From Peel to Oban, Scotland – Next stop Norway…


cairnbaan

Cairnbaan, half way in the crinan Canal

A very exciting leg through overfalls areas, with strong tidal streams, is left behind. We have «conquested» Scotland and are now enjoying life in the calmer and fresher waters of canals and firths.

 

This journey has been a crescendo all the time. Incredibly enough we are now in Scotland, which is one of the most beautiful countries we have visited up to now… And it seems like yesterday we were in the Caribbean!

 

lochgilp

That is all we saw of the Kintyre Peninsula. S/Y Fryd right behind us.

Irish Sea by nightAnd where was the famous Mull of Kintyre?
From the  Isle of Man/Peel we had a leg of about 125 nautical miles to Ardrishaig in Loch Gilp (Firth of Clyde) and entered the Crinan Canal without having any break. We reached Cairnbaan (half way in the Canal) after 21 hours.

 

We started in the afternoon from Peel in order to sail along the Mull of Galloway with the right current and no overfalls. We passed Mull of Kintyre (on port side) without seeing it. Too much darkness and «mist rolling in from the sea», like Paul McCartney would have said! 😀  Further on the West side of the Isle of Arran in the Firth of Clyde: a cosy night sailing with flat sea and little wind (motorsailing), but moderate visibility with rain. So the watches felt very short given that we were so busy with observing the navigational lights of ships, fishing vessels + lighthouses all around and checking that eyes, AIS, radar and chartplotter showed the same 😉 After having sailed on the Atlantic, we are tempted to feel that such short legs, like this one on the Irish Sea, are like a funny joke. The truth is that we have planned the sailing in this area very carefully and avoided strong winds against the currents. We know that this sea is really tricky and has by no mean to be underestimated. Furthermore: We sailed downwind with winds up to 25 knots in the beginning, but afterwards mostly moderate ones.

crinan_bridge

Opening of bridges is left to competent people

Astonishing Crinan
The Crinan Canal was one of the most picturesque and exciting eperiences we have had so far on this long trip. Almost all the locks are manually operated, so Martin and Andreas + Bendik (Fryd) had quite of a training session by going/running by the canal and opening the locks. Stiff mussles today! 😀 …

And we parents had enough to do on board by steering the lines and the boat. See more pics from the Canal…

crinan_andreas

Andreas in action

On flat sea through the Sound of Jura to Oban
The day afterwards we sailed along the rest of the Canal and out in the Sound of Jura to Oban… A fantastic sunny day resulted in a marvellous landscape!
The overfalls area was absolutely «tame».  Wenche had rung to the people of the Crinan Canal and asked when we should pass without having problems. They helped us by checking the tide tables and giving us advice. If you sail through the overfalls areas at «slack» (when the tide turns) and not 2-3 hours before/after low/high water you do not meet any whirls/big waves. You also have to focus on not having the wind against the tidal stream and of course to have the current with you. The notorious sound of Corrywreckan (very strong currents, whirlpools and standing wave) was left on port side.

That was all the waves we met in the worst overfalls area 🙂

The landscape during the sailing at sea was awesome. Scotland is simply fabolous, there are tiny villages made of a few white houses spread along the coast in a moon landscape. What a contrast… I am definetely a fan of countries at this latitude; the temperature is no problem for me – especially when the skipper steers, he he 😀

We arrived at Oban Marina on the island of Kerrera in the evening.

oban6

Kerrera

crinan_bendik_ulf_wencheThe company of Ulf , Wenche, Andreas & Bendik from SY Fryd has been an important part of this journey through Ireland, Isle of Man and Scotland. They are very nice and creative people with a humour we like very much. It is really true that a journey is fun especially because of the people you meet on the way. So thanks to all of you who have made it so incredibly exciting! Jean and Kev, we think of you all the time! 🙂

We are now going to visit Oban town (the ferry to the city is free of charge) and will use the time that is left to explore the Caledonian Canal. Therefore we have to give priority to speeding up and experiencing, so most probably this blog will be updated later on, when we are back to Norway, after seeing again friends +++. More pics and stories will come soon… Promise.

Over and out from Avventura – for this time =

Denne bildekrusellen krever javaskript.

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