Hi again Jeff ..yup the inflatable rollers are ideal for this type of situation. Why didnít I use them ?
I confess that it would be less trouble hopping back in the boat.. letting it drift out 30 yards.. drop the rear anchor so I had a long enough warp for it to hold..paddle back in ..feeding out the rope as I went.. hop out SIB and plant the shore anchor. In truth.. I was too lazy to do that.. so inflating rollers and pulling it clear of the water didnít even cross my mind.
I am also using a little writerís licence to highlight the nature of landing on this island. It must be remembered that on this adventure.. it was perfect condition.. 3-6 mph winds. In the photo of the anchored SIB..the sea is flat calm..yet ..even to my surprise.. once every 5 minutes or so a roller appeared from nowhere.
If ... on the Scottish SIB outing day there are 10-20 mph winds forecast .. I hope folks will realise it can be a dangerous water for small boats (Im talking Inflatables with engines..not RIBs) and an alternative should perhaps be considered if the winds are fresh ? I wont make that decision though..it will be a group decision.
I will also add that I am not responsible for anyone on the trip except for myself. ..Im just a fellow SIBber who is trying to assist with some previous experience of the area.
Iím sure others know this area too and their input will be welcome too.
I will certainly make sure my SIB is above high water when I camp overnight on Belnahua and will use the rollers to do so. I would not do what I normally do if tide times are right on the night.. let it dry out on the shore then refloat on the incoming tide in the morning..just in case there is a surge during the night.
Before continuing.. here is some previous researched info I had about the area.. worth remembering the spring tide was only two days before this adventure.
The spring rate is 6-7 knots through the islands at the N end of the Sound of Luing. On the N going stream a strong tide race extends from Rhubha Fiola to Ormsa then past the SW side of Belnahua. Between the Garvellachs and the Black Islands the spring rate 2-3knots. On the west side of Lunga the spring rate is from 3-3.5knots. South of Insh Island, the spring rate is 1-1.5knots. Eddys are frequent, especially round the north end of the Garvellachs.
Having seen a little of Belnahua ..we were now keen to be on our way to the Garvellachs. Both anchors were hauled back on board and we were off. Not far from shore..we saw a long dark line with some white tops breaking the surface of the sea. This was the tide race we had to cross.
The little dancing triangular waves were a touch bigger but still nothing to worry about. The slight breeze was blowing with the water flow. If the wind changed direction.. as it had several times that morning.. and got a bit fresher.. this water would look quite different.
The sleeping but still fast flowing race was strong enough to cause some boat drift
Looking back towards Belnahua.. the white crests give an indication to how strong the tides are around this little island in the sun.
But the SIB hardly noticed the sleeping menace as we crossed.. and we were now on the other side.. heading for the Garvellachs .. on a far more predictable surface.
Tomorrow..we will go to the outer Garvellach ..looking for the ruins of an ancient monastery..beehive prayer cells ..and the grave of St Columbaís mother.. to be continued