West Coast of Scotland, July 2007

N 55° 50' W 05° 56'

In for a wee dram, and some big shrimps

July 09, 2008

Round the Mull, close into the lighthouse and off northwards aiming for either Jura or Gigha.

As it happens the wind seems to be better than we had expected and we find ourselves roaring along.

Ron decides we can do best on a dead run towards Jura and its back to sailing “the Ron MacInnes way”.

“Can anyone tell me why we shouldn’t rig a Gybe Preventer when going down wind? Well if you can give me a good reason then I can tell you three reasons why we should. So on this boat if the wind is aft the beam the preventer goes on…”

“You may have noticed that I have two spinniker poles on this boat, I use that as an easy way of gybing the kite if we fly it but they are also useful when the wind is aft as we can pole out the genoa and with the preventer on we sail to the genoa and let the main look after itself”…

Well the wind was force 6 from dead aft and the sea state was about 8 feet or so, so we were screaming along goosewinged and showing some 10 knots or so on the log with a wave crest just ahead of the bow and another seeming to tower over the stern. Ron was enjoying himself and didn’t intend to let anyone else take the helm..

That was when he pointed out that we would be entering Craighouse bay in a few minutes and he would be rounding up to port and going for one of the mooring buoys.

No need to come head to wind to drop the main out here, we will wait until we have some shelter, so its a ten knot goosewing through the entrance into the bay, tiller over to the right, and round she comes.  “Dont let that mainsail flap, its a new one and I dont want it worn out on its first trip..” “Depower the main and put it away whilst we are sailing on the genoa, no need to come head to wind that only makes the sail flap.”

“Well we could sail up to the buoy but I suppose we should have the engine on just in case…”

“Martin go forward and rig the mooring lines ready to through a line over the buoy please, there is a bit of chain in that cockpit locker, one line cleated on either side, though the fairlead on each side, back over the rail and then tie them onto the two ends of the chain.”

“I will come up to the buoy and all you need to do is throw the chain over the top of the buoy and let it drop then we can shorten up the lines. Take another two lines and a second chain forward as well and once the first line is around the buoy you can then rig the second set of lines feeding the chain through the ring on the top and then tying the second line on. Using a piece of chain stops any wear on the lines.”

“Oh yes and leave the first set over the buoy just in case anything comes loose on the main mooring set.”

(Whatever happened to the idea of motoring up to the buoy and using a boat-hook, well a try it with a force six and a sea running and Ron’s chain lasso wins every time!)

All fast forward, so its get the dinghy out again and row into the beach for a trip to the local pub which just happens to be right opposite the Jura Distillery, so it is time to sample the local produce. Whisky and Langaustines..

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