Tuesday began as in all previous days…. grey, gloomy, chilly and the screaming banshees sound as the wind whipped through the masts and rigging of the yachts in Oban Marina ( not actually in Oban town, but across the Bay on Kerrera Island ).
We were all somewhat tired! The day before, many of the yachts and their crews taking part in the West Highland Yachting Week 2018 had arrived throughout the latter part of the day… and berthed in our marina.
Poli Poli was once moored up in West Cowes ( Isle of Wight ) during the racing season so we had an inkling of what was going to happen. Not only do the many crews race ‘hard’ and take it all very, very seriously…. not only do they dress the part, and speak the part….. but they relax and party ‘hard’ after the event. Pink trousers included!
So what happened? Well after serious debriefs and team meetings in the cockpits of the moored yachts…. then everyone piles into the few showers and toilet facilities, jams up all the washers and driers trying to dry wet oilies…. and then the parties start.
We had live music, drinking and much merriment up on the hill at the Waypoint Bar and Restaurant…up till about midnight. Then followed by pontoon parties galore… much more drinking, shouting, singing and very loud music until nearly 2am in the morning. Where does all the energy come from after the Firth of Lorn racing I ask ? So that is why we were tired. Poli Poli was not two fathoms from a cockpit plus pontoon party of merry, worse for wear racing yachties.
We are ‘cruisers’ not ‘racers’ by the way.
Sadly that morning, Mike and Christine had to depart Poli Poli for family reasons and we hope that they will return in the very near future. We are now three…. T, Madge and Chris. What a trio! But still smiling!
So we made our all too usual, ferry trip at 11am on Pamela J, to the mainland ( 10 minutes )… to continue our exploration of Oban Town ( usually in the pouring rain and howling winds ). M now wearing the Musto hat to stop her hair blowing in her face!
The visit to Oban Town usually started with a short walk to a coffee emporium…. to dry off from the rain and salty spray which had come over the bow of the ferry boat. After a somewhat aimless traipse around the shops…. never really had the time to read every headline on every national and local Scottish newspaper before…. in an ancient WH Smith…. we start thinking about luncheon…. well M does.
Today M and I had a treat…. a seafood lunch in a fish restaurant recommended by our God Daughter Abi who had visited Oban in years previous… the Eeusk on the waterfront at North Pier. A lovely meal sitting at a window table overlooking the Bay….. shame about the grey, gloomy clouds over the mountains in the distance…. and the rain drops on the window!! Smoked haddock chowder, followed by baked hake and battered sea bass… finished off with the proverbial M style ice cream whilst T…. ever the adventurer… clootie dumpling and cream…. then guess what… a ride on the sea spray ferry back to Kerrera Island.
Chris took on the responsibility for going to Tesco’s and getting a few bits and pieces for his seafood curry…. eaten as a late supper cooked on the boat. Chris has amazing hidden talents…. a very tasty seafood curry…. cod chunks, scallops, prawns etc all bought from the local fishmonger in Oban. Chris did look at the seafood on sale in Tesco’s …. surprisingly all imported from Vietnam!!! So much for their slogan… Tesco … your local!
Our travel plans for Wednesday involved lots of working out tide times plus wind strengths and directions… including a phone call to a John… very helpful guy at the Scottish Waterways office of the Corpach Sea Lock…. the start of the Caledonian Canal near Fort William. We had hoped to get up early on Wednesday and depart at 4.30am to sail to Corpach and make the sea lock entry into the Caledonian by 2pm.
Our plans depended on looking at the midnight and 5am forecast on the Met Office website. Both Chris and I did this…. somehow waking up just after it was published on the internet Met Office site. Very disappointed to see that the forecast had worsened… Force 6/7 near gale winds, heavy rain and rough seas forecast and of course, the red line. So nobody knocked on anybody’s door at 3.30am! Tremendously disappointed after forecasts had suggested an improvement.
Wednesday duly arrived with many West Highland Sailing Week sailors occupying the showers this morning…. so queues formed! The WHSW boys and girls departed for the Tobermory races off the Isle of Mull…. even though there was a red line and winds of Force 6 and 7 forecast.
So another day spent in Oban… but amazingly, a dry one. There and back on the ferry and the usual activities. Nice crayfish sandwiches for a light lunch followed by ice cream dessert! ……before the 2.10pm ferry back to the boat. Prepping boat jobs started ie filling water tank, putting dinghy back on the stern…. then the heavens opened.
Ever since 6pm we have had howling winds of at least Force 6 and 7…. plus torrential rain coming in from the south and south west. The 12 noon forecast was ok for a Thursday departure…. by 6pm it had changed and worsened. Our spirits raised… we are still smiling… but this weather issue is now becoming very wearisome! Chris cheered us up with a magnificent supper of pork steaks in cider, new potatoes and masses of greens … to ward off the scurvy… we do eat fruit as well!! We watched the cricket highlights from Edgebaston and became depressed.
Still 1,443.5 n.miles from Eastbourne…… and no further north!