Stormy weather - Islay Scotland

We were in Islay and the start of our Scottish adventures. We had stayed on the pontoons on the outside of the harbour for one night and although we had slept well there was a lot of slap on the rear of the boat. Listening to the weather forecast, we realised that there was going to be a bit of a blow later. We were advised by the harbour master to move Salty Lass, from the outside to the inner section of the pontoon. This would help us in several way. Firstly our nose would be pointing to the forecast wind, secondly we would be able to take a slip, slightly closer to shore and lastly, the pontoon itself would give us a little bit more protection.

It seemed good solid advice so we proceeded to do just that, Beverley has just backed the Lass out of her slip when all of a sudden Salty Lass started juddering, we were partly through our manoeuvrer, so we decided to complete the manoeuvrer, applying as little power as possible, to make it to the other side of the slip. We had organised people to collect our lines before we had started the manoeuvrer and it was a good thing that we had, because as we entered the new slip, we lost power to the prop completely, but we could throw lines and the people on the pontoon, pulled us in. It was not pretty, but we were in. We were both worried about the Lass, so we decided to use the tough camera to see exactly what was up. It appeared that we had some kind of net around the prop, so there was only one thing we could do and that was walk into town, to get some goggles. Instead of googles, we found a diver who was from the boat right next to us and he volunteered to do the dive for us. He did have googles, but he did not have a wet suit, but we did and Beverley's suit would be about the right size.

During the dive, he found that we had an onion sack wrapped around our prop, but the sack was not tied on too hard, so he reckoned that he would be able to get it off, if we pulled on a rope while he worked below the water. This is exactly what we did and soon the onion sack was off the Lass and in the bin. That night we cooked Leftover chilli for our diver, along with Garlic bread, mushrooms and a side salad. The food was delicious and we drank a bottle of red with it.

Later, that night the blow took place and it was dreadful. The boats were going up and down, so much that we could see the bottom of the boat next to us. We were having a better time than the boats that were further away from the land, but we were still having a hard time. Beverley reset our lines several times, but it was only when she decided to use our nylon line for our spare anchor, did we get any peace from the constant snatching that we were getting from the lines.

The next day, the wind had decreased, we had sustained damage to the fairlead at the front and the line that is on Big Blue has sustained some damage too. We knew that the sea state would still be very choppy, so we decided to stay another day and went for a walk to the local distilleries. Some time ago Beverley and I had become friends of Laphroaig,  so we were able to get a free minature each. We took so long at Laphroaig that we were late for the other whisky distillery.

Once the sea state had calmed down the next day, we went off to a small island called Gigha.

Raising money for the RNLI

The RNLI turned 200 years old on 4th March 2024. So as sailors and people who promote the joy of sailing, we thought that we would like to raise just £200. What we hope is that other people take up the shout and raise their own £200. In the last 200 years the RNLI have saved over 144,000 lives and yet they are funded entirely by people like you. They are not government funded.

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