A bit of a late start but after what seemed like weeks of preparations we have finally set sail south.
We left Ullapool on the wednesday 3rd October, had a great sail down and inside of Skye - going under the Skye bridge at around midnight then running through Kyle Rhea (at 9knots!) under moonlight. priceless. We then anchored until daylight in Sandaig Bay.
Next day was headwinds so we bashed on to the isle of Eigg and anchored in the Bay of Laig (NW side). From here we sailed none stop to the Isle of Man (200 nM) in two days two nights. Goiing outside of all the islands (Mull, Islay etc) and then running down into the North Channel skirting northern island and out into the Irish sea.. We picked up a slightly dodgy mooring, 5am Sunday, (the pick up immediately broke off!! apart from that it seemed good) in Port St Mary on the south end of the island. After a few hours sleep Charlotte and I went ashore and had a very nice day wondering about (got steam train to Douglas- really felt like we are on Holiday!)
Yesterday (Monday 8th) we had a great sail south to Anglesey - North Wales. We ran a few miles down into the Menai Straits in the dark from the north east end and dropped anchor just off Beaumaris.
Just woke up to a beautiful morning with the sun rising behind the Welsh mountains, now waiting to get the tide through the Swellies to pick up a friends mooring for a few days while we visit friends and family.
Everyone says that the hardest thing about going cruising is getting away - I think i can totally agree with this - especially if you are starting off with a brand new boat - my list of jobs to do and finish (on Hestur) seemed endless in the last few weeks and took up most of my time - packing my bags only took a few hours! Charlotte probably had the hardest job of packing up / moving out of our little house where we were staying in Ullapool so i could spend the time getting the boat ready...
Everything is working well - the new Tender floats and fits perfectly on the fore deck - Also a dream to row - thanks so much John! The self steering works well and has steered us just about all of 350 nM in a wide variety of conditions (not always good ones!) Thank goodness for that as it was very untested.
Top photo taken just off the Small Isles when we were joined by pod o Dolphins.
Bottom picture Taken by Reiner Luyken as we sailed out of Loch Broom Ullapool. Thanks for that - great picture taken from the Ullapool - Stornoway ferry as Reiner returned from a great trip across the Minch in a open Boat.