Posted by: Ray | March 22, 2009

Oban – Preparation to sail on homeward passage.

Oban Marina at Dawn

Oban Marina at Dawn

 

Christine Marie is now back in the water at Oban Marina and ready to sail.

Brian and I travelled up to Oban by car on Sunday 15 March and the yacht was returned to the water early Monday morning during the first HW.

 

Brian on Christine Marie, Oban

Brian on Christine Marie, Oban

 

The engine burst into life when started and we were soon moored and getting down to prepare her for the season.

By Tuesday evening work was complete including fitting a new battery.

During the winter work had been completed on the engine and hull and a sea trial to check all was well was planned during our visit. From Tuesday we had been basking in sunshine with light winds and we set off after lunch on Wednesday, travelling towards our destination Puilladobhrain 7M south of the marina.

A local sailor had recommended this anchorage to us. Apparently, during the time of the Jacobite rebellion, the English had banned the wearing of kilts by the Scottish men. Puilladobhrain (the pool of the otter) is a small natural pool between the Islands of Seil and Eilean Duin linked to the mainland by Clachan Bridge on Seil. The Scotts would go across the bridge (known as the ‘Bridge over the Atlantic) into the pub (Tigh an Truish Inn – House of the Trousers)  and change into trousers! 🙂 This link gives the interesting history.

www.willowburn.co.uk/Willowburn%20Hotel/web-content/Walking%20on%20Seil.html

The passage down Kerrera Sound was straight forward. Rocks and shallows are well buoyed (although the use of G and R buoys to mark safe channels on each side, with Ferry Rocks between the two could be confusing if not planned ahead). Once past the narrow channel at Sgeirean Light the passage is clear until entering the narrow, rocky entrance to Puilladobhrain.

Approaching Puilladobhrain

Approaching Puilladobhrain

 

Within the hour we were approaching the entrance to our anchorage and could see the footbridge linking Seil Island to the mainland. I had entered WP into the GPS to guide us in past the dangerous Dun Horses rocks on our starboard side and through the narrow entrance.

 

Anchored Puilladobhrain

Anchored Puilladobhrain

 

We kept an eye on the cross-track error, but it was no problem keeping to the centre between the rocks surrounding us. It was a beautiful, unspoilt spot and we dropped anchor in 5m and settled back to enjoy the peace and views from on deck with a coffee and snack.

 

Approaching Oban from the South

Approaching Oban from the South

 

With a following SW wind we had planned to sail on our return passage to Oban. Once clear of the inlet there was little wind: we raised the main and checked the genoa furling … but then continued under engine. A seal was seen close by as we approached the Sgeirean narrows at the south of Kerrera Island, Oban then came into sight.

Shortly before dusk we were back on the mooring and completed preparations for our departure the next morning.

The weather had been kind to us and Christine Marie is now ready to set sail when I rejoin her around the 7 April. My first 400M passage will take me north, cruising the Scottish Highlands to Kinlockbervie. From there rounding Cape Wrath to visit the Orkney Islands before returning to Oban via Inverness and the Caledonian Canal. Crew from Crewseekers join me for this passage: Eddie joins at Oban on the 9 April until the 17th; Henry and Graham join at Kyleakin (Skye) on the 14th and will stay with me until we reach Inverness. Brian then joins me again for my passage back through the Caledonian Canal to Oban.

The sail to Puilladobhrain has given me a taste of cruising these waters in fine weather. Peaceful, unspoilt scenery …. I am looking forward to setting sail again. Visit my BLOG from time to time to see how I am progressing.

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