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  • Writer's pictureAsha

Kerrera to Easdale to Crinan

Timeline: 4th of October left Kerrera Island and motored to Easdale. 5th of October sailed to Crinan and anchored. 6th of October - moved across and anchored at Crinan Hotel for 3 nights.

We had a great couple of days in Marina Kerrera. From there we took the local miniature ferry and visited Oban for a couple of hours, day dreamed about owning Oban Distillery and visited McCaig's Tower. While in the town, we wanted to visit the music shop where Mark bought the red guitar for me, but unfortunately the shop was gone. We also had the pleasure to met up with Lee AKA Oban Fisher and had great night in the marina's bar.

We left Kerrera Island on a rainy Monday, the 4th of October with two options in mind - overnight stay at Easdale or pushing on for Crinan. We motored down the Kerrera Sound and as the tide turned we decided to bail out at Easdale. The entrance to Easdale is very narrow, and I mean there is no room for error. The port and starboard markers are sitting on rocks with spitways. Maximum attention on the way in and calm enough weather are a must to make it through the tight channel. It was 0.5m after low water as we entered the harbour sticking to the middle of the channel to keep Altor safe. We picked up a visitors' mooring buoy as dropping the anchor is not an option and would end up with dragging or losing it caught on a rock.

We landed on the Easdale Island between rainfalls and made our way through this peculiar place. The unsophisticated architecture is a result of this island's history, as all the rows of one story simple houses were built for the slate miners who were the main, if not only, inhabitants of this island. The shores are full of slates and salty ponds, which are the former quarries. The ponds combined with the more than sufficient supplies of flat stones are the ideal place for the world skimming championships. I would definitely have the chance to occupy the last place in such championships, but Mark is pretty good at this game.

At the end of the walk the rain came back in full force and we sheltered under a roof of one of the houses. It was pouring without any intention to stop so we eventually walked on to the dinghy and rode across to the mainland for a look. Everything looked pretty similar on the other side, except for an open pub but out gear was soaking and our most favourite place for drinks was anchored just a short dinghy ride away so we returned to our floating home.

The following day we dropped the mooring and headed for Crinan. Fortunetely it was an easy exit, as we left around 7.30am in nearly no wind. We had to be at Dorus More no later than 10.30am. The early morning northerly wasn't anything beyond 4 knots of SOG (Speed over Ground) and I though we would need Perkins. Mark decided we would cruise while it's possible and if needed resort to motoring later. We sailed south to gain grounds and then tacked. It worked a treat! With the building breeze we sailed with the tide at a speed of over 6 knots at times! October delivered a beautiful Indian summer's day, with blue skies and gentle weather. The tide was rushing, full of swirling whirlpools, splashing water, and we were able to enjoy the fantastic weather and pleasurable sail. It was amazing that at times there was so little wind that the jib was collapsing or jibing but we were still moving at the same speed and following the chosen course.

With the sun shining Scotland looked like in technicolour. I kept gazing around with admiration at the elaborate landscapes of the beautiful islands around in all the shades of green. We were so lucky to have such a nice, bright day! We arrived at Dorus Mor at 10:04 am and sailed through easily with the tide as it was going slack. On the other side we first though of anchoring of the Crinan Hotel but then decided to sail across to the north to shelter from the northerly wind in Gallanach Bay. What a beautiful anchorage! It was a good choice as we chilled for the rest of the day in the cockpit. Mark might not agree with me on this, as he was working on the next episode of Adventure Now, while I got on with writing, but hey, I feel like this is a permanent holiday!

The following morning the wind changed to southerly so we moved across and dropped the anchor outside the Crinan Hotel. The anchorage which we marked on Navionics last year was occupied so we had to pick another spot. We stayed there for 3 nights making all sorts of magic to summon a bit of coverage, including hoisting Mark's mobile up the mast in a lunch box. It actually worked, to an extent...

It was pretty cool to be back in Crinan, as last year we enjoyed this place so much. This time the weather delivered more rain than the last time, which was really lucky as otherwise we wouldn't be able to embark on a journey through the Crinan Canal, as with low water and Altor's draft we would be sitting in the mud in the Crinan Basin, if we were even allowed in!

McCaig's Tower. This friendly cat followed into the McCaig's Tower and walked with us around the place making the photoshoot so much nicer!

Former slate quarries on Easdale Island.

Easdale (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Èisdeal) is one of the Slate Islands, in the Firth of Lorn, Scotland. Once the centre of the Scottish slate industry, there has been some recent island regeneration by the owners. This is the smallest of the Inner Hebrides' inhabited islands and is "home to traditional white-washed cottages, a small pub and disused slate quarries". One of the latter, filled with water, is used for swimming.

View from Easdale Island.

Pool in a former quarry on Easdale Island.

Leaving Easdale Island on the 5th of October.

5th of October 2021 - sailing from Easdale Island to Crinan.

5th of October 2021 - sailing from Easdale Island to Crinan. View of Scarba Island.

5th of October 2021 - sailing from Easdale Island to Crinan.

5th of October 2021 - sailing from Easdale Island to Crinan. Going through Dorus Mor. The incoming tide sweeps up the Sound of Jura to a dead end in Loch Craignish and is forced out here towards the Firth of Lorn

5th of October 2021 - sailing from Easdale Island to Crinan. Going through Dorus Mor.

Rainbow over Oban - view from Marina Kerrera on the Kerrera Island.

5th of October 2021 - sailing from Easdale Island to Crinan. Going through Dorus Mor.

`Oban - on the way to McCaig's Tower.

View on Oban from Kerrera Island

Having a wee dram in front of Oban distillery.

Sailing from the Sound of Mull to Kerrera.

Castle on the Isle of Mull.

Lighthouses near Oban.

Squalls and rainbows on the way from the Sound of Mull to Kerrera.

On the way from the Sound of Mull to Kerrera.

Oban - on the way to McCaig's Tower.

This cat offered his services as the guide of McCaig's Tower. Very competent and friendly. Highly recommended! ;)

McCaig's Tower, also known as McCaig's Folly, is a prominent tower on Battery Hill overlooking the town of Oban in Argyll, Scotland. It is built of Bonawe granite taken from the quarries across Airds Bay, on Loch Etive, from Muckairn, with a circumference of about 200 metres (660 ft) with two-tiers of 94 lancet arches (44 on the bottom and 50 on top). It is a Grade B Listed historic monument.

The structure was commissioned, at a cost of £5,000 sterling (£500,000 at 2006 prices using GDP deflator), by the wealthy, philanthropic banker (North of Scotland Bank), John Stuart McCaig.

John Stuart McCaig was his own architect. The tower was erected between 1897 and his death, aged 78 from cardiac arrest, on 29 June 1902 at John Square House in Oban.

McCaig's intention was to provide a lasting monument to his family, and provide work for the local stonemasons during the winter months. McCaig was an admirer of Roman and Greek architecture, and had planned for an elaborate structure, based on the Colosseum in Rome. His plans allowed for a museum and art gallery with a central tower to be incorporated. Inside the central tower he planned to commission statues of himself, his siblings and their parents. His death brought an end to construction with only the outer walls completed.[6] Although his will included £1,000 per year for maintenance, the will was disputed by his heirs; their appeal to the court was successful.

Tour guide cat.

McCaig's Tower.

Inside McCaig's Tower.

Beautiful mosaic outside of the houses in Oban.

Inside McCaig's Tower.

2nd of October 2021. Oban early in the morning.

Inside McCaig's Tower.

Inside McCaig's Tower.

View of Oban from McCaig's Tower.

Approaching Oban from the Sound of Mull.

Sunset at Gallanach Bay.


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