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Old 03 January 2015, 13:48   #1
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Easing into Easdale by The Gurnard

With Poly recently announcing the Scottish SIB 2015 gathering is proposed to be around the Oban - ish area ... I thought I would start a new post on an adventure I had by SIB, a couple of years ago.. for no other reason than to whet appetites and give a brief flavour for the area for those not so familiar with it. It is around 32 miles in length and heads for Easdale..before rounding it then heading back to Oban..as shown in the map.



When I go SIBíing from Oban.. I normally launch from the public slipway at Ganavan Sands just north of Oban town. There is a large council car park at the top of the slipway and the cost is around £2 per day to park. There is no overnight parking allowed .. but there is a hamburger van for those wanting coffee or a snack.
Use of the slipway is free.. however it should be noted that it is a busy beach with holiday makers plus kids swimming and playing in the area. I launch early before anyone is on the shore..and return around early evening when most folks have gone home for dinner. Even then I always shut down the engine off shore and row the last 100 yards to land. Its only good etiquette and safe practise on a tourist beach.

The slipway is huge as it was built for launching seaplanes during the war years.. so even a beginner can reverse down this slipway with no problems.


The sand is firm although I donít drive on it.. at low tide.. I use my inflatable rollers to get the SIB back to its trailer.. or if its not far..just shove the trailer by hand.



This journey was one of my first with this SIB..so it wasnít fitted out with fishbox furniture then. I just threw everything onboard in a totally random manner.



It doesnít take long to reach Maidenís Island at the entrance to Oban Bay ..so called because of local legend that a Celtic warrior was in love with the daughter of a local man. There was some doubts about the daughterís chastity and it was decided she should be tied by her hair to a rock on the shore of the island ... to test her purity. Unfortunately her hair held her fast..and she drowned as the tide came in .. so the Warrior never knew if she was a true fair maiden



The island also marks the edge of the narrow shipping entrance to Oban bay..so its worth stopping and looking both ways before crossing the busy channel. The Cal Mac Ferries take no prisoners .. whether guilty or not .. as they sweep their speedy way across the sea to Mull or beyond. If you have a VHF radio..they do warn in advance of their entering or leaving Oban harbour..on channel 16.



To be continued...
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Old 04 January 2015, 11:05   #2
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It was a lovely July morning and a real pleasure zipping along the exposed seaward side of the lovely Island of Kerrera.



Although the island has a small population of approx 34 people ..you get a feeling of remoteness as there is little sign of houses or buildings on its western side. If it had been too choppy.. I would have gone down the sheltered eastern side ..through the Sound of Kerrera.



There is a healthy population of Ferral goats on most the small islands off the west coast of Scotland. With no natural predators ..except perhaps the odd starving human.. they seem to flourish in the wilds



Here the billy goat shelters from the sun while his kids play above him on the rocks.



It doesnít take long to travel the length of Kerrera.. and you know you are nearing the southern tip when you see the Bach Island... it is the one that looks like a submarine off my starboard bow.



In a wind..it can get quite choppy passing through the gap between Kerrera and Bach island ..especially if the tide is running against the wind. There was hardly a ripple on the surface on this journey. The photo is looking back at Bach Island with Mull in the distant horizon.



There are a few strange rock sculptures on the southern end of Kerrera ...



And also the ruins of Gylan Castle. There are many old castles on the west of Scotland..presumably built to defend the locals from invading Viking ships.



I then crossed the Sound of Kererra for a nosy in Loch Feochan. This photo is looking up the Sound ..into Oban bay..at the far end.



To be continued...
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Old 19 January 2015, 05:11   #3
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Hi Gurnard.

Really enjoying your posts and got me planning a trip over to Scotland for this summer with the family. We have done Loch Lomond a few times but will be exploring Loch Etive and the Oban and Mull area also camping wild as we go.

I am currently toying with the idea of cruising over to the Isle of Mull with the sib rather than car and ferry and explore around the Isle of Mull with the sib and wild camp there with a bit of fishing chucked in. Obviously weather etc will have the final say but not knowing the area personally I was hoping you can advice if its doable on good weather days and any dangers to be aware off. I have a full UK gold navionics charts but for some reason that area is not visible on my charts.

Another option is to launch from Lochaline to cross over to Fishnish on the Mull as we will be on that side exploring Loch Sunart possibly.

I'll be using my Aerotec 380 with 25hp.

Regards.
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Old 19 January 2015, 07:09   #4
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Hi Chris and all.. sorry its been so long for the continuation of this adventure. I took a virus which left me with a head cold and total lack of motivation for anything just after my last post. Fortunately Im now back in the land of the living..so will continue the journey soon.

To answer your questions on Mull Chris..it is perfectly doable to visit Mull in a Sib.. assuming the weather is kind. I have not been round the west side of the island but know folks who have kayaked the complete circuit so there are no obvious dangers for small craft.

There is a decent tide race off the southern end of Lismore and Duart Castle on Mull..but its nothing to worry about in good weather. This photo shows the race on a flat calm day. The lighthouse Eilean Musdile is off the souther tip of Lismore. Watch the wake from the Cal Mac ferry if you meet one in the tide race.



After that it is plain sailing all the way up the Sound of Mull to Tobermory. This photo is looking back at the lighthouse and the mainland at Oban.



I have also come down the way to Mull from Resipole on Loch Sunnart. Its plain sailing from there too. Loch Sunnartís tide race is at the narrows of Eilean Mor..to the east of Resipole.... So you donít go through them .They can be interesting on a windy day.

Cruising down Loch Sunnart..which is good for fishing..if you are really lucky and target them..you can get huge Skate here..up to 200lb in the loch..but they are protected..so put them back if you get one.



Crossing the open stretch of sea to the North end of the Sound of Mull and heading for Tobermory.



Shelter in Tobermory Harbour..time to land for famous but very expensive Fish and Chips :-D





Nothing to worry about from tides going that direction.

Plan B .. whichever way you go.. If the wind blows up unexpectedly .. you can always get a ferry back to the Mainland from Mull and collect the boat by car :-D Hope that helps some.

Once you start exploring the west ..you will soon realise Loch Lomond is like Tobermoryís famous Fish and Chips.. very over rated.

Enjoy your visit and I hope the weather is kind.
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Old 19 January 2015, 10:56   #5
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[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]

..... like Tobermoryís famous Fish and Chips.. very over rated.
You musta been there on a bad day Mr Gurnard!
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Old 19 January 2015, 11:49   #6
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You musta been there on a bad day Mr Gurnard!
Yep!
Mc Gochans at least do a Top notch Haddock and Chips
Nice pics..recognise em all fondly!
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Old 19 January 2015, 13:03   #7
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Hi again guys ..and yup..I may just have caught the fish on a bad day. Either that... or Im spoiled by my local chipper.. the Allanwater

I should also perhaps be a bit more specific.. I was referring to the Fishermanís Pier which Prince Charleís was very impressed by and it also has a Les Routier award for its fish and Chips.



They cook the fish to order so it is fresh and in all honesty.. it is delicious. However the size of fish was very disappointing. I have thrown larger back in the water as too small to keep.

Both myself and the guy in front ordered the large size Haddock Suppers. I think his facial expression tells the tail on the size of his fish too.



The seagulls didnít get a scrap from either of us...so that tells a tale too
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Old 19 January 2015, 14:15   #8
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Looking to do lots of trips like this in the summer. I stay in Oban so anyone looking for an extra rib to tag along them give me a shout. So many places to explore on the west coast.
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Old 19 January 2015, 14:23   #9
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Looking to do lots of trips like this in the summer. I stay in Oban so anyone looking for an extra rib to tag along them give me a shout. So many places to explore on the west coast.
Hi why not come and join us on ERR and you will meet plenty of Ribbers and make contacts plus enjoy a great weekends ribbing
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Old 19 January 2015, 14:42   #10
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Yeah I'm definitely going to take the rib down to that. I'm guessing the final plans will be posted on here nearer the time..?
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