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Old 03 June 2016, 11:25   #11
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Day 6

I awoke, or was awoken at 0430 by cuckoos - lots of them. Coll was infested with the damn things and the racket wasn't helped by the (wait for it) peacocks! Cuckoo! CUCKOO!! SCREAAACKE!!! They were giving the snoring donegaldan a run for his money *sighs* so I got up at 0530 and went for a walk where I was rewarded by the sound of the Corncrake - that odd bird from my distant childhood in the far west. A shower and breakfast at the hotel set us up for another big day. We were on a mission to bag yet another Lighthouse and then bring the fight to Jambo in Tayvallich. We made an early departure and headed over to Iona, recrossing our track north and drifting past the abbey founded by our fellow Irishman, St Columba - a local man from distant days. Sobered by thoughts of what his crossing must have been like (we'd done it the easy way) we pointed to sea again and drove out to find Dubh Artach Light. It was looking grim and forboding but we took the snaps anyway and peeled off for Colonsay and the Gulf of Corryvreckan. We both have a soft spot for the Corry and drifted a while there - revelling in being pulled along at 8+ kts. Finally lunch called and we shot over to Crinan for an excellent plate at the hotel. Afterwards we slipped around to the boatyard for some 200L of alongside diesel - not the cheapest ever but the service was good and the filling easy. Off to Carsaig Bay and then Lough Sween. Sween is a gem and we were very pleasantly surprised to find that Tayvallich wasn't quite the isolated clachan city dwellers would have us imagine. Jambo collected us at the pontoon and wafted us to our campsite (tent again!) and onward to a very good dinner indeed. Heads down early after a wee jar back at Jambo's digs. A handy day's cruising at 92Nm, no fuel taken (there is none )
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Old 03 June 2016, 11:30   #12
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Day 7

Our last day at sea (maybe). This was to be our trip home across the North Channel and onward to NW Donegal. We would have to contend with Rathlin's races and overfalls and Malin Head. What could possibly go wrong? Well, funny I should ask....
We set sail for Gigha as I wanted to check out the new pontoons (they're legend, very good but very late) After some classy cake in the Boathouse we headed south into yet more dense fog that lasted beyond the tip of the Mull of Kintyre. We had noticed some oil gathering in the engine bilge and decided to pay Redbay Boats a visit - time for a pitstop! When the fog cleared we made best speed into Red Bay (Leave Fast - Arrive Fast) and tramped up to find poor Gary. Some investigation ensued and a "so small I couldn't see it" perforation was found in an oil pipe. We were snookered! Until I remembered that Tom had a pair of these engines in boxes ready for his new baby. Some tense negotiations ensued - Ban Ki Moon wouldn't have got a look in, but finally, with the tacit understanding that it was "only because it's yourselves" a donor pipe was implanted and at 2000hrs the Flying Test Monkeys shipped out for home. There were worried women-folk waiting and we didn't want to disappoint them...

Rathlin Sound proved to be a touch bumpy in the freshening north-easterly but we pushed on into the setting sun. After we rounded Malin Head things settled a bit, the sun dipped below the north west horizon and we got her opened up to mid 30's, flipped on the nav lights and raced up the Lake of Shadows at 40kts - making our home port at 2245. We had done 138Nm since breakfast and 738Nm (849 miles) since the start of the trip. It was beginning to tell on the body and it was a very tired and creaky willk that crawled into bed at 0130 - tired and creaky, but very very content indeed.
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Old 03 June 2016, 11:33   #13
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..and finally

So there it is - a week of ribbing that surpassed all expectations and just kept giving. Obviously the weather was king - I don't remember a week as good for boating. I'm going to give myself some kudos too as I put a lot of work into it. Redbay Boats get a big thumbs-up also as they stood me in a workshop and built (to measure) an amazingly capable seaboat around me. Donegaldan was pivotal in the whole deal - better boating company does not exist. Curiously I had expected to (hopefully) return home with enduring memories of sights and places in the Isles. But that isn't so, my strongest memories are of the people I met on my travels, their welcome, their assistance, their humour. John MacKay and The Witch on Mull, the Skooshie Girl in the bar at Tobermory, Nigel the Glass Bottomed Boat dude and the odd lad from the Balkans in Kylekin, Bill the Factor on Rona & his cat George, Seumas, Mike, the various boat guys, Ruaraí, the Wee Van Man and the staff in the Anchorage in Leverburgh, the cute Warden and the QinetiQ fella on St. Kilda, the lads in the Coll Hotel, Jambo, Darryl on Gigha (get that RIB sorted!) and Malin Head Coastguard. Thank you all for the memories.

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Old 03 June 2016, 12:25   #14
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Cracking write up we had a good chat with the chap running the Redbay out of Uig very helpful
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Old 03 June 2016, 12:33   #15
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Cracking write up we had a good chat with the chap running the Redbay out of Uig very helpful
Derek "not so speedy" Gordon?
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Old 03 June 2016, 12:49   #16
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Great write up willk stunning pics a fantastic trip thanks for sharing.

Cheers
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Old 03 June 2016, 12:49   #17
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Really Enjoyed the write up Wilk! Well done.Great trip
A few of us are Going up again... and hopfully across to St kilda this August (weather window permitting)....either way it's some area for Ribbing eh!!
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Old 03 June 2016, 12:56   #18
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Looks like you had a great trip Willk..and I agree entirely about the weather that week..and its still continuing although a tad fresher. Im heading back north tomorrow for some more.

Great to read someone else’s adventures too ..I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and looking at your photos. ..you are no slouch with a camera either

One day I will make St Kilda..just have not worked out a way to get there yet


Thanks for sharing
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Old 03 June 2016, 13:02   #19
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Excellent report and pics willk you must have had an awesome week :thumbup:
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Old 03 June 2016, 13:04   #20
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derek "not so speedy" gordon?

😳😳!!!!
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