Planning Season 2024

2023 Passage

Last season we clocked up just over 1000 NM sailing around The Clyde, visiting Northern Ireland (twice), heading to Campbeltown on a Whisky Dash, transiting the Crinan Canal and around Ardnamurchan for Skye and Plockton.  We managed slightly more actual sailing, as opposed to motor-sailing and motoring than in previous years, probably around half – which was great for the diesel budget with one of the best sails from Jura to Ballycastle in Northern Ireland.

It was a great season – except for a hideous canal transit from Ardrishaig to Crinan which you can read about here.  But it’s time to look forward to the new season.

With just under eight weeks to go before the season starts, there’s plenty to be getting on with. I have spent the past week pouring over eBay looking for all the stuff needed for maintenance: anti-fouling, paint, varnish, paint rollers, brushes, cleaning and polishing liquids and engine spares, the list doesn’t seem to end. Spares and components need to be robust and long-lasting to endure the marine environment but it all comes at a price and I have managed to rack up well over £400 without a paint stroke or any sailing being done. Still, it’s all essential to hopefully rule out problems during the season and, I like Jess to look nice. 🙂 

Each year I book accommodation in Largs when Jess is out of the water for maintenance. Although the marina is close enough to travel daily from Edinburgh, it gives more flexibility even if it is more expensive. My sailing pal, Alan, comes through to give me a hand and together we usually manage to complete most of the tasks in three or four days. It’s then usually just a few days of tweaking and checking before we are ready to go. I met Alan at the weekend to finalise the sailing calendar and get an idea of what we might do this season.

Last year we headed through the canal, north to Skye and then returned home, heading south for another visit to Northern Ireland and a sail home across the North Channel. This year I hope to spend a little more time in and around the Oban area, but before that, we have our annual trip to Northern Ireland planned for the middle of May, At the start of June I won’t be doing much sailing as I am off to France for a couple of weeks and on return I am heading for Campbeltown with my nephew on a Whisky Dash. I intend spending the final week of July and the first couple of weeks of August on Kerrera where anyone who fancies a few days sailing is welcome to join me. Over the remaining weeks in August, Alan and I are planning once again to head around Ardnamurchan Point and make for Loch Nevis, Skye, Raasay and perhaps Badachro, which I sailed to many years ago. Hopefully, our mutual friend Hamish from Stornoway will be able to join us for a few days and perhaps my nephew and family when we are in the Skye area. I only have to remain patient for a few more weeks.  

Some highlights from last season.