The weather report was not good Snow in Scotland and us towing the boat up for the first sail of the year. I sent an email to Brice suggesting we move the event to Malta, but he did not bite.
We set off to Overnight in Cumbria. The cars thermometer read a not too promising 9.5, getting steadily colder as we headed north. Birmingham 6, Manchester 3.5. Minus 0.5 over the hill at Shap in the snow. It warmed to +0.5 with John and Lainie in Milburn and snowed overnight.
It warmed as we went on up to Scotland, but remained fresh and bright. The highlands beautiful as ever.
I prepared the boat for the water but left it on the trailer for the evening. The usual group supper, remaking contacts.
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Saturday we are into the water and off to a beach past Shuna on the mainland. I would give you its name, but it is off my OS map and is just a dent on the road atlas. John Lowe crews with us.
After our picnic, we sail up the east side of Shuna and tack back to Toberonochy. A lovely day sailing and a good time had by all. Temperature pretty reasonable inspite of early misgivings. Saturday night and we start with the barbecue and move indoors for the ceilidh and various turns. Most of them very good. 11.30 and we are staggering off to bed wondering how to make the 10am. start.
Sunday and yesterdays west wind has moved to the South. We breeze up to Gull Island have lunch involving Barbecued Kippers and the proverbial dram.
Tacking back and we are ahead of John and Lainie till I snag rudder on fishing bouy and they steam past as we wrestle with the denizens of the deep. Progress is more a case of how few cockups rather than speed. Generally we are very happy with the sailing. Last year we took a load of water north of Shuna and bailed out all the way back. With the strengthening wind, we haul up the boats that evening. Ready for departure on the Monday after we have cleaned up. Around midday we set off, a string of happy boaters with our Trailers for the ferry. We take the usual policy of trying a new road home. We follow the coast road down to the Crinan canal.
We follow a track to a small chapel, dumping the boat where there is space by a gate. The track ends by a small stone jetty and a smaller 30 degree stone slipway. Eat our lunch. in the car watching a black cloud pouring rain on the sound of Jura and us. Go back to collect the boat, past the outward bound camps with their kayaks and mountain bikes. along the Crinan canal with all the yachts taking their shortcut past the Mull of Kintyre. We follow the road up the beautiful Loch Fyne getting Mussels at the luxury Seafood shop for supper we are cooking at John and Lainie’s in the evening. Loch Lomond, Erskine Bridge, Glasgow southern bypass, M74 to Cumbria and Milburn. John’s schoolfriend Jono and win Rosie arrive for supper and we eat mussels. Good food, good company, good nights rest and we stop off to see David and Kate van Alphen last year rehoused to the beautiful small town of Ingleton.
Sophia is at school and Iris returned from Playschool while we were there.
Then it was back on the road, eating our lunch as we drove. Traffic jamb on the M6, but that is to be expected. Home at dusk.