Jen and I travelled up to Oban for a family holiday on Sat 17th. The rest of the Masterton clan had already spent a week or so in Oban so we didn't hang around, and the next morning we were on our way to Loch Aline, on the Sound of Mull.
Loch Aline is a lovely place, but the entrance can get very shallow towards low water. We crept in close to low water, relying largely upon our GPS unit and depth gauge. Once anchored off, we stayed overnight.
The next morning, we left for Loch Drambuie, which is at the north east entrance to the Sound of Mull, where we stayed overnight.
We woke up reasonably early, aware that we were planning a few extra miles compared to the previous days' sailing. We made a temporary stop at Staffa for a visit to Fingal's Cave. Anchoring off Staffa isn't great at the best of times, so we left a good crew on board, but even getting our dinghy ashore proved interesting! Fingal's Cave is a sea cave that is formed entirely from hexagonally jointed basalt columns, similar in structure to the Giant's Causeway. Its size and naturally arched roof, and the eerie sounds produced by the echoes of waves, give it the atmosphere of a natural cathedral. After our sight-seeing tour, we proceeded to Bunessan, a small village on the Ross of Mull.
The next morning we headed to a little anchorage that Jen and I discovered on a previous western isles holiday; namely Rbh' Ardnanish. This little rock pool is an ideal anchorage and although a bit scary to venture into with a big boat, once you've got the hook over, you get the pleasure of some great snorkeling!
We stayed at Rbh' Ardnanish overnight and then proceded to Pulladobhran. Pulladobhran is one of those anchorages that seems to demand a disproportionate number of vistors. Some of the crew decided to blow up the dinghy and head ashore to visit the so-called "Bridge over the Atlantic" (in truth over the Clachan Sound). The bridge, built in 1791 with uncertain influences from Thomas Telford, is a very beautiful hump-backed stone structure which is worth a look and a photograph, and the pub is certainly cosy, jolly and fun, and there is good food too. There is a wonderful old wooden bench around the bar, perfect for sitting and leaning on the bar and drinking their real ales.
Sadly, after Pulladobhran, it was time to return to Oban for the next part of our sailing holiday.