Thanks Ribochet ..now I know who Tom is
The air was calm when I awoke the following morning and left the tent for an early morning pee.
There were midges in the air ,..but none troubled me. Some swear that Avon Skin So Soft is the best deterrent ..some will say Jungle Juice ..some may even say DEET .. however I have found the best deterrent of all is ... old baja onion breath... with a hint of stale Guinness .. is best.
The camp was packed away after a hearty breakfast of more bacon..cereals ..coffee etc.. then we were back on the water for around 9 am. First stop was a fuel stop in Portavadie Marina.. at £1.22 per litre.. its not bad value for a Marina
Second Stop was to assist Poly’s poly boat. Not sure what happened but it started fine after Sunsport gave the plugs a wee tickle with a hammer
It should be noted that on these outing we all act as one team. Poly assisted Mooncat when he had engine issues at Largs..then kindly took him on board as passenger so he didn’t miss the adventure. When a SIB stopped for whatever reason ..everyone stopped and inquired if there was any difficulty. Everyone helped one another moving boats etc..while I hovered in the background .. taking photos of it all to tell the tale
We started off in calm water..but as we left Loch Fyne..the sky started to brood again and the passage round Ardlamont point and across to Inchmarnock was as rough as the day before
But after Inchmarnock.. the wind started to drop again and we started passing stragglers returning home from the Round Bute Race
We made good time ..so to pass an hour we decided to land at the Little Cumbrae Lighthouse.
Around the late 1700’s the Northern Lighthouse Board were given powers by the government to raise money for further lighthouses by collecting a fee from passing ships. In those days Little Cumbrae’s lighthouse would have collected a fair amount of money from all the ships heading for Glasgow. The original lighthouse was a tower on top of the hill ..a fire in a brazier providing the light.
In 1796 this one was built. The last keepers left in 1976. The modern lighthouse is now Solar powered and is little more that a light on top of a white pole
We landed in the ruins of the original landing slip .. passing the old boat house and rail tracks with a winch that would have hauled supplies up to the lighthouse
I always think it a shame to see such historic sites falling into ruin.. I believe this was only the second lighthouse to be built in Scotland ? Because it is an island.. undesirables cant steal the metal for scrap. Two huge generators stand silent..rusting quietly away
The lighthouse tower and keepers cottages are to the left of the tower which once housed the huge Fog Horn. These Horns made a long forgotten noise that my kids have never heard. The horn itself is now rusting silently in long grass which was once a tidy garden.
The lamp lens has long gone ..but the views across the Clyde towards Bute and Arran are still there.
I got a good view of our SIBs in their little harbour..a hundred feet below
Like the nose of the Fog Horns .. perhaps my kid’s children will never know lighthouses of old existed ?
That is why I try to record them with my camera ..and I enjoy my adventures to see such relics of a past generation.
An hour later .. we left Little Cumbrae lighthouse to decay in peace. I headed for home as I had been adventuring constantly for the past month and was now feeling tired. The rest of the guys landed at Millport for a coffee before returning to Largs...and home.
Sadly..another Scottish SIB outing was over as soon as it had begun.
My thanks to all who came on this adventure. It was great meeting you all and swapping tales of the sea. I am certainly looking to the next outing. To those who had to cancel..I hope you enjoyed reading about it..and hopefully you will make the next one.
Lastly .. A big thanks to Poly ..for arranging it all ..it is very much appreciated.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.