Lochboisdale to The Kettle Pool in Loch Skipport

Sun 12 Jun 2016 15:30

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A corner of the Kettle Pool, we took the dinghy ashore and went exploring

Friday was all about getting ready to leave the comfort and facilities of Lochboisdale Marina. We are planning to sail north, up the east coast of the Outer Hebrides stopping at some remote anchorages. We need to be fully fuelled and topped up with water and provisions. Chris promises he will catch mackerel for our supper, but I feel it prudent to have something on stand-by, considering his tally so far in the seven + weeks we've been aboard has been zero! A second trip to the Daliburgh Co-op 4 miles away necessary, especially after a brief stock-take aboard reveals that white wine supplies are running dangerously low! This time I go on the Brompton bike. The very low cloud and threat of rain materialises into a downpour shortly after setting off and then eases but doesn't stop until about 3pm.
Chris has been trying to download some really clever and useful software called Antares onto his iPad, it is a really detailed chart of anchorages and tricky passages so would be really, really great to have.
Chris asked Col, the marina manager if he could use the office desk-top and the two of them tackled the task together. After an hour or so without success, Steve, a marine electrician joined them and the three of them spent another hour or two on the problem, before finally, and reluctantly admitting defeat. We set off at about 3.30 for the 3 hour sail to Loch Skipport, only to get a call on VHF channel 16 from Col, Steve had sussed it and if we wanted to return it could easily be achieved. Back we went, fenders and warps, which had been stowed were replaced, Chris leapt ashore clutching his iPad, I made tea. It didn't work.
The motor up to Loch Skipport was quiet and uneventful, nice to be back at sea, very light wind, lots of seals and sea-birds, very low cloud, flat calm water, eerily beautiful.
On arriving at the entrance to Loch Skipport, Chris cast his fishing line and low and behold, two mackerel, he was delighted, that's supper for Saturday sorted as I was already cooking chicken for Friday's meal.
We ventured on into the Kettle Pool, one of several enclosed anchorages in Loch Skipport; beautiful, very sheltered and deserted, dropped anchor, seemed to be holding well, Chris then caught a brown trout! (a bit small so put back).

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There has to be a lot of fish out there to keep him insulated

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Bliss, lying quietly at anchor in Kettle Pool

Saturday morning we woke to mild, cloudy weather. We swam off back of boat, no costumes necessary as no other boats to be seen, very brief emersion as water very cold, invigorating!!
After breakfast we took the dinghy out to explore our pool, got quite close to a seal, and found a little rocky inlet where we managed to land the dinghy and clamber ashore. We walked and climbed for an hour or so amongst the hills, managing to get high enough to look back to the reassuring sight of Bliss lying quietly on her anchor. Our first really good night at anchor, and the first time we have left the boat unattended lying at anchor, feels quite satisfying.