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    • Day 41

      Buchteln through the Scottish Highlands

      July 23, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Nun also die Schotten. Wir ankern vor Port Ellen (Jura) und das erste was man sieht, sind ein paar Whisky Destillerien. Svens Wanderlust zeigt sich am nächsten Morgen etwas begrenzt, vermutlich ist er jetzt im Flow…. So fahre ich mit Luca allein mit dem Schlauchel zum Gucken und Einkaufen…
      Habe gestern mit Sven beschlossen, dass sich neben dem Kraken Rum auch noch eine Flasche Scotch Whiskey ganz gut machen würde. Die Kassiererin bongt sie auch schon, aber dann streikt die Kasse.. Kein Alkohol vor 10 Uhr ist eine strenge schottische Regel.. okay, soll also heißen, Alkohol ab 10 Uhr ist gewollt? Ein nicht namentlich genannter Kumpel meinte sowas, ist ja auch schon zweistellig…

      Und hier müssen wir mal aufräumen mit dem Vorurteil, wir wären hier nur auf Trink-Genuss-Tour. Die Wahrheit ist, die vielen anstrengenden, langweiligen aber unsere ganze Aufmerksamkeit fordernden Momente sind nicht auf Foto oder Video. Das machen wir nur, wenn Zeit dafür ist. Also beim Hafenschluck zum Beispiel. Daher die Häufung klirrender Gläser.. immerhin haben wir heute ca. 1.500 Seemeilen im Kielwasser… also, wann hätte man da trinken sollen?
      Für den heutigen Landgang haben wir versucht, unseren Moses Luca mit Muscheln essen auf der anderen Seite der Halbinsel schmackhaft zu machen. Mal sehen, was draus wird. Vorher aber backen noch 3 Sauerteigbrote ab und eins davon wird wohl die letzten Räuchermakrelen nicht überleben…
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    • Day 12

      Scotland here I come.

      June 10, 2018 in Scotland ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

      Having woken up after a calm night I found that the weather seemed to have changed a bit. The morning was cloudy and cool so I turned on the heating to warm up the saloon as I had my breakfast.
      My head was feeling better after a good nights sleep so I decided to keep heading north for Scotland. When would I be back this way again?

      At 08.30 I lifted the anchor which came up nice and clean and headed out of the bay towards the North Channel. Soon I could feel the tide begin to carry me along as my speed over ground on the plotter increased compared to my speed through the water that the log was showing.
      Luckily the tides in Scotland were going to suit me sailing during daylight hours, this was by luck rather than any planning on my part.

      I had to watch out for passing shipping as I was crossing just south of the traffic separation zone as I headed toward the Mull of Kintyre .
      I had two ships in view as I approached, both heading north and I passed behind the second one. I was across before I had to worry about those heading south in the other lane

      The wind got up about 11.00 and I was almost on a beat as I approached the western side of the Mull and I was having a good sail.
      Unfortunally as sun came out and the morning warmed up, the wind disappeared and the engine was back on about 2 hours later but i was nearly there.

      These were new waters for me so I was closely examining the charts and pilot book as I approached the small island of Gigha. I meandered past the rocks on the approach to my destination, Ardminish Bay the main anchorage on Gigha.

      I began to look for a suitable place to anchor but the places I liked were too shallow and those that were deep enough were outside the visitor moorings future away from the shore so I decided to pick up one of moorings instead and add to the islanders coffers.

      Due to the high freeboard on Eureka I am normally unable to pick up a mooring from the bow especially when I'm solo so I usually rig a mooring line from the bow and bring it aft, then reverse upwind to the buoy using the steps on the stern to get down to water level, slipping the mooring line through the shackle on the buoy and walk back to the bow pulling in the line as I go.
      Luckily or by pure skill I picked it up first time and was soon relaxing in the cockpit going ashore.

      Later another fully crewed yacht came in and were almost holding one of the crew over the side by his ankles as they tried to pick up the buoy.
      After numerous attempts they went to another buoy and finally tied up.
      I was very pleased with myself but it doesn't always go smoothly for me either.

      It was late in the afternoon by the time I was tied up, so I blew up the dinghy and attached the outboard but had my dinner onboard before going ashore to have a look around.

      Once ashore I walked south for about two kilometres before returning to the jetty and having a pint at 'The Boathouse'. Lucky for them I had it ordered before paying. GB£5!! This was the equivalent of €5.70 or about 30% more than I pay at my local. In fairness even though it looked like a glorified wooden beach shack, 'The Boathouse' was a high end seafood restaurant and were probably charging the few visitors that arrived at the island in the summer, enough to get them through the winter.

      I sat outside watching the sun go down when Maeve rang to say her Aunt Mary had died unexpectedly.
      I immediately thought about how I could get home in time for the funeral but I was miles away from any public transport and even if I left straight away to sail back to the north to get the train down I'd probably still not make it.
      We both quickly realised it couldn't be done but I was sorry I wouldn't be there as Mary made me very welcome to the family when Maeve and I began going out together.

      I returned out to Eureka, turning on the heating to warm up as it had become chilly ashore and read for a while before sleep overtook me.
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    • Day 13

      More gardens

      June 11, 2018 in Scotland ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

      I first visited a 'garden' while cruising, when I visited Garnish Island in Glengarriff in my previous boat 'Tricia' about 2014.
      Now having visited the Trebah Gardens near the Helford River and the Abbey gardens on Tresco on last year's cruise, it seems to be becoming compulsory to visit a garden on every cruise. So today I was going ashore to visit Achamore Gardens.

      The gardens were established by a previous owner of Gigha who also owned the house in the gardens but now the house is privately owned while the gardens were left after his death to the Scottish Trust. The island was bought by the community in 2002 so you could almost call it a socialist island

      But first I had to have a nice shower so I turned on the heating to dry out the heads once I was finished and also to keep me nice and warm until I was decent again.
      This was followed by a toasted tuna sandwich and coffee and then I was ready to face the world.

      It was still cloudy and cool when I got ashore so the 2 km. walk on empty country roads was lovely and pleasant. By the time I got to the gardens the sun had returned and it began to heat up.

      I met a nice couple from Yorkshire who were caravanning on the mainland but had come on the morning ferry and were visiting for the day. It turned out that they had previously visited the gardens 20 years before. After a pleasant conversation I left them off to walk around on their own with their memories.

      As I wandered around the gardens the shade became welcome as the day got very hot. To my untrained eye, the gardens while nice seemed a little neglected but maybe it was just the time of the year.

      I stopped on the way back for a coffee and a brownie at the community hall which had a coffee shop, a gift shop and an gallery for local artists.
      I got chatting with the girl who served me as she was wearing a Saw Doctors t-shirt. It turned out she was from Coventry and only here for the summer. The accent should have been a big giveaway that she wasn't local! It turned out she has Irish parents and is a regular at Saw Doctors concerts in Britain. It's a small world.

      I visited the ruins of an old church and graveyard founded by an Irish saint, St. Cathan.
      One of the headstones I found was of the Galbraith family. A son of theirs was mentioned on the headstone was being Callum Galbraith who died at the Cork Military Hospital in 1918.
      I had visited a patient in this hospital in the 1970's in Collins Barracks but was known as Victoria Barracks when Callum died there.

      After I returned to Ireland I found that this soldier, under the name of Malcolm Galbraith is commemorated in a park off Assumption Road which was the military cemetery for the nearby Victoria Barracks but is now maintained as a public park. The names of the 83 service men buried there are listed on a memorial in the park. The original headstones for those who had died between 1914-18 were brought to Grangegorman Military Cemetery on Blackhorse Avenue in Dublin and placed near a memorial wall that has the names of soldiers whose graves elsewhere in Ireland were no longer possible to maintain following independence.
      (In a surprising coincidence when I visited the Cork memorial in 2023 I discovered that Callum was serving with the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders which was the same regiment that my own grandfather served with between 1914 -16)

      I called to 'The Boathouse' again on my way back to the bay to have a pint, just the one mind you and sat outside in the sun while reading my book but a breeze started and I had to put on my jacket as it began to cool down again.

      I called to the little village shop at the top of the pier to get some supplies and headed back to Eureka to make dinner.

      As I started my journey out, I saw 'Oronsay' one of the Moodys that was at the rally in Dun Laoghaire. I hadn't expected to meet up again. I knew they were heading to Scotland but thought they would be far north of me by this stage as they had left Dun Laoghaire to head north a day or two before me.
      It turned out that for some reason they had to stop for a couple of days in Belfast and were only now catching up with me.
      The owner Keith had been keeping an eye out for me when he saw Eureka moored in the bay so I got a big wave as I headed out in the dinghy and I headed over to say hello and have a chat before they headed ashore and I headed for Eureka.

      I finished the day by reporting in to Maeve and later turning on the radio. Lilian Smith standing in for Johnny Creedon. Feck! you can't have everything.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Ardminish, PA41

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