Thursday, 21 July 2011

Wednesday 20th July...Around the Isle of Mull

It turned in to our longest and best day yet. After leaving Tobermory we aimed to not have to use our engine again at all today.

We sailed around around the north end of Mull, looking back towards the Isle of Skye, Eigh, Muck and Rhum and our adventure from the previous day. Under full sail we headed towards the Treshnish Isles, a group of wonderful shaped islands. We then headed for Staffa, seeing porpoises and puffins along the way. The amazing sights of the rocks of Staffa in the sunshine entranced us all. We jibed around the south east corner to look at the organ piped basalt columns and into the depths of Fingals Cave, the inspiration for Mendelsohn's Hebridean Overture.

We ate lunch on deck and worked our way towards the azure and turquoise waters of Iona, an island steeped in Celtic history. We sailed into an anchorage in the Sound of Iona, and enjoyed a rest on deck in the sun, while indulging in afternoon tea and cakes.

Raring for adventure, dolphin watch raised the anchor and set sail, while turtle watch headed below to bake bread and cook tea. We ate again on deck, with the sun on our stern and looking at Ben More off our bow, as well as using all four sails to make a satisfying speed of 7.7 knots.

The wind and our speed decreased significantly, but we stuck to our plan of not using the engine. The sky came ablaze over the Paps of Jura in the distance, as the sun quenched itself in the orange and purple sea. We learnt about looking for lights at night, and what the different signals meant. But our speed continued to decrease. So we ate cake and enjoyed having the time to look at the moon and stars, looking at Ursa Major and Polaris, and traced out the serpent like constellation of Draco the Dragon.

With our end in sight, the wind finally disappeared...a strange concept to us after the last few days...and for the first time on this trip, the sea state changed to smooth. After a long time of persistent sailing/floating we gave in and resorted to the engine for the last stretch. Ghosting Tenacity into Horse Shoe Bay on the east of Kerrera, the sun was almost ready to rise again. We lowered our anchor, sorted the boat and headed towards our much needed beds.

Love a slightly sleepy, fair weathered Tenacity crew x

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