Originally Posted by Mugshot
That sounds like a fantastic trip. Not being in any way familiar with the area what was the majority of the journey like, were you just off the coast or were you out of sight of land etc etc, what about other vessels did you see any signs of life?
Right, here we go
: Because of the nature of the area, there was no majority - lots of sections, all different. From Arran to Sanda, flat calm, gentle breeze, good section for getting a wiggle on (but stuck to about 25kts for reasons of fuel economy). Cut between Sanda and the mainland - there's plenty of sea room. Just after Sanda [off the SE tip of Kintyre] the swell starts to build - good place to practice throttle control! Then you can see the broken water off the Mull proper. There are three choices; 1) Close inshore the water can be calm for about 100 metres. It wasn't - we saw the breakers on the shore; 2) go through the rough bit. NO. Well, not yet, anyway - maybe in summer; 3) head out into the North Channel between Scotland and Ireland, aim vaguely West to South West until you can see the end of the turbulence, then swing round to the North. This put us 2 miles west of the Mull. Run up between Islay and Gigha into the Sound of Jura - still a nice swell, this time from the port quarter. Eventually you lose this, then it's mostly a pleasant trundle up the east coast of Jura. Beyond this point there be dragons
Dig out a chart, look at all the pointy bits. Fortunately we missed them all. But the tidal streams are amazing. We're going to have to try for the Corryvreckan trip. Watch this space. After that you're into more open water, as the swells gather between the Isle of Mull and the mainland (you can run between Kerrera and Oban - we didn't) until you're up into Loch Linhe, then you start to feel the influence of the mountains - luckily it was unseasonably warm last week.
We were never out of sight of land; in the right conditions a bargepole may be required...
The only other vessels about were MFVs, one CalMac ferry outbound from Oban, and the Port Appin - Lismore ferry. You could say we had the west coast of Scotland to ourselves!
Originally Posted by Biggles
Did you do this trip on your own, with another boat etc and did you have VHF comms with the local Coastguard ?
I took this with me: it's called Garth (this one's tame) and he is an engineer. Beats taking your own spanners. No other boats with us - bit short notice. And yes, I let HMCG know where we were going, when we expected to get there - and also that we had arrived safely.
Can't wait to bring Cowal back home...