The work on the boat was finished, the kitchen was equipped and stocked after numerous trips to Aldi and the weather forecast promised good sailing so we left Oban early and motored against the wind through the Firth of Lorn to the south coast of the Isle of Mull. Once there we set the mainsail and jib at which point the wind disappeared not to be seen again that day. We continued along the coast as a motor boat until we reached the Sound of Iona and navigated through the rocks and islets to the stunning anchorage of Tinkers Hole. This is described as probably one of the best anchorages on the west coast and is beautiful. Despite its apparent popularity, we only shared it with one other boat.
We pumped up the dinghy and rowed across to the neighbouring island of Eilean Dubh where we climbed through heather and across bare rock to the summit. On the one side Artemis sat in a deep, sheltered, green pool while on the other side the Atlantic swell washed the rocky shoreline.
On the second day we sailed through the Sound of Iona passing the cathedral at Iona. We had hoped to land and visit the cathedral but all three anchorages were too windy and too choppy. We ate lunch in a cove on the northside of the Isle of Iona and then sailed to the sheltered bay of Loch na Laithaich on Mull. Having seen almost no yachts the last two days, we were eventually joined by seven others and at sunset their silhouettes and anchor lights made a pretty picture.
On day three we were up before the alarm and shortly after on our way to Staffa Island for a sailby to view the basalt columns and Fingal’s cave. We then sailed on to the uninhabited Treshnish Isles where we anchored for lunch surrounded by nosy seals who kept their heads out of the water two seconds less than it takes to photograph them.
With mainsail and jib set we continued our circumnavigation towards Tobermory. It was a pleasant sail (even more so once we had reefed the main sail) until we turned directly into the wind in the Sound of Mull. After the seventh or eighth tack we turned the motor on for the last mile into the bay.
Tobermory is a picturebook port where we picked up a visitors buoy for the night and rowed in to town for a well deserved fish ‘n chips. The town was full of mainly inebriated people enjoying the annual Tobermory Music Festival with live bands in all the pubs including one with a bagpiper playing scottish rock. We treated ourselves to a pint with free scottish music before falling in to bed.
Thankfully tomorrow is Sunday and we get a day off.