It's time to run away

We had just seen one of the best dolphin displays ever on Salty Lass, my heart was in my mouth, it was just beating like crazy. I had been filming for our channel, but I wanted to be in the moment. Moments like this are rare and are there to be cherished, but also moments like this are fantastic if you can share them with other people. I was filming all the time, but realistically I got a lot of boom footage, small pieces of dolphin and the most fantastic event of the whole display I get nothing. I am so glad we had our small action camera set up that day, as it had the patience to sit and wait, while I was just in the moment.

We then continued to motor across to Canna and the passage was so dull, I hate motoring, it gets you where you want to go but there is no magic it it. There is no sense of freedom, being at one with the elements. Its just a way of getting from A to B and that was what we wanted to do because there was a big storm coming and when you have bad weather coming then it is best to acknowledge the simple fact that it is better to be somewhere else, when the weather is going to be bad.

So we stopped off at Canna, for the night, just so that we could get some shut eye before we continued on with our journey to Tobermory.

While we were between Rum and Eigg, we saw another display of dolphins, by this time I had already seen my poor footage of the first set so I handed the camera over to Beverley and she captured them swimming under Salty Lass as well as above the water. To see those sleek torpedoes swimming under water is just lovely to see.

After that excitement I realised that I was tired, so I went downstairs to have a nap. While I was sleeping the wind increased and Beverley was able to sail Salty Lass, I just love it when the engine is off, it is in these moments that you get the full enjoyment out of sailing.

So we sailed in very light winds to just beyond Ardnamurchan point, before turning into the Sound of Mull, where we had to put the motor on once again. We came into Tobermory and we decided to take a mooring ball. I was feeling under the weather and taking a mooring ball was just the easiest option to do.

The next day we decided that we would take a pontoon for the night, because we wanted to see if we could add oil to the windlass plus it was time to do the washing plus other mundane tasks like that, so seeing as I had never practised the ramming the pontoon technique, we thought that this would be the ideal time.

Ramming the pontoon technique for docking

Equipment

  • Long bow fender
  • 1 fender at the widest part of the boat
  • Opt. If you have more time rig another fender, behind the initial fender

Method

  • Make sure that you have the bow fender attached
  • Add at least one fender at the widest part of the boat. If you have time to rig another fender, put this fender behind the fender that is already rigged.
  • Aim at the main pontoon, at a position just over half the width of your boat
  • Bring your boat to a near halt a metre or two away from the main pontoon
  • Put the engine in forward tickover
  • When you touch the pontoon, increase your revs just a touch
  • Steer the nose away from the finger and the stern will move in
  • Lock the steering and leave the engine going
  • Now you can just step off your boat and moor up

Once we were all moored up, we got on with seeing if we could add oil to the windlass, a complete bust on that one, so it will just have to wait until we service the windlass. Once all our tasks were sorted we returned to a mooring ball where we stayed for an entire day, because the conditions were just wet and miserable.

The next day was still foggy and miserable but the rain had at least stopped, so we decided to go to Oban where I could buy some supplies such as gluten free biscuits, which can be difficult purchasing elsewhere.

We had motor sailed down the Sound of Mull because our velocity made good was poor if we sailed, but once we were out of the sound then the wind was on our beam and we at last sailed. Our speed was only 3 knots, but that does not matter. Sailing is what matters.

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