I never used to be a morning person - was always just so tired from working a little too much, I still don't think I'm a 'good' morning person but I don't seem to have an issue with getting up at 5:30 am to get underway these days.
A cup of tea and a quick tidy-up, and we were ready to go. I slipped the lines a little after 6:15 am, and we were on our way.
I kind of planned the hell out of this one, we weren't going very far, plus there wasn't going to be much wind, or, so they said - and I didn't want to use the engine excessively.
So, timing our departure just right would mean that the tide would carry us almost all the way. The engine was on for the whole trip, but it never went past tick-over and was on really only for steering. Greta, at those low revs, uses very little fuel.
After getting out of Oban, we began to travel down the Firth of Lorn and it started to rain, I mean there were times when the rain is very light - but rain is rain....light or heavy - it gets everything wet. Although it did clear up a just before we got there! Which was nice.
Only being in 'tick-over' in calm flat conditions would normally move us at about 1.5 kts but we were averaging 5 kts, no problem. Then out of nowhere, we started to get about 10-12 kts of wind and that helped pushed us up to a respectable 6.5 kts - it was nice to be moving a bit more quickly. I also switched off our AIS transceiver for a true off-grid situation, so as not to advertise our location to anyone that knows how to track us - it's becoming a problem...but it was funny to see our boat listed with: Last known location / Destination Unknown with our speed and heading that was changed moments later - gotta keep'em guessing! ;)
As we traveled down the Firth of Lorn, and in spite of the rain we were still exposed to some really nice views - again, a lot of them didn't come out too well, but here are some of the better ones that made the cut.
In the distance, we could see the islands of Jura, Islay, and Scalasaig - we'll be seeing more of them soon, not sure of which - maybe them all, but we will be going between Jura and Islay - possibly hiding out there on anchor to shelter from some very nasty weather that is definitely on its way, the closest marina is a bit too expensive for our pockets, so we're just going to brave it - pirate style, like the way they used to do in the olden days - good enough for them - good enough for us!
We got closer to Lunga, but you couldn't see it clearly, the outline of these islands all just blend together into one odd landmass, you really can't see it till its right in front of you - pictured below - Lunga is on the left - there are actually two islands there!
I don't think Lunga has anything special about it as such - or maybe it does, I didn't research it too well other than notice its little protected cove that was to be our home for the next 24hrs and would keep us safe for a little while.
I circled this little bay a good few times looking for the best spot to drop the anchor, out here there is no room for error - you will end up on the rocks if you get it wrong.
I dropped anchor the first time, but after seeing how we were sitting - the hook was pulled up and re-set in another place as we were just too close to these rocks for my liking...this is the high-tide situation, there are rocks just under the water you can't see...
After getting settled in a coffee was had, then I decided to go ashore for a little bit to stretch my legs or whatever, and since the shore wasn't too far away it seemed like a good idea - and idea I would later come to regret.
And here are a few shots of the bay itself...
Really - we don't get too many days like this, I know the fantasy is that every day is like this, but that's just not true for us, maybe for some - just not for us - today was a win for Cats on a Yacht!
The regret about going ashore, that I was referring to, was the fact that I hadn't put any bug spray on - after about 15 min of being ashore I was viciously attacked by midgies - it was so annoying, the old wounds of Inverbevrie had almost healed.
The issue I have with midgies is that apart from biting you - they also land on your clothes and you can't help but take a few back to the boat with you - so later on you find you're still being bitten despite having left the midgie infected area some time ago - it's so hard to find them all - they are so tiny! Very frustrating and annoying - I really hate them.
I also made a tiny little video while I was ashore...it's not a great video but it shows how peaceful it is here, we like it nice and quiet....and away from all the BS of the world. I also made another little video that I'll put at the bottom of this blog post.
Getting back to the yacht, the crew were wakened for their outdoor exercise and to take in the scenery - I think they liked here, no one else was here and the water was glassy smooth - just the way we all like it!
They did enjoy the rest of the day outdoors - UNTIL our isolation was ruined by some visitors.
And then the strangers appeared - stranger danger! They had to settle for the second-best place to anchor...lol
The crew was very suspicious of these people - they also did not know how to use the radio - I heard some of their babbling chatter on the VHF- I suspect they were charter people - they had also not set their anchor correctly and dragged during the night getting closer and closer to us...The captain monitored the situation very closely. Not long after their arrival, the crew had had enough and retired to their quarters - stirring again only to be fed.
And that was the day done or, so I thought - but the universe had one more treat for me.
At about 2:30 am I suddenly woke up. There were no alarms going off, no buzzers - nothing. But knowing I had woken up because of something - I began to check everything onboard - I could detect nothing below decks - our position had not changed - our neighbors were a touch closer but I think their anchor had finally found its bite and they hadn't gotten any closer for over an hour.
I went on deck, the first thing I noticed is that our neighbors had put a brilliant bright white light on their stern to serve as an anchor light - I chuckled a bit - that is a big mistake in 'midgie-country' - I picked up the binoculars to check them out - good god man -there was a thick cloud of midgies surrounding their stern - better them than us I though! They were going to have a feast!
I checked our anchor chain and anything else that could have made a noise that might have woken me up. I could find nothing and was just about to go down below when I noticed some unusual light-blue flashes of light coming from the sea - from under the boat, and all around the boat!
I don't know what it was but it was a stunning display of bioluminescence from something, it was everywhere! I thought plankton, but I grabbed the boat hook and disturbed the water and nothing happened - the lights seemed to be moving around like they were small fish or prawns or something - I have no idea what it was, but did watch it for about half an hour - just mesmerized by this other-worldly display - I got my cameras and tried to capture it, but they just didn't show up on the camera.
I realized that this is one of those moments that are just for you, you can't photograph it, there isn't a word for it -you just have to take it in...it was very special, and I felt very lucky to have seen it. I'm not going to forget that in a hurry, but it was late, and we were leaving in a few hours and I had to try and get a bit more sleep...
When I started this trip - I was a certain person, and since being completely on my own and having more time than I knew what to do with, something happened - I began to sort through hundreds, if not thousands, of unprocessed memories and experiences that I'd never really had the time to sort through - dealing with all of these things was not something I had planned for.
But since sorting through all the baggage I didn't know I had been carrying for decades, I have, for the first time, at 39 years old, been able to experience what living a real-life actually feels like, for me - I think that some other people would have had just the most horrid time doing what we're doing, especially in the way we're doing it... I mean, I haven't had one gin and tonic this whole time!
But, I can confirm that the person who started this adventure will not be the same person that finishes it - it's changed me, and continues to change me in ways I hadn't expected. I think in a good way, perhaps not - what's done is done.
One last video...the one I mentioned earlier...sorta sums up why I got into sailing in the first place...
BTW - Thanks for reading and supporting the blog! The Captain and crew really appreciate it!