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0013 - Mallaig to Balamory, Tobermory

Leaving Mallaig feeling fresh and fully stocked with supplies, we decided to go somewhere with a bit of colour...we've set our sights on Tobermory. For those of you who have never heard of it, Tobermory was once the set of a British Children's TV Show called "Balamory". And, just so you can see how completely awful it was, here is a video of the opening credits I found - Brace yourselves for something truly cringe-worthy - Although, I do believe it was hugely popular with children... I think they still show the re-runs on TV in this country.

I've put this video at the top of the article, so you know what to expect by the time you get to the bottom of the page, when we arrive....the similarities are quite striking!

Anyway, on with the story...

We left Mallaig at about 10 am - there was not a gust of wind to be had - we'll probably not be getting the sails up today, but loaded up with cheap fuel - we're not concerned about such things! We are leaving this area as there's some fairly nasty weather heading our way, and we're going to use Tobermory for shelter, they are predicting winds of 40-50 kts, not the kind of weather we want to be out in and Mallaig will be quite exposed, so off we go.

Leaving the harbour was pretty straightforward, although just as we left the dock, a ferry decided it was also going to leave, so we had to just float in the harbour for a few minutes till the coast was clear. Then, once we had the all-clear yet another ferry decided it was going to come in at exactly the moment we were leaving, we had to gun the engine to make sure we were well clear, these things can't and won't stop for a small boat like us! - as I said - this is a busy little place!

Once we were a good distance away from the Harbour - Everything that had happened to us over the past few days, all the hate, all the negativity and all the struggle melted away in face of completely epic views - the water was as smooth and as peaceful as you can possibly imagine, I just couldn't stop staring - It just kept coming, and coming.

This planet, right now is going crazy, but the world doesn't care about any of that - I've said it before - Life doesn't care about hate, negativity, COVID-19 or if you're tired, alone and scared - it just knows if you showed up - and we're showing up - every day baby!

I slowed the engine down as I felt we were passing it all too quickly - I don't know when I'll be back here - if ever - It was just so freaking beautiful. It's hard to imagine how such beauty exists amidst all the madness that's going on - and we never really get to see this stuff - you get locked into watching the news, programmed to fear everything - told to work, and work some more - keep your shoulder to the wheel - work hard and you can make - but so very few do.

You can live your entire life and never see this stuff - and I'm so thankful and happy that I get to share this stuff - If I didn't share it, I would feel greedy and selfish for keeping it all to myself - I feel like y'all have to know what out here - it's just magical - I know how that sound's, but itit'ss true - it's like a big secret!

As we kept on going we could see the Point of Ardnamurchan coming up on our port side, I tried to get the crew on deck to see all this, but they just wanted to sleep and couldn't have cared less about the scenery...cats huh?

We were getting closer and closer to Point of Ardnamurchan and this point is marked with a lighthouse that bears the same unpronounceable name, it kinda became a focal-point as once we were past it - I suspected the scenery was about to take another dramatic change, I couldn't wait to see what was around the corner - I was so excited.

This is why I don't care about those people who say mean things, or try to make my/our lives more difficult than they already are - these people have no idea what I go through, what we endure to get to these places - and then when we get somewhere - all they have to say is mean things, and they don't even know anything about me/us. I was standing outside the co-op (a supermarket) talking to an actual nice person, just having a regular conversation and I had revealed that I was, in fact, an American - this old dude pipes up and says ALL Americans have weird first names - My name is David....ffs I haven't checked, but I'm pretty sure there are plenty of Scottish people called David, no doubt quite a few in that very town, just such an unnecessary comment, I mean I did just turn it all around and make a joke out of his comments - but that clearly wasn't the reaction he was looking're going to have to work harder than that old man.


The lighthouse was getting closer and closer, and then we passed it little by little as there was quite a strong current flowing around the point - but we're doing it!

Once we passed Point of Ardnamurchan Lighthouse we only had 10nm to go, and the scenery, as expected, changed to something I hadn't expected - it was wonderful, there was a current in the water but it slowed as we rounded the lighthouse and I eased back on the throttle again to slow us down - you have to make the most of these moments during the time of these moments - Sometimes I feel like they just pass us by too quickly.

I could see another lighthouse in the distance, this one at the far end of Bloody Bay, and just around the corner is Tobermory, our final destination for the day - the place where we would be staying for a few days to shelter from the storm that was coming straight towards us from the South, it's expected to hit in the next 24hrs. As we went down this loch everywhere you looked it was just stunning, every inch of it, I would put the camera down and two seconds later find myself picking right back up again. Its just such an engaging landscape - I just couldn't help but stare at it.

Now only 1.5nm away from Tobermory - we approached Rubha Nan Gall Lighthouse at the end of Bloody Bay, there's just one more corner to go! It had started raining about an hour before, but to be honest, up until this point I hadn't even felt it - I was just so distracted by everything around me - But, by now it was almost 7pm and the temperature had already dropped a few degrees, and I was beginning to feel the chill in the air - but we were almost there!

I had watched that silly Ballamory video and half expected the place to a run-down film set, but I really didn't know what to expect - I was about to find out.

I was quite surprised to see all the elements that I had seen in that silly video, the ferry, the boats, and all the multicoloured houses and shops - it was all there. It was raining and it was getting hard to keep water off of the lens of the camera. I weaved our boat through all the boats swinging on moorings and slowly and quietly made our way to the pontoon.

I had called earlier and found that this place was quite relaxed, I was told just to take whatever berth I wanted from what was available - So I took a quiet berth next to the trees and got the boat secured to the pontoon. No sooner were we tied than the girls decided to wake up and check out the new place! I think they liked it, as even though it was raining they still went topside to have a peek. Phoebe did her usual patrol around the deck and back to her bed, Chloe decided to stay keep watch from under the dodger

Everything was fine, but the next morning I would move the boat to one of the inner fingers of the pontoon, for both better protection from the swell and also to keep away from all the inexperienced sailors who seemed to come into the harbour way too fast, and all with 5+ members of crew all hanging about on deck with ropes in their hand and still managing to bang into other boats - and after a few too many close calls with these people I figured it would be best to be off on our own.

We all have to learn somewhere, and before I was me - I was them, so certain allowances must be made for learners, perhaps the charter companies don't mind scratches on their boats - but I don't need any more on mine!

I found out later that Oban, which is about 20nm away has a large yacht charter base and that's where these yachts were coming from, plus they sat up all night drinking and making a lot of noise and were disturbing my crew - rather than complain, it was just easier just to move our home, I don't wanna bogart their good time, and they were having a good time! As an extra benefit, being closer to the main office, we're able to get an excellent Wi-Fi signal.

We've yet to decide our next location, but for now, we're going to have to stay here for a few days until the weather passes... I hope the locals are better behaved, this place seemed to be quite civilized - we shall see - but I think the worst is behind us!


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