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Sailing with Orcas (killer whales) on the West Coast of Scotland 2012

Log of the Yacht Sleat Odyssey (a lovely Jeanneau SO 439 from Skye Yachts)

Week 1: 18/8/12 to 25/8/12 236nm



Route of Sleat Odyssey 18th to 25th August 12

Route of Sleat Odyssey 18th to 25th August 12



Crew:
Sarah, Sarah-Jane, Mark, Jane, Jeremy, Helen, Ruth and Steve

Saturday 17nm
Boarded 1530, ages to get settled in, packed away stores! Safety briefing (of sorts). Motorsailed through Kyle Rhea to mooring at Kyleleakin.
Meal of Steve vegetable lasagna
Chatted, Helen & Jeremy aft starboard cabin, Mark & Jane aft port cabin, Sarah & Sarah-Jane in the bunk room with Steve & Ruth in the forward-double.
Very lovely sunset

Sunday 56nm
Basically motored to the Summer Isles, with one stoppage caused by the autohelm being engaged in error, while we spotted Minke Whales! Notably we experienced swathes of sprats jumping en masse at one point. Anchored at Caol Eilean Ristol, Isle Ristol after motoring through the Summer Isles. Chicken-curry created by Helen & Jeremy which was a culinary delight!

Monday 39nm
Lovely sunrise!

Motored out if Isle Ristol and then had the most wonderful sail to Stornoway. A real mix of weather from full sun to heavy rain with Lewis disappearing from view. Except the Stornoway pontoons were full and we were offered space on the harbour wall but insufficient warps, so motored to Loch Grimshader. Lovely spot and much prettier than Stornoway - happy crew. Anchored
Dinner of Chicken tomato and basil by Sarah which was delicious as ever!

Tuesday
Day off at Lewis, bus to Stornoway, accompanied by a rabid alcoholic, wandered about finding a 7 seater taxi to take us all, except Mark, to Calanish Stone circles and Carloway Broch. Both well worth the visit.
Taxi back to Loch Grimshader, to find the loch bathed in sunshine. Collected mussels, which were washed and stored for Wednesday.
The meals this week really were epic, tonight was Sarahs fish pie which was no exception :-).


Wednesday 55nm
Motored towards Shiants, intercepted two pairs Orcas and gave chase, seen around 4-5nm N of Shiant Isles at around 58-00-47N 6-19-66W.
Sailed to Shiants where we anchored for lunch. Tankingly good sail reaching 8.4kn to just short of Portree, beating just taking too long, took on water as tanks empty.
Mooring Jeremy being a prize hooker (thankyou Sarah)!
Dinner of mussels, followed by a side of smoked salmon and boiled new potatoes by Steve


Thursday 27nm
Departed 1000. V windy, tried looking for Sea Eagles but just didn't see any!! Try May when they're feeding chicks! Sailed Plockton via Raasay narrows 1 reef variable F4/5/6, Max 8.4kn under sail (Helen at the helm). No whales. Wind dropped after the Raasay Narrows at Caol Mor.
Motored. Mooring at Plockton near the pontoon. Saw Jane & Callum
Dinner of nut roast by Ruth, Yum!!


Friday 31nm
Dept Plockton 1015, F1 easterly so motored, Kyle Rhea 1200, Sandaig for lunch 1315, dept 1430 for Loch nevis, entered at 1605 and onto a mooring (which had a pickup :-))at the Old Forge, Inverie. Ashore for a walk and meal. I had scallops for starter and sirloin, both good!

Saturday 6nm
Left Inverie 0745 arriving Mallaig 0830 by motor.

Week 2: 25/8/12 to 01/09/12 196nm



Route of Sleat Odyssey 25th August to 1st September 2012

Route of Sleat Odyssey 25th August to 1st September 2012



Crew: Jeremy, Dick, Richard, Di, Chris, Ruth & Steve
Steve & Ruth in the forward cabin, Dick and Chris in bunks, Richard & Di in the port aft cabin with Jeremy in the port starboard cabin.

Saturday 34nm to Tobermory
From Mallaig pontoons to Tobermory. Largely F6 - 7 north westerly over the starboard quarter with a following swell, so mainly under genoa at up to 8.3 kn. Calmed down with reduced swell around Ardnamurchan, wind with tide, and sailed on full sail to outside Tobermory. Mooring for the night although this took a number of attempts to secure due to the swell in harbour. Noted new pontoons.
Dinner spaghetti pesto parmesan expertly assembled by Richard

Sunday 33nm
Tobermory to Kerrera marina, Oban. Tacked down the sound of Mull on full sail in F4 departing 1115, becoming F5 southerly before 1300, F4 1515 dying to F2 by 1615 outside Duart Point. Sea Eagle spotted around Aros Castle area in the Sound of Mull. Headed under motor between Lismore light and Ladys rock into Kerrera by 1730. We were directed to the south side of C pontoon, going in bows first blowing off somewhat. Not the best way around in a southerly!
Dinner of curried chicken thighs beautifully cooked by Jeremy.

Monday

Day in Oban, recommend the Lorne Bar for good beer and nice food. Traditional bar. Visited local artist Alice Strange well worth seeing!
Evening meal at the Waypoint Bar & Grill Kerrera marina. Nice food, but not great surroundings with a blown light. Unfortunately Jeremy was unwell. Some bug/mal be mer etc From which he took a little while to recover. In typical Jeremy style he made light of his troubles and didn't wish to trouble anyone. Meanwhile the restaurant took care not to kill my steak and it was a credit to them it remained so good!
Oban however isn't a great place to be stormbound, although we did have a nice, if wet walk on Kerrera.


Tuesday 38nm
Eventually plucked up courage, with advice from our immediate neighbour, and sprung off going astern from our finger pontoon into a southerly F5 going hell for leather so we didn't get blown onto other boats. Needless worry once we'd done it! We then had a tankingly good single reach all the way to Tobermory arriving at 1830. We took a mooring again, much quieter this time.
True gastronomic taxidermy by Dick cooking a Moroccan Chicken Tagine with couscous!

Wednesday 16nm to Muck and 17nm to Mallaig
Showers ashore or onboard having tied up to the pontoon. Departed earlier than planned due to the wind shift to NW. Motor sailed to Ardnamurchan from where we sailed to Muck for lunch at 1400. Anchored. We then motored into the northerly through Eigg onto Mallaig as Arisaig moorings full. Mallaig pontoon E4 stern to as advised in view of an impending gale. Gale came through that night rendering the pontoons rather wild. Things go bang in the night under such conditions, and we doníŽt always spot the cause!!
Dicks cooked spaghetti mushroom courgette and bacon, another great meal!

Thursday 45nm
Dept Mallaig 1100 after showers - positive luxury!
F4 northerly sail to Point of Sleat (Slate) when wind dropped so we motorsailed 1430 anchored in 2.6m in Loch na Cuilche for lunch. Not too much time so we didn't go ashore, regrettably!
Departed at 1530 after admiring and photographing the stupendous scenery and the many seals, to pick up some wind at 1645 in the lovely afternoon sunshine with Ruth helming at 6.5kn. Jibed around the point at 1800 sailing almost to Armadale where the wind died. Motored to Isle Ornsay where we picked up a mooring belonging to the Duisdale Hotel.
Loch na Cuilche is renowned as the most scenic anchorage in Europe!
Ruth cooked a delicious lentil sausage and vegetable stew with rice.

Friday 13nm
Late start sailing off the mooring at 1100 in a F5 southerly, tacking down the Sound of Sleat. With the wind building in increasingly uncomfortable conditions we decided to head for our home mooring at Armadale. Tied up, had lunch and went for a walk.
Steve cooked a vegetable curry with the leftovers, and stewed Lidl dried fruit!

Saturday 0nm
Crew disembarked by Skye Yachts for the early ferry, leaving Jeremy Ruth and I to pack up, and go home.


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Approaching the Skye bridge
Approaching the Skye bridge
Ruth helming
Ruth helming
Sunset from Kyleakin
Sunset from Kyleakin
Sunset from Kyleakin 2
Sunset from Kyleakin 2
Jeremy (by sarah)
Jeremy (by sarah)
Ruth
Ruth
Rubha Reidh LH (North from Gairloch)
Rubha Reidh LH (North from Gairloch)
Rubha Reidh LH
Rubha Reidh LH
Course through the Summer Isles
Course through the Summer Isles
Sarah-Jane
Sarah-Jane
late evening Summer Isles
late evening Summer Isles
Early morning, Summer Isles
Early morning, Summer Isles
Sunrise, Isle Ristol
Sunrise, Isle Ristol
Ruth
Ruth
Jane
Jane
Happy sails
Happy sails
Jeremy helming
Jeremy helming
Mark catches Mackerel
Mark catches Mackerel
Dinner
Dinner
Sunset Loch Grimshader
Sunset Loch Grimshader
Carloway Broch
Carloway Broch
Carloway Broch 2
Carloway Broch 2
Sarah at Carloway Broch
Sarah at Carloway Broch
Carloway Broch 3
Carloway Broch 3
Carloway Broch 4
Carloway Broch 4
Carloway Broch 5
Carloway Broch 5
Carloway Broch 6
Carloway Broch 6
Carloway Broch 7
Carloway Broch 7
Carloway Broch 8
Carloway Broch 8
Carloway Broch 9
Carloway Broch 9
Calanish Stone Circle
Calanish Stone Circle
Calanish Stone Circle 2
Calanish Stone Circle 2
Callanish Avenue (by Ruth)
Callanish Avenue (by Ruth)
Calanish Stone Circle 3
Calanish Stone Circle 3
Calanish view
Calanish view
Calanish Stone Circle 4
Calanish Stone Circle 4
Girls at Calanish Stone Circle
Girls at Calanish Stone Circle
Calanish Stone Circle in the distance
Calanish Stone Circle in the distance
cananish view 2
cananish view 2
Callanish silhouette (by Ruth)
Callanish silhouette (by Ruth)
Sleat Odyssey at Loch Grimshader
Sleat Odyssey at Loch Grimshader
Sleat Odyssey at Loch Grimshader 2
Sleat Odyssey at Loch Grimshader 2
Odyssey Grimshader (by Ruth)
Odyssey Grimshader (by Ruth)
Loch Grimshader
Loch Grimshader
Sarah and Ruth in the dingy
Sarah and Ruth in the dingy
Orcas 1
Orcas 1
Orcas 2
Orcas 2
Orcas 3
Orcas 3
Orcas 4
Orcas 4
Orcas 5
Orcas 5
Orcas 6
Orcas 6
Orcas 7
Orcas 7
Orcas 8
Orcas 8
Helen
Helen
Shiant Isles anchorage
Shiant Isles anchorage
Stern view
Stern view
Underway
Underway
Sarah
Sarah
Mark
Mark
Skye
Skye
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