Port Appin – Dunstaffanange

Whinchat moored at Port Appin
Whinchat moored at Port Appin

Port Appin –  Dunstaffanage

??!!  I can’t recall – we motored so didn’t really pay attention…

8 NM (885 cumulative NM) 

We were on a mission to get to Dunstaffanage in order to prepare Whinchat to be left for 3 weeks, and also sort ourselves out.  There isn’t much to report about the day, except the mooring…

It has to be one of the most stressful that I’ve experienced on this trip.

We know that there are strong tidal flows.  It was windy.  We were given a different berth, and because of the combo of wind/tide, Pete decided to reverse in.  He was using a technique called ‘ferry gliding’ which we’d been through in October when we had an instructor on board for a day… and this was it in anger!  It was very controlled, but it took four attempts to get us in the berth.

The first attempt, the wind gusted at ‘just the wrong’ point so the bow was pushed around and Pete had to make a rapid fire forwards movement to avoid parking on the neighbouring boat.

The second attempt, a little closer, but the wind gusted at another inconvenient point, meaning that we mounted the finger pontoon (Pete had no idea of this until after we’d tied up), and I couldn’t fend off.  Out again.

The third attempt, I got ashore, but I’m not sure what happened, but Pete had to drive off, leaving me on the pontoon with him shouting “drop the line” and me shouting back “the trailing rope – mind the prop”… as he had to dive to recover the line as Whinchat drifted down under the tide.

Fourth time lucky – Pete had to recover me from the end of the pontoon first – and the last time at least we managed to get into the berth, albeit a long way from the edge, so I was having to sweat the boat in…. first the bow, then the stern, then the midships… each time getting a little closer before having to rush and adjust the bow, etc etc.  I was exhausted by the time Pete got ashore, when he saw the scratch on Whinchat’s hull… “What happened there?” he cried…. “We munched the pontoon…” I explained.

Still, we were all good.  All secure.  Not going anywhere for 16 days.

We left later that afternoon to head home.  How strange did it feel to walk away?  Very.  A mix of things.  I’m excited about what’s coming up.  A couple of days in London, Mum coming to stay and then 10 days in Uganda with my old friend Karen…. Life is going to be exciting, in a good and different way!