• Mark

Downing tools!

Ahh, it’s the weekend!!! That’s not something I have thought about for a very long time. Over the last few years, if I have thought about it at all it is usually in a negative way because it’s always busier at the weekends when most people are not at work! During my long term mid life crisis of ‘Adventure Now’ I have come to prefer week days for the very reason that everywhere is quieter with people dutifully putting their time into their place of work. Living aboard with Asha has changed that for me. She has a full time job and, fair play to her, she is very disciplined with her working hours. What this means for me is that vicariously I now appreciate weekends once again. I know that I can’t expect Asha’s full attention during the working week. No matter how much fuss or attention seeking I can muster, she won’t budge or down tools. She has a good work ethic and I have come to accept that and, in some ways, restore some weekend order in my own life. Now I work (albeit unpaid) full time Monday to Friday. The work is varied to say the least but the common denominator is that it always involves getting a tool out. In fact, I haven't had a tool in my hand as often as I do now since I was 13 or 14. I’m always at it. Banging or screwing away at something and Altor never stops wanting more. Honestly, the two ladies in my life are indeed a full time occupation! So, come the weekend, I too try to give myself time off. Asha does allow this but there is never a guarantee that Altor will. Today was different.

It’s Saturday so we had a very lazy lay in. This was great because it coincided with the tide going the wrong way in the Sound of Jura. After a very leisurely start and me leaving my tool (s) alone we had a lovely lunch whilst marvelling at the dramatic view in every direction from our position in the middle of Lowlandman’s Bay. At 15.00 (ish) we upped anchor and sailed out of the bay to join the north going tide. As we joined the Sound we were adjacent to another yacht. The race was on! I tried to explain to Asha that whilst some ladies have this bizarre racing streak within them, if you are born with some extra material ‘hanging’ about then every situation like this is a race! The guy on the other boat knew it and I knew it! We raced up the sound of Jura for ten miles or so and we were very evenly matched until he pulled away from us. This was because of the following:

1) He had more wind than us.

2) He had more sail up than us.

3) He had more tide with him than us.

4) He probably started his engine.

5) He was nudged along by an amorous whale jabbing at his rear end.

6) Any other plausible or implausible reason I can possibly think of if you can give me just a few more seconds.

Ok, OK, whatever! He was just a little bit faster but I don't want to talk about it ANY MORE!

Anyway, we had another wonderful sail. We decided to practice a nice little discipline and we sailed into the anchorage at Crinan without the engine on. We rolled the sail away to nothing when we were approaching our spot, drifted until we had almost stopped and dropped the anchor. Lovely. No engine required and here we are anchored off the Crinan Hotel. This is where the Crinan canal either starts or finishes, depending on your direction of travel, and it’s a wonderful, pretty, glorious place. We have had a fantastic couple of days sailing up the Sound of Jura. I have celebrated that fact by a factor of one bottle and now we are at the gem that is Crinan. It is a beautiful spot, dinner is on, I’m not cooking, there is still whisky in the bottle and it’s the weekend! Happy Days!!!!!


Here we are sailing towards Crinan


The scenery is stunning!


How can this spot not be a favourite. It can't not be and it is!



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