all around you. Cracking sail tho. Nebraska, the boat that was moored in front of us reported 2 kayaks in the water (near him well off shore in thick fog) to Belfast coast guard to which they replied they knew. Apparently on passage from Port Patrick to Larne. Rather them than me. Another boat asked for radio check to be told they were Weak and Barely Readable. Reminded me of a Barbara Cartland novel !!!!!. Arrived at Rathlin Island Northern Ireland at 1900hrs. Lovely little place and cheap £14 for berthing, showers, electric and water. Can see why James likes it. Went ashore for the obligatory pint. Can recommend McCuaig's bar only £11.20 for 3 Guinness’s and a pint of lager. Cheaper than in the club. On boat now cooking evening meal at 2146. Eating late tonight. Just having a night cap then off to bed. Sleep well.
Thursday Up a bit later today and showered. Did some sorting of the boat including washing starling mess from Port Patrick, filling water tank and fuelling . Went out for breakfast and had an Ulster fry. Visited Rathlin museum to discover that Robert the Bruce hid there before his big battle. Lots of Eider ducks around the harbour and saw a seal pop in for a while. Left Rathlin at 1230am and headed off round the west end of the island. Put main up and killed engine so Chris and I could do a spot of fishing. Caught 4 mackerel so that was lunch sorted. Engine back on as forecast was for very little wind and headed for Islay some 25 miles away. Very pleasant day. Even managed a short bit of shirt off sunbathing. Fried mackerel and bread washed down with a Grolsh on a boat in a calm see. Does life get any better ( apart from being with my missus ). Saw a small pod of porpoise on our way, no dolphins yet tho. Arrived safely in Islay at 1700hrs. Lovely little marina. Very hot when we arrived to the point of tar bubbling on th road on our way to check out the local refreshment establishment. Lovely and cool in there. Called into Co-op to replenish red wine. Nearly bought a bunch of flowers for the table but considered the kitty may be better spent on a bottle of Whyte and Mackay. Was a close vote 4-0. Back on boat now for round 3 of Jennie's chilli, tonight will see it all gone. Was lovely chilli but there is only 4 of us. Even with Chris ( the gannet ) here. Tinned herring in sauce with baked bread to start. Me thinks we are spoilt by our chef and can only hope his replacement measures up. See ya soon Ben. Time for our little nightcap the off to sleep.
Friday Late start. I went for wander to try and locate showers etc but failed miserably. Chris found them 50 metres away in a B&B. Showers and toilet, just leave £3 in the honesty box on the floor for the shower. Rob doing breakfast now of kippers and poached egg. Mind you at 11.45am it is nearer lunch time. Staying here tonight and probably heading further north tomorrow. Cracking breakfast and headed off to Laphroaig distillery for the 2.15pm tour. Decided to walk as it was such a lovely day. Cost £4.80 to take the distillery tour but you get a free dram and keep the glass it comes in. Just have to make sure we don't break them for the rest of the trip. Had a couple of pints in the Ardview Inn having got a taxi back from distillery ( walk was further than we thought ). Called into Coop to replenish some food supplies. Back on boat now having eaten a fine meal of Scotch pies, tinned spuds, peas and gravy. Washing up next. Thinking of heading to Crinan tomorrow, weather permitting. Damn arduous this sailing lark. Nightcap time whilst playing dice and best of 3 at Sequence ( a card based board game played in pairs ) which Doug and Chris won 2-1. Just goes to show that age and experience wins over youth and good looks. Sleep time now. Bye.