Monach Islands to Castlebay
I am officially a wus! I couldn't settle yesterday, I felt jittery and just a bit anxious. Not so much that we were spending our first night at anchor, it was more that if things went wrong there was no bolt hole we could run to. The routes through to the west side of the Outer Hebrides are tricky, and quite a long way from where we were planning to spend the night, we sailed 45 miles yesterday and 45 miles again today in good conditions, that's nearly 9 hours sailing each day, there was nowhere that we passed where we could have taken shelter had we needed to. When we arrived and dropped anchor in the Monachs, the boat held, and we were sheltered from the Atlantic swell, but these isles are low and the we were fully exposed to the North-easterly that was whistling through at about 20 knots, so we didn't feel confident about leaving the boat to go ashore. We had studied the forecast, were confident that we would be fine, but, on reflection, I'm not sure it was the best decision, hey-ho, we were fine, put it down to experience.
I think that churning feeling finally went as we sailed into Castlebay on Barra at 5pm this afternoon. Chris has had to put up with a slightly cranky, quieter than normal crew, maybe that was a bonus! Full voice resumed as we arrived and picked up a mooring in this sunny, fabulous corner of the Hebrides. Took the dinghy ashore and I went for a run, good to feel solid ground beneath my feet. As is normal for these parts, no mobile signal, no wifi. The Castlebay Hotel provided wifi and beer, looking out from the hotel we had a fantastic view of the bay, and the castle which sits out in the middle of the bay, clear blue sky, calm, clear water, you would never have guessed that this is part of the Outer Hebrides "the yachtsman's graveyard"!
Next evening........ Just to clarify, the yachtsman's graveyard doesn't apply to all of the Outer Hebrides, just a bit ; Washington's Reef is what it refers to, not far from here, and we did have to sail past it!