55:57.896N 05:54.559W

Madeleine and Martin
Tue 8 May 2012 17:19
Saturday 18.20 Mick and Nikki duly arrived on time at the train terminus in Largs via a whole days cross country train travel via York, Alnwick and Glasgow. Against all the odds the sun was out and we enjoyed a magic evening with a sunset at 9.p.m. Sunday and we were slow up! But we made up or it with a motor to the southern end of the Island of Bute and a walk from Kilkatten Bay. Great views of September anchored in the bay far below. From there we motored in the calm evening into the lowering clouds of East Lochalsh and a night at anchor opposite Tighnabruich in the West Kyle of Lochalsh. Wonderful scenery; great atmosphere. Monday started early. Up at 0600 and on the water by 0630 (Nikki included!) for the run to Ardrishaig and the beginning of the Crinan canal. Finally a good sailing breeze rewarded us for the early start. Arrived at Ardishaig at 1000 as agreed with “Lady Crinan” with whom we had negotiated our passage and a reassurance that there would be sufficient water –“I’ll tell them to bring down extra water from the top”. Nervous entry into the Sea Lock with no less than 12 fenders deployed. 8 Locks later and we are at the summit – no dents but crew suffering severe nervous exhaustion. And then down we went in the unremitting rain aided by the travelling lock keepers and their banter; “ Shall I give it some slack?  Why? Its more than my wife gives me.......”. And so to the non existent space above Lock 14 where somehow we squeezed 55’ into 55’3 and a restful evening. Tuesday. After a total crew effort we exited “the space” and left Crinan en route to the far side of Jura via the notorious Corryvrechan channel (streams at 8.5 knots) and a superb sail down the west coast to Loch Tarbet Jura;  deserted anchorage at the head of the Loch surrounded on all sides by “the wildest and most remote” Jura fells.