Escapade's Scottish Adventure

Escapade of Rame
Richard & Julie Farrington
Tue 21 Jun 2016 12:24
After a couple of essential admin days on the buoy in Portsmouth, we made our way down the Solent on 15 June and after a surprisingly eventful beat to windward, came to anchor in the lee of Hurst Castle to await a favourable tide and a wind shift. 
Early on 16 June we exited the Solent through the Needles Channel and beat into a gentle westerly for 24 hours, reaching Falmouth without incident on Friday 17th.  No room at the inn – a combination of Falmouth Classic Week and a Sea Shanty festival meant that every alongside berth and visitors buoy was taken, so we anchored off Customs Quay for 24 hours and watched the classic beauties see how close they could get to scraping our anchor cable!
We replenished gas, water and fuel at the Premier Marina on Saturday morning and at lunchtime set off for a non-stop transit to the Western Isles.  Glorious sunshine, but the wind still rather on the nose, forcing us to tack into Mounts Bay and then motor-sail close in under the cliffs at the Minack Theatre before finally freeing off at the Longships in the evening. 
Overnight, not that much breeze, but by Sunday morning the forecast Southerly Force 7 was starting to build.
We gradually reduced sail during the course of Sunday to something that a Mirror dinghy would have been proud of, with boat speed never dropping below 7 knots.  Big seas in the St Georges Channel, but by nightfall the winds were staring to ease and occasionally shift into the SW.
Dawn off Dublin, the tide underneath us and a more westerly component in the wind gave us a fast passage up to the Ards peninsula by lunchtime.  We hardened up in the North Channel and got enough of a boost from the tide to reach the Mull of Kintyre at 1800, just as the tide turned against us.
We punched into a strengthening spring tide and feeble winds close into the Mull, past Macrihanish (scene of many an RAF Officer’s career demise) and finally to anchor at the Isle of Gigha in the Sound of Jura at sunset on Monday 20 June.
So ends the first chapter...