Gigha and Islay
Escapade of Rame
Richard & Julie Farrington
Wed 22 Jun 2016 21:19
We spent The Longest Day of 2016 at Gigha, in the Sound of Jura. We moved from anchor at Druimyeon Bay to a buoy in Ardminish Bay so that we could get ashore and explore. On arrival there we watched a solo yachtsman in his Rustler 36 struggling to pick up a buoy on his own in winds of around 20 knots, so I set off in the rubber boat to help. Got pretty wet in the process, but that could be us one day...
We then took a weeks worth of washing ashore, onto to find that the facilities were shut for the day. The washing machine appeared available for use, but was accompanied by stern signs requiring the owner to be ‘on site’ before any pesky Yachties touched the controls. So we rang... Just as well really; the thing has a mind of its own, starts with the spin cycle and then tends to shut down halfway through the wash. Needs a washing machine scientist for any sort of result, so we sought alternatives...
The hotel looked promising, but they clearly could not see the commercial opportunity here. Instead, we nodded off over a cup of tea, only to be woken by the sound of a Mr Softee ice cream machine bursting into life in the corner of the room. Clearly descended from the same machine manufacturer resident elsewhere on the island, we sought refuge in the Achamore Gardens.
More success here. Not quite as luxuriant as Tresco or Glengarriff, their faded glory was actually very peaceful and uplifting. The views from the top of the hill above the house (14 bedrooms, £900,000 ono if you are interested) were uplifting and a well placed bench allowed me to complete the sleep so rudely interrupted by the ice cream machine.
Today we sailed from Gigha and enjoyed an excellent early morning reach across to Islay, getting a gentle lift from the tide and the boat thriving in around 15 knots of southerly breeze. We picked up a visitors buoys off the Ardbeg Distillery late morning and ventured ashore to see what all the fuss is about.
Excellent, seafood-based lunch and then a really interesting tour, where we learnt as much about the ebb and flow of the industry and whisky marketing as we did about the nectar itself. Throw in a tasting and (lunch aside) the afternoon’s entertainment cost a princely £5 each. Fantastic. We now own a very expensive bottle, sat in the corner of the saloon daring us to open it...
... and a plan to visit Lagavulin tomorrow on our way to Loch Tarbert on Jura.
Current position is 55:38:3N 6:06.3W