I met Alan yesterday and we made final plans for our sailing trip starting next week. Everything is ready and we just need to stop at Morrison’s in Largs for some supplies, put some fresh water on the boat and fill her up with diesel. We have decided that instead of heading around The Mull of Kintrye that we will take the Crinan Canal instead. The reasons for changing plans are that Alan likes the canal (so do I) and in August we will be heading for Northern Ireland and will be vising Lamlash and Campbeltown then before crossing to Glenarm. We will make straight for Tarbert on Wednesday arriving around 1730 and on Thursday set off early for Ardrishaig sea lock and first locking at 0830. We are getting Joe Kerr to help us through the canal once again. Despite his years he is easily the best at assisting you through the canal. Alan phoned him and he said that there are still ongoing works at the Ardrishaig end – which might be finished by Wednesday. If not, canal staff will help us through the first 4 locks to Cairnbaan where we will spend Thursday night. Joe also said that there are quite a few boats tied up at Cairnbaan just now so we might have difficulty mooring. If this is the case, we might find space above the road bridge or continue to Dunardy. Friday would be a leisurely motor to Crinan where we would spend the night. Crinan to Kerrera is just short of 25 NM and leaving at first locking on Saturday morning with the tidal stream in our favour for Dorus Mor and the Sound of Luing (which it has to be) we will be on Kerrera by Saturday afternoon. Arriving earlier than we had planned allows us to do a bit of exploring the area around Oban, perhaps a short sail up to Port Appin or Kentallen for a couple of days before my friend Gary joins us.
The forecast for Wednesday and on to the weekend is looking great at the moment. Unusually, winds are coming roughly from the east and whilst not particularly strong they should give us a bit of assistance on the way across to Tarbert and the following day to Ardrishaig. The temperature is set to increase as well, so things are looking good on the weather front.
I have also had to make adjustments to the journey home at the end of June. When I went on to the Scottish Canals site, I noticed the Crinan Canal is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This has fucked things up a bit and I have had to make changes for the return transiting of the canal. My brother in law is joining us for a few days before we sail to Crinan and I had hoped for a leisurely transit through the canal over three days but since we have to get back to Edinburgh on the 3rd July we will need to transit the canal over just two days and then sail straight back to Largs. Not ideal or what I wanted but that’s the way it is.