Pressing the distress button

Our journey continues around the Firth of Clyde, taking our time for us it is the only way to go.

We were in Lochranza which is at the top of Arran, there they operate an honesty box, so we went ashore to pay the fee. There is not much to see at Lochranza, just a castle, but we walked around it looking at the anchorage, which is too small, because with all the mooring balls around it, then it is quite difficult to make sure that you have put the anchor down in an area that does not have an old mooring of other ground tackle that could snag your anchor.

The next day, we motored over to Portavadie, this has been somewhere that I have been wanting to go because of its infinity pool. However when we arrived it was closed, so it would have to be the next day that I could try it out. While we were motoring over I tried to answer a DSC call without my glasses. So I saw a word that looked like dismiss, so I pressed it. It was actually the distress button, oh hang your head in shame. I now know that I have to press that button for the count of 5 and the distress signal would be pressed. Not the greatest way of learning. but certainly something that I will not forget in a hurry.

Once we were in Portavadie, we inspected the circuit board of the depth gauge, just in case there was something that we could see easily, we have fixed a computer by removing a salt crystal and we were hoping that our issue could be fixed very easily. Unfortunately, this was not the case so we contacted various forums and people we know so that we could find a solution. One solution that came up was back in Liverpool, so seeing as we will be going there after this trip then this was the one we chose to follow, it would mean that we would have no depth gauge for this trip, but we will just have to learn and adapt.

The next day, I went to check out the infinity pool and it was crowded. The pool had set strict limits on the number of people in the pool system at any one time, but they were all in the infinity pool. On top of that the view was just shrouded in mist, I had in my mind this Instagram picture with my back to the camera as I look out at this fantastic view, but the view was in mist and there would be other people in the shot and that is just not what I want, I know I could fake it to some extent, but realistically you want to remember the feeling too and being crammed into a small pool with lots of other people is just not what I want to remember, so as far as I am concerned, a complete bust. Although Portavadie is a great little marina, it lacks the charm of Port Tarbert which is just across the loch from Portavadie. While we were there we filled up with diesel and got some gas.

Once that was all done we sailed around the corner to the Kames Hotel, where they have free mooring, we stayed there for two nights having a meal on the second night. The moorings are free to use, which is great, they would like you to be a patron, but there was no pressure. It was a relaxed feeling and that is what you want. Having the lack of pressure meant that we could get on with a few jobs like cleaning Salty Lass's bottom, cleaning the port locker and going over to Tighnabruaich to get a few bits and bobs. Even though we were in Salty Sausage for the trip, it was great to get out on the water and have some fun.

The next day we decided to venture on up the Kyles of Bute, looking at a wee natural harbour at Caladh Harbour which looks fantastic, but without a working depth gauge we decided against it and went for the moorings at Colintraive. These were £20 for the night of £10 for the night plus a meal, so we decided to go on to Rothesay. There would be dearer, but at least we would be close to shops where we could buy stuff like toilet roll and we would have electricity, which worked out really well as I had a client call just as I came into Rothesay, so I had to leave Beverley to sort out Salty Lass while I worked.

On the way down to Rothesay, I practiced sailing down wind, I still need more practice on this but in essence, I need to turn the boat so that I am more on a training run. More work here I feel, but I should have all summer to sort that one out.

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