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Around Mull Race.

Oban Sailing Club evening seafood buffet and social. Beautiful.

Sue and Christine joined me in Tighnabruaich for the sail around to Oban, on Tuesday evening, it was blowing too hard on Tuesday to try to set off so we loaded ourselves up, dropped the mooring and went to anchor in Blackfarland Bay for the night. A little grumbling the next morning as we set off at about 0400 to catch the tide around the Mull. The sea was down a lot as was the wind, we had a beat to the Mull, a little motoring and then it turned into a lovely day with light Easterly winds to waft us up to Gigha where we anchored in the early evening and enjoyed sundowners and dinner.

Intending to set off the next morning at 0630 I failed to activate my alarm and we ended up lying in until 0700 but were under way shortly thereafter and were rewarded with a minke whale sighting off the North of Gigha. With little wind we had a lazy motor up to Oban and berthed at the Transit Marina for the night. Elise and Wendy were joining us in the evening and we met them at the opening seafood buffet with the sailing club along with fellow competitors. The buffet was excellent and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.

Alastair joined us the next morning and we set off for the start after some last minute shopping trips for essentials like new fleeces and bread. We managed to make a complete hash of the start missing our start altogether and then going the wrong side of a mark on the course and had to come back to go around it again. This meant that we were the last boat out of the harbour when we should have been in the first group. Alastair and I have different opinions as to who was to blame for this.

We all had a good sail across the Firth to Mull and we made up some places on the way where the wind became very light in the Sound of Mull. This slowed all the boats ahead of us. We seemed to be favoured with some good personal winds and made up a lot more places going up to Salen and just North of here the committee boat had a shortened course finish. Stowing the sails we motored to Tobermory where we berthed alongside at the Marina and had some beautiful 'Ritchie's of Rothesay smoked mackerel and sauces, viscous and liquid to wash it down with.

Not having taken the precaution of booking for dinner we went to the local Indian restaurant who managed to accommodate us and, with a very helpful waiter, along the lines of Ronnie Irvine, told us what we wanted and we had a good meal followed by the traditional visit to the Mishnish. A new fleece was mislaid along the way and the restaurant was closed so we couldn't call in to make enquiries.

The following morning we had a better start and were amongst the first to leave the harbour but by the time we'd made it to the West Coast the wind was light again. With some Atlantic swell our sails were slatting around too much to be of much use and our weight told against us. Wet in the morning it was better by the afternoon but we managed to finish last in our class which was a disappointment having scraped a first the previous day.

Anchoring overnight we had fishcakes and chilli for dinner and one or two liquid refreshments to balance our fluids.

The final day saw us a little confused at the start once again but not ending up too badly once under way. We had a beat in overcast conditions to the sound of Iona where we passed a cruise ship sitting on DP depositing tourists ashore, then an exciting passage between the rocks

followed by a run up to Oban in an increasing wind but again we stayed in touch with the leaders and ended up with a first for the day again. It appears that our placings were inversely proportional to the quality of our starts! We were second overall in our class which we were very pleased with.

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