11: West Loch Tarbert to Tobermory, 12th July
Shipping forecast, 12th July 12.01, Malin: variable 3 becoming E 4 to 5; showers, rain later, moderate or good.
The weather had settled down again by the 12th . Our objective for the next run of fair tide was Tobermory, quite ambitious given the distance of 67 miles, but the tides are quite strong for much of this leg, up to 7 knots at springs in the Sound of Luing (and we were still on spring tides) and will give you a good extra push. Also, as long as the entrance to the Sound of Mull is reached on the fair tide then the streams are much weaker thereafter and it doesn’t matter too much if you run out of fair tide for the last fifteen miles or so up the Sound of Mull to Tobermory.
We were late getting away, delayed by being unable to raise the anchor. The powerful electric windlass stalled with the chain pulled bar tight across the stemhead but it wouldn’t budge. Eventually we shifted it with a trick I’ve used successfully before: bend a heavy line onto the
chain below the bow roller, run it back to one of the main winches and use full might and main to grind it in from there. Slowly it came free but the bow roller assembly at the stem head was broken under the pressure involved necessitating a welding repair whilst we were at Tobermory.
We finally cleared the anchorage at 09.00 hours. There is more than one possible route but we chose the usual and most direct: up through the Sound of Jura, past the infamous Coryvreckan, then Sound of Luing between Scarba and Luing Islands, into the Firth of Lorne, and thence to the sound of Mull. As so often on this trip a day of gale was followed by a day of calm and we motored most of the way, only picking up the forecast easterly breeze for the last fifteen miles or so up the Sound of Mull, to Tobermory.. We arrived and picked up a mooring in Tobermory harbour at 20.30 hours, distance logged, 60 miles.
Sound of Luing looking north towards Mull: care is required as the gap between Fladda and Dubh Sgeir is approached. There are unmarked hazards and the tide runs at up to 7 knots
Balnahua I Fladda I Dubh