What’s The Story??

Good Afternoon from Dunstaffnage,

I have made the passage over the last couple of days from Kinlochbervie down to Dunstaffnage which was a total of 206.1nm.

When I left Kinlochbervie following the very tough decision I had to make, I made for Ullapool so I could restock the boat as they have a good supermarket there and I spent the two nights on their visitors moorings and for the first time using the dingy on this trip. From there I made my way down to Skye and anchored off the beautiful coast for the night and then made the next long trip down to Tobermory where I managed to get onto a berth. (funny story coming about here). From there I have made the trip along the sound of Mull to where I am safely moored up now in Dunstaffnage.

When I left Kinlochbervie it was with a heavy heart that I was turning to port but I knew it was for the right reasons. I made my way down the coast beating into a steady wind of 4-5 and the boat was handling like a dream as we made the passage, before I knew it, it was time to make the turn into Ullapool now this was a 15 mile stretch up the loch into the town where I picked up a mooring buoy. The following morning I rowed ashore to refuel the boat and then stock it up with fresh supplies, there aren’t any showers there and when I did find some in the public toilets there wasn’t a light so ended up showering in the disabled showers! I must admit when I got there I was fed up of my culinary delights on the boat so I popped into the local chippy and had some good food and a welcoming pint of beer.

I departed Ullapool in the morning with next to no wind at all and as I made my way out of the loch and into the open sea thankfully the wind started to build and I was again beating into a force 4 building to latter on in the day to a 5, I was having great fun as I pounded along making a good turn of speed with lots of water coming over the bow to give me a salt water shower. I had planned to go into Stein and pick up one of their mooring buoys of their foreshore for the night but after looking at the Scottish pilot I had it wasn’t clear where this was and on the charts and plotter there was a good and recommended anchorage on the opposite side to Uig on the isle of Skye so I made the decision to anchor there for the night. What a fantastic little anchorage it was and I had a seal appear right next to me when I was setting the anchor which was fantastic. The night under the anchor was rather pleasant and I did have the drag alarm sound a couple of times but I think this was due to me setting it to low and we seemed to be well dug in.

I arose early the next morning 4am with the plan to make a move then down to Tobermorry but the sun wasn’t up and I decided to head back inside and make a coffee and wait for the sun to fully come up. At 4am the sun was breaking with a very bright light over the Outer Hebrides and I’m sure as you know the sun doesn’t rise that side of the UK so was really something special. Well that coffee was fatal as I went back down and after a warm sip I sat down and proceeded to nod of for an hour but this was all ok as when I woke I had some Weetabix and pulled up the anchor which was set fast and took all my might to get it up but it was up and I was on my way.

I arrived in Tobermory at around 10pm that evening to find I could sneak onto the last available berth right at the gangway to get up into the town. Well what a fantastic location and I was admiring all of the buildings on the front as they were painted in very bright and vibrant colours. When I arose the following morning I wanted to pick the brains of the harbour staff as to the best way to proceed through the sound of Mull and I was aware of the tides and the rip and overfalls so I had a long chat with them which was very helpful. The marina was full and the extra boats were all out on the moorings, I received a lot of attention as I was at the bottom of the gang way and people stopping and asking me what I was doing and people popping money into the collection buckets as they walked by.

As I went for a walk around the village the next day I was on the phone to my little brother back in Bedfordshire and I was telling all about the brightly coloured buildings on the front and I found myself outside the museum and he said to me go in and ask them Whats the story? I didn’t know what he was on about so I popped my head around the door and asked them sorry but “what’s the story?” and the young lady started laughing and I could hear my brother laughing on the other end of the phone? When she had managed to pick herself off the floor through laughter she went on to tell me that someone was playing a joke on me as this is where they filmed the childrens programme Ballamory.  Well I fell for that one hook line and sinker so all I could do was laugh and walk away!!

I departed Tobermory at half past nine this morning and made the small trip of 25nm to Dunstaffnage where I am writing this for you now.

The next move in the morning will take me with the tide up to the Caledonian Canal where I will start my journey to Inverness, hoping to spot Nessie on the way.

Until next time

Alex