We had seen a number of old sailing ships on the trip and soon after we had in Oban arrived “The Flying Dutchman” tied up on the hammerhead. It offers all sorts of cruises, including a sail/cycle package.
Salen to Tobermory
With the strong winds forecast, we decided to make for Lochaline and then on to Kerrera for Saturday and Sunday when the wind would be at the strongest. We left Tobermory and motored down the Sound of Mull and arrived at Lochaline in plenty time. Lochaline has a working sand mine next to the ferry terminal which produces high grade sand for optical glass, a couple of pubs, a shop and a restaurant. After eating on board we decided to give The Lochaline Hotel a miss, instead we walked along to the Social Club in the hope of watching the Scotland game. Unfortunately, they did not have Sky. Fortunately, I did have an app on my phone which would let me watch the game courtesy of Cal Mac’s free Wi-Fi and a great game it was too!
We were up early on Saturday morning in order to get to Kerrera before the worst of the weather. As it turned out, the forecast wasn’t that accurate and we motored down the Sound of Mull helped by a bit of mainsail. We arrived at Oban Marina at 1100. I had looked at using Kerrera when first planning the trip but reports back in January and February were dire, saying that it was up for sale, there was no fuel, electricity or other services ashore, however, other harbour masters on the trip told us that it had been bought and the new owners were keen to get it up and running. It still needs a great deal of work done to it, particularly shower facilities, but it has fuel, water and electricity and a nice wee restaurant. A complimentary ferry service runs to the North Pier in Oban every 2 hours and we took this to get some supplies in Tesco and find somewhere to eat. It was a beautiful evening in Oban, which was extremely busy with tourists. We went to the George Street Fish and Chip shop and ate on the promenade before heading back to the pier to catch the ferry back to the island. The marina didn’t offer a great deal of shelter from the strong South Easterlies and we spent a noisy night with the stern of the boat being slapped by swell. We were moored on a finger quite far in and the one’s at the end of the pontoon were very much more exposed. We spent the day doing laundry and tidying the boat. I had a small electrical repair to the music stereo. We are going to eat at the restaurant in the marina tonight as we have an early start tomorrow to try and avoid the worst of the predicted rain. We plan to sail up Loch Linnhe and onto Ballachulish in Loch Leven. After that, a sail up to Corpach and return to Cregan or Port Appin for the night.
Tobermory to Kerrera