Scottish Islands Adventure - Day 1
To: Loch Aline
Weather: A beautifully sunny bank holiday weekend
My birthday, a good day to be setting off on a new adventure in Narwhal. The plan is to spend a week sailing around the western isles. As little contact with civilisation as possible will give us a chance to practice anchoring in some secluded spots, test out Narwhal’s self sufficiency for longer journeys and experience Scotland’s scenery and wildlife without having to share them with large groups of tourists.
We got our first taste of the strong local tides. Approaching Lismore light we first saw white caps on the water, followed by standing waves and the whirlpools. Fortunately the tide was under us and we whizzed up the Sound of Mull at 8kts, arriving at Loch Aline before we knew it.
Just time for a quick birthday sailing selfie before bracing myself to see the depth gauge drop from 100m to 2m as we passed through the shallow entrance to the loch. These shallow entrances to deep water lochs are a common feature of the area and typical of the glacial action the gouged the lochs millions of years ago. Safely through we attempted to anchor at the south end of the loch, however a proliferation of mooring buoys didn’t leave much room so we opted to the northern end instead where we were under the shadow of the impressive Ardtronnish House. Anchor down it was time for birthday cake and a lovely evening sitting in the cockpit in short sleeves listening to the sounds of cuckoo, sheep and gently lapping waves.