Thursday, 29 July 2010

Day 5 Ulva to Skye

After a delayed breakfast in Ulva, we set off for Barra in the Southern section of the Outer Hebrides. We motored to Coll and Tiree, and up the Gunna Sound. Here we had our first Jaws moment, when we spotted our first basking sharks.

The Sea of the Hebrides wasn't as horrendously swelly as expected: although the waves were huge they very mellow. Unfortunately the wind was north-westerly, coming at us from exactly the direction we wanted to head. To keep moving, we bore too far North, and we realised that Barra was a lost hope. To avoid a ridiculous amount of tacking, we decided to change our course entirely and head for Rum (an island whose neighbours are Eigg and Muck. Honest).

In the Sound of Rum we hit the doldrums (with a series of almighty bangs). Rum inconsiderately blocked all our wind, so we were sat for a time admiring the remarkable view. There was a porpoise spied in the distance. Some of us didn't see it, as we were too busy trying to use the mild breeze we had to our advantage. Fortunately the tide was with us, making our speed over ground more than nil. The relative flatness of the sea meant that today's peaches in condensed milk stayed where they were jolly well put!

The music emanating from the saloon today showed quite some variety, with appearances from Sigur Rós, The Little Mermaid, The Pirates of the Caribbean, and a confused rendition of Darth Vader’s theme blended with A Spoonful of Sugar. Not quite as good as George, Toryn and Alistair’s on-deck close harmony last night, but not bad.

Now on our way to Skye, the potential of a peach-themed upside-down cake is in the air. Tonight’s planned anchorage is purported to be the most dramatic in all of Scotland (despite its lack of fresh water of which we are somewhat in need). We’ll get out the tender and see the Cuillin Hills up close, assuming the anchorage isn’t too full and we’re obliged to return to Rum...

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