Who turned our tide off?

Our bilges were full of goodies and we were on our way to find our next adventure, whatever that would be. But first thing first, we had to leave Oban Transit marina and go across Oban bay to Kerrera to get fuel. Once that was done, we managed to set our sails so that we could sail down Kerrera Sound. Just as we left the sound, we saw a pod of common dolphins. It was a large family, as there were babies who were so tiny in comparison to the other members in the pod, but the two dolphins I loved the most were a pair of young adolescents, they were so enthusiastic about life. Rather than glide through the water like the adults they jumped, with one of the dolphins jumping so that they were practically standing up. They were clearly having a great time and enjoying them selves.

Meanwhile we were clipping along at 5knots with 2reefs in the main and 2 reefs in the Genoa. Our lean was at 5°, which is quite flat and for cruisers is a nice angle of dangle. Our challenge for the day was for Beverley to go through the sound of Luing, so it was just a case of sailing as much as we could, so that we could achieve our objective. Although we were sailing as we went into the Sound of Luing, Beverley put the engine on so that we had more manoeuvrability. We were also on a neap tide, so we went through at 6knots, which was considerably slower that my passage up which had been at Springs. When you are sailing, you do have to remember that the sea state is dependent on true wind, while your ability to sail is dependent on apparent wind. So for example

With true wind at 15 knots and the speed of the boat at 5 knots then

Going close hauled, into the wind, the apparent wind is 15+5 = 20knots, so it will be very easy to sail

While going down wind, the apparent and is 15-5 = 10knots, so for Salty Lass, that is really marginal for keeping our sails up.

The day was progressing on, so we decided to go to Craobh Marina. On the way there we saw a bait ball with a huge flock of seabirds over the top. Why fish create bait balls, seems daft to me, because the birds love them.

Our entrance into Craobh Marina, went well, for two reasons. There was plenty of light, we had been there before, so we knew where we were going and what we were doing.

We stayed one night in Craobh, so the next day I was on the helm. There was a lot of tacking because the best course was to go between the islands to the North of Craignish point and Craignish point. On one tack I was going with the wind and tide, while on the other tack I was using a technique called lee bowing, where you put the tide on your beam, so that your track is flattened out. It is a technique that we practised out in Belfast loch and can be really useful. My only issue was that I was suffering the tyranny of the corner, which is where you are so set on a particular mark you sail too close to the wind. It is particularly an issue when you are tacking, as you know where you want to go and it is at 90° to where you are actually going.

It was a cracking sail and as helmer there was a lot for me to think about and do. I could of sailed for a long time, but the light was diminishing, so I decided to go to Carsaig Bay.

Raising money for the RNLI

The RNLI turned 200 years old on 4th March 2024. So as sailors and people who promote the joy of sailing, we thought that we would like to raise just £200. What we hope is that other people take up the shout and raise their own £200. In the last 200 years the RNLI have saved over 144,000 lives and yet they are funded entirely by people like you. They are not government funded.

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