August 02, 2009
Sunday 2nd August – Tobermory to Loch Feochan, Oban
Oh not used to getting up early any more. 8am but at least we are leaving Tobermory. A much more pleasant sail if it would only stop drizzling. Dad couldn’t make his mind up where we were going, was it Lismore Island? Oban harbour? He finally settled on the marina at Kerrera. Earlier Mum had pointed out a lot of sails on the other side of Kerrera we could see just as we came round the corner from Duart Castle.
We weren’t to know that it was the ‘West Highland Terriers’ arriving at the same time to the same marina! Now I have always thought that West Highland Terriers were a rather inferior breed of my species, but I don’t think they quite deserve that their name should be used in this context to describe humans, particularly obnoxious, up themselves ‘know-it-alls’. Needless to say the rugby scrum of 45footers was enough for Dad to give up without a fight. Met a nice type of WHT near Oban Harbour who directed us to Loch Feochan. Dad looked perplexed but Mum knew exactly where it was. She got very agitated and excited – she had mentioned this place to Dad but he had forgotten as usual. Does he actually listen to a word she says? Apparently, and I can forgive Dad in this case, cos it did get boring, this is where my Mum spent her childhood holidays, playing with mirror dinghies and canoes in the Loch, and sailing out with her Dad to Kerrera and Seil Island and living in a chalet at the top of the hill.
But to give her credit, it did seem a nice place, even though I had to share it with an old codger of a collie. Took a walk up the lane and met some very strange hairy horned beasty cattle. Didn’t like the look of them but was too scared to bark – they all stared at me as though they’d never seen a dog before!
August 01, 2009
Saturday 1st August Tobermory
We’re still here but had a very exciting adventure in the rain, in the dinghy hoping to get to Calve Island. There was a howling gale in the Sound and it wasn’t much more pleasant in the Bay so going over in the dinghy was beginning to feel like a daft idea to Mum but she came anyway, so I bagged another island!
July 31, 2009
Friday 31st July Tobermory
It really wasn’t Mum’s day. Dad and I saw Elvis! Famous sea otter that lives in Tobermory. There’s plenty of photos of him in the shops. He was playing around the dinghies on the pontoon for ages but by the time Mum arrived, he’d gone off to the swim around the pier. She hoped he’d be back around tea time, and he did, just as they were leaving me home alone for the evening, and there he was right in front of our boat with a big smelly fish in his mouth. Mum dived for the camera but next door’s unpleasant and untrained Lab scared it away before she could get a shot. After that I barked at it everytime it came out of its cabin.
July 30, 2009
Thursday 30th July Loch Aline back to Tobermory
I’m sure it only took us half the time yesterday, it took forever to get back to Tobermory, and yes the chart has arrived so no more grumpy Dad (some hope!)
It was a bit scary, especially as ‘big red’ came thundering down the Sound behind us. Mum took a photograph which happened to be exactly the same as the one in Dad’s pilot book. Isn’t she clever! Back on the pontoons, and guess what, the first thing they do – tie me up to the ring outside the Co-op. I really am getting sick of this!
July 29, 2009
Wednesday 29th July Loch Sunart to Loch Ahline
Mum did most of the sailing and we arrived in this lovely Loch. Mum was very impressed and took pictures but was tired so made Dad do the cooking for once. Very nice, Dad, the bit that was left in my bowl, but not quite good enough to forgive the Gordon Ramsey language that went with it.
July 28, 2009
Tuesday 28th July Tobermory to Loch Sunart (Drumbuie)
He promised he wouldn’t but ooh he got so grumpy that we were still in Tobermory and yet again the chart failed to turn up. It was quite a relief for me and Mum that it was decided we would sail over to Loch Sunart (opposite side of Mull Sound to Tobermory) and a nice anchorage we had been told about by our new neighbour on the pontoons with a beautiful ketch, Saboo who had arrived the previous evening. We were invited for drinks, yes me too! Nice family and Jim and Mandy sounded very knowledgeable about different places to go where there were nice walks for me. Greta, their daughter was very nice, so I sat by her most of the evening. Mum kept apologising for the smell - what is that about, I don’t smell?
Dad took me on an adventure walk after anchoring up. We visited Oronsay on the other side of the Bay and climbed to the top of the hill. Only thing was there were no paths and I got lost in the bracken. Dad thought calling would help me find him, but my nose did a better job!
July 28, 2009
See Dad’s sailing blog for why we are still here. It’s not Mum’s fault any more. Tobermory is very nice and I’ve had nice walks but I’ve also spent hours tied to a ring outside the Co-op. However, I did get to see Tess one more time before they left us for good. They joined us for dinner on Friday evening and as Soay isn’t as roomy as Whispered Secret, I did the gentlemanly thing by staying in the cockpit in the rain while Tess lay in my bed in the warm and dry. Gallant or what? I had better have earned some Browny points in her book, or else!
We all helped see them off in the morning, as they ran for it with a break in the weather. Auntie Jean said she hoped Dad wouldn’t get grumpy for the rest of the trip and Mum shouted that if he did she’s push him into drink. I’m not sure what she meant by that but there was plenty of play fighting involved but luckily Dad didn’t fall in the water.
July 23, 2009
Tess, I take it all back, you’re a lovely dog, for a Collie – don’t leave me with just Mum and Dad, they might forget me somewhere!
She left me! Taken away by Uncle Derek to Muck, while Mum sails Soay to Tobermory with its pontoons and internet connection. She’s obsessed with that laptop of hers, I can’t think what she finds to do with it.
The only trouble is, we’re back on Mull and I’m supposed to be Island hopping – I wonder if my sponsors will let me count revisiting the same island over and over, as I think we are destined to do!
July 22, 2009
The most terrifying day in the life of an Oscar. Despite the appalling weather in Bunessan, the day was just lovely, sunny and warm and the sea was so calm. We motored out of Bunessan to the Isle of Staffa. Mum was taking photos and went onto the foredeck (very brave) to take pictures of Fingal’s Cave on Staffa as we went past. Three canoeists were there too and waved to us. Then it arrived…
Now I’ve watched Jaws, most of the time with my paws over my eyes I have to say, but nothing prepared me for the horror of what was to happen next. I was not born to be fish food but it was coming to get me. I don’t understand why Mum was so happy, taking so many pictures – did she not realise that her darling Oscar was obviously on the dinner menu for this huge shark! See the pictures – its mouth was all of five feet wide, I don’t exaggerate!
If that wasn’t terrifying enough, Dad needed more excitement. He ordered Mum to go and get the…. Death chute! This sail is so big, one breath of wind and its curtains for us all!
I couldn’t stand it, I had to go down and mentally write my will. If Tess thinks she’s getting anything more than my second best lead, she’s got another think coming! I was astonished we made it to Coll.
To celebrate our survival we all had dinner at the nice hotel on Coll. Well that’s what I thought we were celebrating, they seemed to think they had had a wonderful day and Dad treated Mum to lobster so she had to forgive him for yesterday’s trauma. It was only half a lobster, this is Dad after all. Uncle Derek was trying to encourage Mum to ask for a whole one because, he said, he liked to see Dad cry!
July 21, 2009
Sailed passed Colonsay up to the sound of Iona. Going to stop but Uncle Derek had the bit between his teeth, said Tess and we got a call to say “don’t stop, its not very nice the short distance from the top of Iona around to Bunessan”. I don’t call that a short distance. It was a howler, motoring with the wind in our faces and Soay pitching into wave after wave. It was ‘peeing it down’ as Dad calls it. We were all soaked and Dad was particularly grumpy. We got into Bunessan and things didn’t seem much better as Dad anchored. We all went down into the cabin for Mum and Dad to have a docker and me to persuade them it was dinner time for Oscars when Uncle Derek called on the radio. Did we know we were moving backwards into the rocks. We weren’t the only ones either. I watched them from the cabin. Lots of shouting, Mum getting her head bitten off for pointing out that she had never motored onto a mooring before, so they swapped over. I don’t know how Mum didn’t loose her temper when she managed to pick up the mooring with 30 knots of wind in her face, and then Dad dropped it! Anchored at last, second time around. Finally got paw ashore on Mull with Uncle Derek and Tess and then the only one to stay on Soay was me! Home alone again while Tess entertained.