Once again we have to report rain…. through the night and on and off all day Friday. This morning was particularly dreadful… heavy thundery showers rolling in from the north west and really quite chilly. The inshore waters forecast was a ‘no no’ as winds of force 7 strength, near gale force, were predicted by the Met Office. In fact looking at the next few days, the national weather forecasts paint a very dismal picture for North West Scotland. So so grey and gloomy.
We were visited early on by Rob the deputy Harbour Master who came to collect our mooring fees. I had to invite him into the boat as he was standing in torrential rain… poor man was soaked walking up and down the pontoons.
So we did jobs first…. food shopping at the Co-Op, checking lots of things on the boat, having a planning discussion as to the future route from Tobermory so that we make Cape Wrath by very early September. It was agreed we would press on tomorrow subject to a better forecast. Everything is dependent on weather.
Our itinerary will be:
Tobermory to Mallaig. ( 33 n.miles )
Mallaig to Kyle of Lochaish ( 25 n.miles plus major tidal gate )
Kyle of Lochaish to Portree ( Isle of Skye ) 20 n.miles
Portree to Gairloch ( 26 n.miles ).
Gairloch to Ullapool (35 n.miles ).
Ullapool to Stornoway (43 n.miles )
Stornoway to Kinlochbervie ( 45 n.miles ).
Then round Cape Wrath to Scrabster and the Orkney Isles.
Tobermory to Kinlochbervie is 227 n.miles in total .
This afternoon…. in between heavy showers… first snack sandwich in the pub, then something very different ….. the Tobermory Whisky Distillery tour from 3pm to 4pm. None of us actually likes whisky but we went for the interest. At one point we were shown a locked store room full of wooden barrels… six million pounds worth of whisky in store… including barrels of 50 year old whisky placed in store in 1972…. and maturing.
Tomorrow, Saturday we will depart at 10am for Mallaig and travel northwards. We exit the marina and make our way out of the north western end of the Sound of Mull. We will then round an important headland known as Ardnamurchan. Before 12 noon we should have rounded the westerly end of this headland…. known as Ardnamurchan Point…. the most westerly point of Great Britain.
From here we navigate the final 20 or so nautical miles north eastwards up the Sound of Sleet to the port of Mallaig. We will be hoping that once we get into the lee of the islands that form a partial Atlantic barrier off the mainland coast ( Muck, Eigg, Rum etc ) we will escape the strong winds from the north to west quadrant.
Wish us well please.
Mike and Christine on the pontoon at Tobermory.
Starboard side of Poli Poli looking towards the waterfront of Tobermory ….yes some blue sky… but see the grey rain clouds blowing in on a north westerly.