• Mark

Six minutes of pure heaven (which actually involved Mark)

It seemed like the right time to leave Lowlandman's Bay on Jura. It was a perfectly safe haven as an anchorage but it didn’t let us set foot on land. Our first attempt to make it to shore in the dinghy ended up with engine failure and a tough row back up wind in a force 5. Thankfully Mark manned up and did the hard work, otherwise we would still be sitting on the dangerous rocky shore of Jura that we were being blown towards. After fixing the engine, we made a second attempt but didn't land then either as the waterfront was a dense blanket of seaweed covering sharp rocks, hospitable only to the large population of seals and their pups who eyed us suspiciously as we drew near. I think they had become used to the apparent extinction of humans and looked disappointed to see us back! We decided to try somewhere else to land but the heavy rain that now shrouded the mountain and was making its way towards us forced us to retreat to the safety of Altor.


The departure the following day was an easy one, the anchorage had been a perfect place for the hairy one to raise numerous glasses of Jura to Jura but Jura didn't reciprocate the friendliness by allowing us to land so I didn't feel any of the longing that I felt when we left Newtown on the Isle of Wight. We had a lovely sail north up the Sound of Jura, as Mark wrote yesterday, and the arrival in Crinan was the cherry on the cake. It was like landing in the hugging arms of a dear friend. Everything was perfect, from the picturesque landscape, the lovely warm evening and the easy dinghy landing on the jetty beside Crinan boatyard.


Evening walk along the Crinan Canal, Crinan.


At dusk, which at this time of year falls around 10pm, we decided to set our feet on land in search of 4G coverage. We found not only that but also an open bathroom with a shower in the back of an old boat shed! Initially we decided on a shower the next day and continued on our walk to the Crinan Canal basin by the Crinan Hotel and then along the canal. However, the idea of having a hot shower and going to bed clean was alive in our heads and we quickly rescheduled our shower to there and then! We turned around and walked back towards the bathroom with the idea of showering without soap if there wasn’t any in there and drying with a bit of clothing.


Upon arrival a quick survey revealed that it was 2 pounds per 6 minutes of hot water and since we didn't have any money on us we reverted to the ‘next day’ shower idea. While walking back to the dingy we discovered a fresh water tap and jumped on the opportunity of filling up the tanks on Altor so while I stayed on the jetty and updated our Instagram, Mark rushed back to the boat for the jerry cans. After a few minutes he returned proudly presenting a bottle of shampoo, a towel and six one pound coins. Yes! A shower was about to happen but Mark warned me of the regular disappointments that can be boat yard or marina showers so what would we get? We read the instructions carefully, inserted two pounds, stripped and stepped into the only shower cubicle together. The water ran fast and hot! Yes! We quickly turned the temperature down to keep our skin intact! From then on it was the best six minutes since our showers in Ramsgate marina three months ago! We stood in the blissful streams of hot water in this dubious old boat shed, shampooing hair and skin alike. Soap is soap, right? Six minutes of absolute heaven! Amazing how precious a shower can be. Such a treat to be able to stand in a shower without turning it off during the soaping process in order to save water. Refreshed, clean, hot and very happy we returned to Altor. What a treat, sometimes it is the simplest of things!


Here it is - bathroom at the back of the boat shed :)


That's where it all happened ;)

Coffee shop was unfortunately closed, but the view spectacular as always.


Crinan Canal


Evening walk along the Crinan Canal


Old puffer


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