In search of “The Dutchman’s Cap”
When in the Scottish Isles for the first time it may seem difficult to impress a true Scot, who was this weeks’ “guest” crew member. We were delighted to welcome Sandy, who has walked & cycled the length and breadth of much of the Western Isles, but we managed to take him to some places he had never been to before and always wanted to see.
Sandy is our daughter Katie’s father-in-law, Grandad to Archie & Ollie, our joint grandsons. What a treat to welcome him aboard. A non sailor to boot - impress we must!
It appears Leg 4 of AB21 had nothing to fear. Mull week revealed a great adventure for us all.
Lochaline, Tobermory, Gometra, Treshnish Isles, Staffa, Iona, Bulls Hole, Colonsay, Craighouse Bay (Jura again), Ardfern & back to Dunstaffnage (Oban) …. and always in search of the Dutchman’s cap!
We found it eventually in the Treshnish Isles, obscured by mist one day it emerged the next to reveal sumptuous wild life.
Sandy is wearing the cap (above) as is Jan (below)
Weather Report: once again light & variable winds all week, occasional low cloud & mizzle, but lots of sunshine too with mid - late teen temperatures so very pleasant indeed.
Sailing highlight: 10.2knots SOG through the Islay Sound to Craighouse from Colonsay - the wind at one point got up to 18knots & Kasara enjoyed a rare engine off (for a short spell). Sandy @ the helm.
Best Landfall: Has to be glorious Iona - wall to wall sunshine, stunning scenery & awesome peaceful anchorage at neighbouring Bulls Hole (Ross of Mull).
Best Eat In: Sandy’s Dahl is a tasty family staple which tastes even better on a yacht along with onion rice and mango chutney!
Also top treat was Pete’s birthday cake - a Sloe Gin fruity little number from Betty’s in Harrogate.
Best Eat Out: Jura Hotel, Craighouse. Our policy of booking in advance paid off as it was semi-final night at the Euro’s. We had a delightful supper with our own TV on a whisky barrel.
Sadly for the non-booked, they had to peer through the window, and no tofu stir fry, langoustine or chocolate brownie washed down with a very palatable 12 yr old from the next door whisky distillery!
Wildlife report: Stunning wildlife action this week. Taking in the Treshnish Isles, Staffa & Iona all in one day & how can you fail! Thousands of Puffins, hearing the illusive Corn Crake, & and many more of our feathered friends was awesome. Add to that Dolphins playing with seals off Corryvrecken & boy what a week.
Some top experiences on Leg 4 have included a lot of anchoring practice. Confidence in this noble art allows you to visit more remote & beautiful places some of which even Sandy hadn’t been to.
One such was North Bay off Gometra (Mull)
Related pastimes included anchor Kelp clearance & the occasional swim for some! (Not me)
Other sporting activities have included:
Kayaking in Tobermory
Cycling in Oban
And crying in to our drinks in Dunstaffnage
Thanks for being a great team mate Sandy - long live the “Basking Sharks”.
A few days now in Oban to catch up on the chores:
Next up Leg 5. Highlands & Islands - we are looking forward to welcoming Chris and Barbara for a mini cruise, followed by Andy and Mandy as we head to Skye.