14th May 2 June 2023
Ian is in the Sh.. but by how much !?
I too was sorry to say goodbye to the Caledonian Canal as I considered it home territory having spent two years at college in Inverness back in the 70’s..
Our friend Brian came aboard in Fort William to join us while we explored the area around Mull and Jura in search of anchorages and marinas that can accommodate Asante. Most memorable was the tiny gem of an anchorage off the island of Seil. Barely room to swing a cat let alone 58’ of yacht, but with total protection from nearly all directions we had little fear of the anchor dragging.
During the second weekend we found ourselves amongst the yachts competing in the Scottish Island Three Peaks Race. Our original plan had been to be in the event itself with my son Blair and his friend taking on the running challenge, but plans had changed. Just as well – in light winds watching one of the teams having to row 4 tons of yacht through the races was a sobering thought in our 36 ton vessel. The following week we took the wind when it allowed and trawled for mackerel when it didn’t. With such spectacular scenery there was never a bad day.
As Brian left we welcomed Conrad and Bridget aboard for a couple of days. They have bravely signed up to join us for our entire circumnavigation of the world – Caribbean to Caribbean starting January 2024. To consider living in such close quarters for almost 18months with complete strangers may not appeal to many but the four of us proved to be of like minds and Ian and I certainly felt we had lucked out on our future adventure sailing buddies. I only hope they felt the same!
After they left it was maintenance. Oh, good grief. If I said Ian was in the sh… it was in the literal sense. Our guest heads had decided that now was the time to become totally blocked. year’s worth of calcium build up in the pipes between the holding tank and the seacock meant that Ian was addressing an issue in possibly one of the most inaccessible parts of the boat. I won’t go into the details of how he emptied the holding tank using a hastily bought wet vax from Argos – some of you may be eating supper – but suffice to say he deserved a medal. As for the blockage even the strongest acid that we could lay hands on didn’t do the trick. But thanks to the wonderful guys at Dunstaffnage Marina who along with doing a scheduled oil change on the engine and a generator service, were able to lend us a ‘skinny young guy’ capable of wriggling to places that Ian couldn’t we were sorted and ready for our first West Coast Whisky Charter.