Whisky, anchors and strange monsters

We were at last in Scotland, in Campbeltown and our 2021 adventure could begin at last. Of course weather delayed the start of our adventure, so while we were holed up in Campbeltown, we did boring things like shopping, and washing, then we did more interesting stuff like find the local hotel called the Ardshiel Hotel that had 500 whisky's on display at any one time out of their full range of 2,500 different types of whisky. That is a lot of whisky in anyone's books. While we were there Beverley tried the Mccallan 12, which was quite smooth while I had a local whisky called Springbank 15, which could really knock your socks off.

That night, we motored over to the anchorage at Campbeltown, but with the winds from the North East, it would mean that the anchorage was a lee shore, so we decided to skip it, but we got a free night off the Harbour master, so in effect the same cost as staying in the anchorage which was great.

The next day we were off, we were still in the small loch at Campbeltown, when we saw a seal, doing a great dive, then we had to pass a large vessel Green side to Green side rather than the traditional red to red. It was all about the manoeuvrability of the vessels in this case, the large vessel was constrained by draft, so he wanted to stay in the deeper channel, while we has a smaller draft, so we were the more manoeuvrable of the two vessels, so we went into the shallower water.

After that we turned North into Kilbrannan sound, where we saw a pod of Porpoises. I love seeing them, they just make me feel so happy.

Seeing as we were not sailing, we decided to anchor at Carradale which has a beach full of sand, so we dropped the hook. Dropping the hook is an area that I want to improve my skills on. The dropping is okay, it is the numbers that go with it. I know that I rely on Beverley far too much when it comes to how much scope we put out. What are our ratios, when you should increase your ratios, things like that. I happy enough with the snubber bit though, we put the chain out that we want. I snub there then put the snub to the top of the water, then put a pit more chain down so that the pressure of the anchor is on the rope and the cleat, not on the windless. I'm also happy with the way we are putting the anchor down, that seems to be working for us and I feel safe while carrying out the operation, so just to be clear the areas that I need to work on are scope calculations. I also want to be able to use the windless without using electricity. Equipment might fail and I need to be ready for that.

It was great to anchor, the spot was tranquil, the weather was lovely and we could relax. We even managed to get my sun shade up. It felt so cosy under the canopy, it was great, although one of our gromets has not faired so well and our first repair is already needed.

The next day we continued up Kilbrannan sound seeing a strange fin in the water, we wondered at first exactly what it was because the fin was not like any that we had seen before. We soon realised that it was a basking shark. I have to say it was quite large and when I looked up the size, it says 6-8m which seems about right for what we saw. After we saw the shark, I realised that the depth meter was reading the same measurement that it had read, earlier on and the depth on our chart plotter was 42949672, so 42 million, nine hundred and forty-nine thousand, six hundred seventy-two. Now that is clearly wrong so it would mean that we would have to be on a mooring ball, to anchor with no depth gauge would be just silly.

So that night we picked up a mooring ball in Loch Ranza, which is jammed packed of mooring balls and I nearly ran over one, but eventually we were on and in our temporary home. Once we were on, we looked to see what was wrong with our depth gauge and the device reported that it had an error called FAIL 8 which is a circuit board failure. Now not having an oscilloscope handy then we would be stuck for a while.

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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