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It's Vince and Malcolm

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Acarseid Mhor / Rona To Kyle of lock Alsh / Kyleaking 20 June 2007

At 04.00 I was awakened by the anchor chain rumbling, I laid in my bunk for a short while listening to the wind which was whistling through the rigging. No good laying here I thought, better check my position. I reluctantly climbed out of my warm sleeping bag and clambered through the hatch into the cockpit, the tide was well out and the rocks seemed a lot closer than before, confirmed by a compass bearing on the jetty. The anchor had dragged! There was no immediate danger so I put on some clothes and went about re-setting the anchor, slowly motoring into the wind I pulled the chain in until the anchor left the bottom, I stayed on the bow until I was in well clear of the rocks. I then stopped the boat, re-set the anchor, and let the wind blow me astern as I slowly let the chain out, I added another five metres for luck, before going astern with the engine to dig in. I took another bearing on the jetty 140deg waited for a while before checking that all was well and returned to my now cold bed.

I was awake again at 08.20, and put the kettle on for a hot drink, and although I had been disturbed by the anchor dragging I felt good. I made a cup of tea and prepared porridge for breakfast which I ate in the cockpit. There were some longhorn cattle grazing on the hill, and they were soon down at the waters edge, a true Scottish scene, but I failed to take a photo. The other boat had left before me, heading back to Plockton, but there was no rush for me as the 23 miles to the Isle of Skye bridge and Kyleaking should only take five hours, and Malcolm will not arrive till the after noon.

I check the chart on the laptop as I am still on a large scale paper chart which doesn't show all the firing ranges, and there has been a warning that the range east of Rassay is live today so I will have to go round. I decided to sail along the east side of raasay and alter course at Brochel Bay for the Isle of Skye bridge. This was a mistake as a wind change caused me to sail further east than expected causing me to wander into the restricted area. The patrol boat was soon circling me and fortunately for me they called me on the radio and asked me to alter course to due East and to proceed at full speed. They could have asked me to leave to the west which was the shortest exit, but this course took me right across the exercise area. Escorted by the patrol boat, I was soon across, and out of the area, with the patrol boat returning to his patrol duty.

The sail to the Isle of Skye was uneventful from then on, and I was passing under the Isle of Skye bridge in good time to meet Malcolm. I decided to take a look at the pontoon in front of the Lochalsh Hotel, and as there were berths available I came alongside and tied up. I had telephoned Malcolm to let him know where I had berthed and he was there to meet me. We had the rest of the day together, we walked over to the railway dock to see about getting some fuel, and was served by a very hospitable attendant with fuel at 38p litre I asked if I could pay for a second 20 ltrs and we would be right back. He said he might not be there, but that he would bring another container to exchange ours when we had filled the boat tank, which he did, now that is what I call service. We then had a drive over to Kyleaking and then on to Plockton, where we watched as a French couple bought some Langoustine from a fisherman, they were undecided as to how many to buy so the fisherman suggested six is about right, later Malcolm said the fisherman wasn't a very good salesman, he should have said a dozen sounds good. We enjoyed a walk along the shore before driving back to Malcolm's Hotel,  where I had a shower and shave before joining Malcolm in the restaurant for a meal. After a very pleasant afternoon and evening, Malcolm asked if I would like to stay for the night, but I didn't like to leave Anita alone so Malcolm returned me to the pontoon, where I later saw an Otter which came within ten feet of me on the pontoon before spotting me and diving under a moored fishing vessel and swimming out into the Loch. I checked the tides for tomorrows voyage and didn't like the leaving time of 12.00, so I had to make a quick decision do I leave tonight or tomorrow??? 


Links http://www.lochalsh.com/webcam.html