On Sunday August 27th, 2017, we left our mooring at Tayvallich to head south and then north again to Crinan. We had chosen to return to Crinan to leave Milo on a mooring there in the boatyard as it was well sheltered from South Westerlies and would be a convenient place for Andrew and his family to rendezvous with us when we returned in three weeks’ time.
Mooring at Crinan Boatyard looking north west to the Corryvrecken. Our passage from Tayvallich, the Seal Lock and Crinan Basin at night & Rosamund in the tender ready to go
We were extremely impressed with the kindness of the Crinan locals. We were nearly out of cash and did not have enough for our bus fare to Glasgow airport and John Dunlop, owner of the boatyard lent Rosamund £100 – just like that. On the bus when we missed our CityLink bus at Lochgilphead. The No 426 busdriver, after trying to arrange a taxi for us offered to take us all the way to Inverary to catch up the CityLink bus that had a 10 minute wait there – this was over 20 miles away – it was a real Hogwart’s Express type journey with us hanging on tightly as he speedily negotiated the bends in the road that followed the coastal profile of Loch Fyne. Could this have ever happened in England – Not likely! Thanks to these generous acts Ian caught his flight back to Bristol, while Ros returned to Edinburgh to look after the grandchildren for a while.
The home trip for Ian was a significant one – he was having his final two days at Brunel University London on the 30-31 August with a last supper as his digs in Palmers Moor House, Iver on the 30th and his final retirement ‘do’ at Brunel on the 31st. Rosamund had had her final day at Bristol on July 31, 2017. The next two weeks were meant to be set aside for Ian’s first of 8 quarterly maintenance therapy sessions, followed by getting the house back into some sort of order after a summer of sailing. But Ian had to have 3 days in bed following his therapy to help his back recover from lifting too heavy suitcases on and off the boat at Crinan – with recovery slow due to his challenged immune system. But by 14th September with his back nearly better Ian returned to Crinan to get the boat ready for our visitors for the Edinburgh Bank Holiday weekend.
When he arrived, he found Milo exposed to Northerly force 4-6 winds with 1.3m waves driving into Crinan Boatyard bay. Apart from finding it very difficult to row out to Milo against the wind and waves and difficult to get on and off the boat with it pitching so wildly, he spent a very uncomfortable night with fitful sleep. The next morning, he decided to slip the mooring and take Milo into Crinan harbour. He radioed ahead to the lock keepers to inform them that he was sailing round single handed and they very kindly helped with the mooring warps. Wow, what a contrast when he was finally berthed in the basin – what peace – celebrated with a bacon buttie and coffee at The Coffee Shop by the harbour and so close to Milo that she could pick up their WiFi on board. Later he settled up with the Crinan Boatyard. Derek said there would be no charge for the work replacing the shower lead as it was not quite right. Ian found John Dunlop down by “Old Reekie” , a Puffer he was doing up, and paid him back the £100. He said he’d put it toward the Puffer fund. Later still we met him again and he admitted that he had no idea why I was paying him £100. Seeing Rosamund reminded him!
View from The Coffee Shop adjacent to Crinan Harbour Basin showing Milo’s berth in the distance.
The Crew, Rosamund, Andrew, Rebecca, Hugh, Percy and Skye all arrived at 7:30 in the evening in time for a delicious meal at the Crinan Hotel. There was so much luggage to transfer that it was impossible to imagine how the evening would have turned out if we were still on the mooring.