The departure day from Plockton was foggy and rainy. We planned to passs Loch Alsh which is located between the Isle of Skye and Mainland Scotland. There is a strong tidal current in Loch Alsh and the local fisherman also warned us about these treacherous waters, so we timed our departure from Plockton for arriving at the loch at slack time. The tide was turning in the early afternoon and we still got to enjoy a quiet morning in Plockton.
The famous Skye Bridge over Loch Alsh was one of our anticipated sights. It was a pity that due to a fog we didn’t see the bridge in its glory. The weather was really wet and an anchorage near Isle Ornsay, that was recommended to us by fisherman in Portree started really tempting us. Overall we sailed only 17 nautical miles that day because of heavy current and bad weather.
Next day we sailed to Tobermory on the Isle of Mull in the beautiful sunshine. We had a plenty of time so we were slowly beating against the wind and enjoying the relaxed daysail.
We could really see that we had been arriving in a popular sailing areas as the amount of boats around us just exploded and of course it was just a busy holiday season. When we arrived to Tobermory in the early evening all the numerous buoys were already reserved and the pontoon berths were full of yachts.
Tom Cunliffe, a famous editor of Yachting Monthly sailing magazine was entering the bay in front of us with his Constance yacht. He passed the only unoccupied mooring buoy. This buy was huge and Andrus thought that it was reserved for commercial traffic and followed Constance looking for another mooring. After making a tour around the bay we returned to the big buoy only to see that Tom had already moored Constance there. We were amused as we thought that Tom had some local knowledge and that’s why we followed him around the bay.
Now we went to the second round to find a suitable spot for anchoring, but of course it was not so simple. The anchorage is surprisingly huge but it is also deep. There is also an area for landing sea planes and a marine farm on the other end. There were already a plenty of boats anchored there. We kept going further into the bay. There were some empty space close to the waterfall, where the water depth was about 20 metres.
Twilight was slowly turning into the darkness and estimating the distance to other boats become difficult. Andrus used the radar for measuring the distance for making sure we had enough space between the boats. The added spice for operating with radar was the special function of Raymarine because for some unknown reason whenever the distance on a radar is less than a cable (185m) then the radar switches units to feet. Andrus cursed the designers of Raymarine and commented “This change from cables to feet is as intelligent as some other usability issues with Raymarine products, like for example some operations must be approved with a cancel button”.
After putting the hook down, Andrus kept observing the boat movement longer than usual before the bedtime. This was the first time for us when anchoring in deeper water than 15 metres and we were worried if our anchor is holding.
In the middle of the night we suddenly woke up into a bang from our swimming platform. A moment later we were together with the crew of a neighbour boat on a deck flailing flashlights and trying to understand what is going on. We were shocked that we had hit another boat. Fortunately there was no damage when the boats had a little kiss. Andrus started the engine and we started to weigh the anchor. There we were in the middle of the night, it was completely dark and it was raining while we were moving the boat to another spot. When the anchor was back down in 20 metres of water we took some time before we dared to go to sleep again. Next morning we analysed the situation and the anchor had not slipped during the night but as there was no wind then during the slack all the boats moved in different directions. In deep water everybody had a lot of rode out and the rest is the history. During the rest of our stay in Tobermory, the boats around us stayed well anchored and there were no more bota kissing.
Tobermory is the main town on the Isle of Mull and it has a charming waterfront with colourful houses.
There is Tobermory distillery close to the harbour to the whisky enthusiasts. We passed the distillery tour this time. Instead we gave a drink to Suwena freighting by dinghy a few jerry cans of diesel from the garage that is located next to the harbour.
We also found the real king of the seafood restaurants from Tobermory. We had a huge filet of tuna in the Café Fish restaurant and we can really sign their slogan: the only things frozen are our fishermen. The dishes were so delicious there.
We were taking it easy during our stay in Tobermory. Our daily routine consisted of relaxing on the deck, reading and generally doing nothing. After all we were on a final straight of the summer cruise.