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Spruce Goose’s Travels (Part 2)…

Spruce Goose’s Travels (part 2)…. 

Wednesday 12 June 2019 

 At Stromness, the Orkney Islands.  High winds overnight and a howling wind all day, but we managed to get a walk in to Ness Head. Giles managed to obtain a piece of floorboard from a joiner to make into a mooring board in case we decided to use the Crinan Canal. Had a good meal at The Ferry Inn before running back to the boat.

Thursday 13 June 2019

Another cold, windy and drizzly day. We spent the morning passage planning.

 Friday 14 June 2019

Time for our escape! We left Stromness at 0930 in a very brisk wind: headsail only with wind reading 33 knots at times, but at least we left in the sunshine. We rounded Cape Wrath and entered Loch Inchard at midnight. Remarkably there was still light in the sky. We dropped anchor in Camus Blair rather than take a risk at Kinlochbervie at that time of night. We spent a very tranquil few hours there.

Saturday 15 June 2019

The wind was picking up again this morning and we had a fast open reach until the wind suddenly vanished completely! We entered Loch Gairloch and sailed to Shieldaig where we picked up a mooring. The scenery was stunning, but we couldn’t see anywhere to land the dinghy. We therefore ate on board that evening.

Sunday 16 June 2019 

We left the mooring and moved to an alongside pontoon in Flowerdale Bay, Gairloch Harbour. As the harbour master didn’t work weekends, we took a walk in the woods and found Wi-Fi at the Old Inn. We were treated to a lovely sunset that evening.

Monday 17 June 2019

Woke to rain yet again. We left Flowerdale Bay in the rain and we sailed and motored towards Plocton, arriving there at 1830.  It had rained most of the way but our spirits were brightened when we were greeted by my sister and brother-in-law on the jetty. All the visitors’ moorings were taken, but someone on the jetty told my sister we could use his mooring which we did overnight.  As we were cold wet and stressed, we arranged to meet the next day.

Tuesday 18 June 2019

An official visitors’ mooring became vacant so we moved onto it. The wind was howling again, but we inflated the dinghy and met my sister.

Wednesday/Thursday 19/20 June 2019

Welcome days ashore in my sister’s house in Dornie, near the Kyle of Lochalsh. We toured Skye via the turntable ferry, visited a couple of Brochs (2000 year old Scottish dwelling places) and walked around Kyle Gardens (a National Trust Property) dodging the rain if possible. Plockton is very picturesque. We returned to the boat Thursday evening having said our goodbyes.

Friday 21 June 2019 

We slipped our mooring at Plockton at 0630 and it was thankfully dry, but by 0900 it was raining again. However, we were compensated with sightings of grey seals and sea otters aplenty and two porpoises. We experienced no or very little wind and sailed under Isle of Skye bridge into beautiful majestic scenery.  We arrived at Tobermory on the Isle of Mull some hours later.

Saturday 22 June 2019

This was our first full day without rain for about three weeks and warm enough for T-shirt and shorts. After a morning of housekeeping and chores we set off for a lovely walk through the woods. We even managed a BBQ on the quayside.

Sunday 23 June 2019

We left Tobermory at 0800 and we haven’t decided where we are going! The Sound of Mull was full of jelly fish. We dropped anchor just north Craighouse in Lowlandman’s Bay on the Isle of Jura. Very gusty winds picked up during the night for a few hours but the anchor held well.

Monday 24 June 2019

We took a very barnacled mooring at Craighouse and Giles worked his magic to keep the boat off it. We had a walk around the village and had two very nice meals at the nearby hotel. Surprisingly there is hardly any tidal rise here.

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Arrived at Port Ellen on the Isle of Islay at 1400. We counted four distilleries on our approach!


Rainbow Approaching Cape Wrath

Cape Wrath



Flowerdale Bay

Broch 3 – Dornine

Approaching Skye Bridge


Lorna Alden – Tobermory

Giles Alden – Tobermory Distillery

Isle of Jura Distillery – Craighouse

Botanist Gin Distillery – Islay

Port Ellen – Islay by drone

Port Ellen Evening Sun


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