Over the Sea to Skye at 57.20n and 6.23w

Restless of Auckland
Roland and Consie Lennox-King
Sat 4 Aug 2007 21:46
We are now in Scotland, having sailed over 5,000 n miles this year; the last entry was from Lymington, at last we got to famous Friday night at Chequers Bar, where we bumped into many ex-Hong Kong friends. Roland raced with Jenks in a Swan on the Cowes Round the Island Race together with 1800 other boats, they hit the famous Vavassi wreck and took a bite out of the keel, and still came 4th in their class!  
We took Restless over to Cowes to be mothership for the Etchell World Championships, and Roland raced with Bill and Jenks and they did quite well although they were 30 kgs underweight, which makes a big difference in stormy rainy weather, 2 days were cancelled because of gale force winds. We returned to Lymington and had a dock party, and nearly 30 people came. We stayed a week in the marina because of gales and were overwhelmed with hospitality from old friends.  Pat, Keir, and 15 year old Alasdair joined us and we set off for Falmouth on 7 July where we caught up briefly with uncle Jack, auntie Betty, Lizzie and her girls in Falmouth. We set off for Oban, Scotland, and sailed straight into a gale off Lands End; it was Alasdair's first time sailing. We hove-to for a few hours then went into Milford Haven, Wales, for a few hours rest.
We continued north up the Irish Sea to Scotland, reaching Oban on Friday 13th, in time to register for the Classic Malts Cruise. This started off with whisky tasting at the Oban distillery, a ceilidh (dance), and at the end of the evening a bagpipe band led us down to the wharf. The next morning there was a parade of sail around the bay, and 90 boats set off north for the second distillery, Talisker on the island of Skye, stopping in many lochs and bays along the way. We at last managed to shake free of our wet weather gear and had some glorious weather in magic spots on almost uninhabited islands, seeing many deer, puffins, seals, some basking sharks, dolphins, and wild ponies. More whisky nosing and tasting at Talisker, and a real Scottish meal: haggis, lamb stovies, neeps and tatties, Scottish venison stew and ginger pudding, followed by another ceilidh. We made friends with many of the other crew as we stomped all over each others feet dancing the Dashing White Sargeant, Strip the Willow, and Gay Gordons. The boats came south again to the Lagavulin distillery on 26th July, where we had the last ceilidh and more nosings and tastings, wonderful Scottish salmon and seafood, and farewell to our new friends. We sailed round to Loch Craignish and Ardfern Yacht Centre, where we said goodbye to Pat, Keir and Alasdair and were joined by Alan and Fiona, who will be with us for 10 days cruising around this area that they know so well.
We have already sailed over 500 miles around Scotland, and will be here for the rest of the summer, so hope to see some of you if you are around. Gil is working on a sailing yacht in the Mediterranean, and Livi has just moved to Hong Kong.