Thanks for looking in guys..and Im glad it brings back memories. Ganavan Bay is my first choice launch point for Oban..it costs £2 to park in the car park for the day..and there are well kept toilets in the car park .. which my daughter certainly appreciated.
Some facts and figures of my latest journey.
My daughter baulked at the thought of wild camping for a two day adventure.. it was to be a one day trip.. we arrived on the slipway at 7am and landed again at 4pm in the afternoon.
Distance travelled was 54 miles and I did an average speed of 13 mph on the calm water..and slowed to around 9 mph in the tide races and choppy parts to save my daughter getting soaked. She sat in the bow box up front .. so the boat was a bit nose heavy for going much faster. I don’t like prolonged WOT anyway.. I prefer my engines to last.
I used somewhere between 20-25 litres of fuel in the 25Hp two stroke. I carried 50 litres as I was not sure how far or where I was going to go..until I went there. In other words..I was following my nose and instinct with sea conditions. I had half planned on going through the Grey Dogs..but a slight increase in wind and swell put that notion out my head.
Forecast for the day was Sunny.. Metoffice and XCweather consulted
Winds at 7am 3mph gusting to 5mph : at 10am 3mph gusting to 6mph : at 1pm 4mph gusting to 9mph : at 4pm 6mph gusting to 11mph.
I had comfort knowing the following day was forecast light winds again..so if things changed en route..I would land and wait for calm conditions to return.
In truth..the winds were not far from that although I suspect around 6mph and gusting to 11 mph as I was negotiating the tide races and exposed Garvellach crossing..dropping to 3mph gusting to 5mph in the afternoon.
Low Tide at Oban 3am and again 15.30pm : High water at Oban 8.50 and again 20.58
I knew that once past Easdale....I was entering a sea of fast flowing tides ...and occasionally unpredictable tidal surges. I knew where to meet the worst of the tide races so they would not be unexpected. Depending on tide times..you can sometimes cross them in calm waters..then when the tide changes and flows fast ..they can seem a bit daunting to a newbie if you have to re cross them on your return journey.
Although I was open to my actual route.. I had all the above information before contemplating this adventure. This map shows my GPS tracks of the actual route we took.
We both wore buoyancy type waistcoat life jackets at all times...I prefer that type as it helps keep the wind chill down. I realise that in the water..they lack some of the advantages of other types.
I had an Aux engine in case of breakdown of the main engine. I carried a hand held VHF radio for emergency ... a couple of hand Flairs and a Rocket Flair.
I printed paper OS maps at 1:25 and used the boat compass. The plotter is my android phone. I use the fish finder to keep an eye on depths. My daughter’s friends knew of our journey and she text them of progress .. including photos.. and when we expected to arrive back.
This info is mostly to assist those not so familiar with small boats going to exposed parts... everyone will have their own ideas.. but I have never gone wrong follow these kind of processes.
To be continued...