Tobermory to Dunstaffnage, via Loch Aline

A peaceful night in the marina, led to a showery morning for exploring Tobermory. We bought some whisky at the distillery and some tablet from one of the wee shops on the seafront.

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Set of at 11ish for a lovely run down to Loch Aline, retracing half our route from yesterday. We had strong winds of 25-30 knots, gusting 40, and managed 7 knots for a time. Lovely day and sunblock came out.

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The entrance to Loch Aline was fun with a passenger ferry and cargo ship both manoeuvring at just the wrong time when we were in the shallows. We picked up a buoy and sent an SMS to get the owners permission to stay overnight in the lovely, peaceful setting. I managed quite a long swim and the water was surprisingly brackish and brown for a sea loch.

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We ate the frozen venison and red pepper stew provided by the charter company, which was delicious.

Next day started out as a wash out: ‘pooer’ visibility and rain until we reached Lismore. We motored about half of the way, then had a fun sail to Dunstaffnage Marina, close hauled.

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Walked to Connel Bridge to look at the bridge and Falls of Lorna in the entrance to Loch Etive.  Lovely oysters in the Oyster Inn. Awful road to get there from Dunstaffnage.

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Frisky sailing from Dunstaffnage to Tobermory

We spent Monday on-shore at Oban and Dunstaffnage, sitting out strong winds and heavy rain. lovely stramash fish lunch at the south pier and a bit of shopping for the week.

Yesterday we took a chance on the weather, which was looking really dodgy for sailing.

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It toon us an hour to unpick the spiders web of heavy-weather mooring lines and set up slips to get us off the pontoon in the strong gusts. We poked our heads out past Lismore where it was a bit rough with tide and overfalls but not offputting. Wind against tide we headed down the Sound of Mull motor sailing, with tacking, which was fun.

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The weather improved and after a lovely sail we arrived at Tobermory about 5ish to sunshine and a very calm harbour. Track here .

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Scallops and chips for dinner, from the famous fish and chip van on the pier entertained by a one-legged seagull that Darren fed chips too.

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Beers at the Mish Nish and MacGochans near the marina. A calm night on the pontoon.

ODL weekend on Colonsay

We’re off for a trip to the Hebrides with David and Darren. Sleeper train from Euston to Glasgow on Thursday night and much of Friday getting from Glasgow to Colonsay. We had an afternoon at leisure in Oban, and had a fun distillery tour and walk up to McCaigs Tower, where we caught up in lost sleep.

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We stayed at a small bunk house, well set up for the 16 ODL group.

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On Saturday we had a great walk to visit Kiloran Beach, which was stunning and we stopped for a swim, with  seal only a few metres away. The water was gorgeous and the sun shining.

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Track.

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We walked to the South of the island with a plan to walk to Oronsay: beautiful views of Jura, but tides against us walking to Oronsay over the Strand . Michael and I walked back to the hostel instead.

Tom coordinated a lovely dinner in the evening, in great company.

The next day was wet and windy and we were all following closely the potential cancellation of the ferry back to Oban.

We walked back to Kiloran, via Colonsay House Gardens.

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Kiloran beach was wild and dramatic, with brown, peaty burns cutting across the sand. We clambered on the rocks for a bit trying to find a cave, before heading back to the hostel through the wind and rain.

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David, Hugh, Laurie, Michael and I visited the last day of the Colonsay Folk Festival. We saw a local group (photo) and a wonderful Gaelic singer called Maeve MacKinnon with her good band, comprising a keyboard and guitar player.

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The ferry ran in schedule in the evening, despite the strong winds. We froze waiting on the jetty for it to dock. The galley stayed open for the journey and we enjoyed eating on board. Many of the musicians from the folk festival were on the boat, and they played together in the bar, all the way back to Oban. It was great fun.

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Wild Beer Co Tap Takeover at the Barley Mow

Should have been cycling tonight but the draw of lovely beer and the cold and wet persuaded us to the Barley Mow for the Wild Beer Co tap takeover.

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Started with the weakest beer: Deck Chair, Michael’s trying the Solera. Then we can think about dinner.

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Followed up with some Fresh and Shnoodlepip, wisely moving to half pints!

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Beer tasting was almost three hours from 8-11 from the two guys at the brewery. Great talk and lovely beers.