Take a swim on the wild side

After picking up Karen we motored over to Loch Aline, last time we were there we had not even got off Salty Lass because it was just constant wind and rain. With Karen aboard, we wanted to rectify that. Karen also likes walking, so it gave her the opportunity to look around and explore new places. While we were on our walk we passed a Social club, a community centre in need of a little bit of paint and a brand new, state of the art community centre, so the sense of community in Aline must be fantastic.

While Karen and I were walking, Beverley flew the drone over the little marina and the entrance as you come in from the sound of Mull, the photography that our little drone takes is wonderful, it really gives you an idea of what the place looks like and a sense of perspective, that I think is wonderful.

After our walk, Karen decided that she wanted to swim, so Beverley loaned her, her wet suit and off she went after lots of protests(the water in Scotland is cold). Once she was in she enjoyed herself, but she didn’t try swimming because her hands were too cold.

The next day, the wind was fresh so we decided to move on and sail up to Tobermory. Once we came out of the entrance to Loch Aline, we noticed a race coming up the Sound of Mull. We soon found out that their destination was also Tobermory, and that there was only six slips available. So with the racing boats quicker than us, we decided to use our engine to our advantage and raced ahead of them.

The first boat of the race fleet, pipped us to the post and got in before us, but we still managed to get onto the pontoon, so that we could explore Tobermory. It was fantastic being in Tobermory when the racing fleet was there because the place was a hive of activity. The wee harbour was quite literally jammed packed with boats, with all the mooring balls taken as well as boats at anchor.

The next day, Karen and I took a walk to the lighthouse, just North of Tobermory. The views were stunning, when we could see them, otherwise we could hardly see the other shore. We saw some really pretty flowers and of course the lighthouse, but it was very wet and Karen and I were complete drips by the time we had returned.

The next day, was nicer so we headed for Loch Salen, we actually sailed across the Sound of Mull, but once we were in Loch Salen, the wind died and it was back to the motor. When we did have wind from a squall coming down the loch, it was bang on the nose and was all over in a matter of 15 minutes.

Once we got to Salen, Karen persuaded me to join her in swimming. So my wet suit got out of the cupboard for the first time in a long time. I have to tell you, the water was really cold. Seeing as we film our exploits I beeped like a good one. One of the things that I noticed however was that my dinghy vest was actually too big for me. So as a result of actually trying the vest on in the water, Beverley has let me have her dinghy vest and she is in the smaller vest that we have on board.

After we went swimming, I had a boat shower while Karen decided to to take a shower at the marina, she shouldn’t of bothered because just after she left the heavens opened and we had a downpour that our neighbour on the pontoon described as biblical.

We stayed another night at Salen, with Karen and I going for a walk and Karen going for an evening swim.

The next day, we were off again back down the Sound of Mull and into Loch Aline, where Karen persuaded me to have yet another swim after I had created some art with the local quartz sand, which is used to make flint glass.

While we sailing, it started to rain and Karen complained, but as I pointed out to her, we were already wet, so we were not going to get any wetter.

The next day, Karen helmed us back to Oban, where she cut my hair and Beverley cooked us a really nice meal, before Karen left the next day on the early morning train.

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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