Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Island of Kerrera

I decided to circumnavigate the Island of Kerrera for my the first open sea voyage in The Gurnard. Kerrera is just off the coast from Oban and although there are tidal flows in the area, they are not nearly as strong as some to the south. It was a calm morning and I had the boat on the plane.. but cruising along peacefully.

Soon I was passing Maiden Island at the entrance to Oban Bay. Legend has it that it is so named because a young girl had been accused of a crime. She was tied to a rock at low tide .. her punishment being death by drowning .. when the tide came in. I guess we were not always the mamby pamby country we are now, where even mass murderers seem to be treated well for their crimes ?

Heading down the seaward side of Kerrera, I dodged the many huge clumps of seaweed floating on top of the water. I also noticed that the warm spell of weather had brought a load of jellyfish with it. The Island of Mull didn't seem too far across the Firth of Lorne and I wondered about crossing to visit it but decided to wait a while to see how reliable my new set up was. The engine ran very evenly and seemed happy enough. I also had my auxilliary 3.3 Mariner outboard with me just in case of engine problems but still though it better to keep to the coast, until the main engine had proved itself.

I navigate with my OS maps as Im not investing in any nautical charts at present. I research tidal flows and hidden reefs on the internet before going on a trip anywhere new. I passed the caves shown of the OS map on the west of Kerrera, so knew exactly where I was. I wished I had my fish finder fitted to the boat as it keeps me informed of the depth of water that Im in, but I didnt expect and surprise rocks in this area. I intend installing the fish finder very soon.

It didn't take long at planing speed before Bach Island came into view. This Island is off the south west point of Kerrera so I knew that I had almost travelled the full length of the what seemed minutes rather than hours at displacement speeds of my other boats.

I dont know of any legends of fair maidens tied to Bach Island. Its just a flat uninteresting lump of rock in the sea. However I though I could hear someone bleating in the distance ? Then I spied some ferral goats on Kerrera. The remote islands of Scotland appear to be full of wild goats ?

I had wondered if there would be a bit of a chop on the sea between Back Island and Kerrera as the tide must cause a bit of a flow here and if the wind is blowing against tide.. it could turn a bit rough. However, all was as still as a mill pond when I rounded the point.

To be continued ...

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