Thursday, 11 June 2015

A walk round Great Cumbrae

Having had such a great sailing trip we decided to have a change and go for a walk on the island of Great Cumbrae. A scorcher of a day, we caught the ferry and set off - it was magical........I am just going to post the pictures.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Three day trip around Bute

We have just completed a three day trip around Bute. Monday 8th June to Wednesday 10th June.
Winds about Force 2 or 3 and lots of sunshine. This is Scotland at its best!
Picture postcard blue skies, sparkling seas and very gentle sailing.
We sailed from Largs to Portavadie on Bute, via the Cumbrae Islands and the Cock of Arran, up Loch Fyne to Portavadie on the first day. The second day from Portavadie up the West Kyle of Bute and then past the Burnt Islands and down the East Kyle to Port Bannatyne on the other side of Bute. The third day took us back across the Firth of Clyde around Little Cumbrae into Largs.

This was ideal sailing conditions and warm days but cold nights. We had supper outside for the first time when we got back to Largs.

I can't believe we have had such a good trip so early on. Let's hope the summer will be good and we can do some more .I'll post some pictures later and I promise to learn some basic editing to tidy up the videos!!

Tomorrow we hope to go walking on Great Cumbrae island.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Glasgow - an urban experience

The weather forecast for today was foul - wind and rain all day

We opted to take the train to Glasgow -
where the weather was also foul but less critical.

What a place full of wonders! we saw some great wall art

A church with a cash machine and a neon flashing OPEN sign

We walked up to the cathedral and found the Glasgow Necropolis, with amazing monuments, mausoleums and headstones

 From where we got a great view of the Cathedral and shamelessly took a selfie

Inside the Cathedral were some beautiful stain glass windows - I particularly liked the fisherman hugging a fish.

Also everywhere in the Cathedral, founded by St Mungo, were images of a fish with a ring in its mouth - I looked it up and this is what it said on Wikipedia

In the 'Life of Saint Mungo', he performed four miracles in Glasgow. The following verse is used to remember Mungo's four miracles:
Here is the bird that never flew
Here is the tree that never grew
Here is the bell that never rang
Here is the fish that never swam
The verses refer to the following:
  • The Bird — Mungo restored life to a robin, that had been killed by some of his classmates.
  • The Tree — Mungo had been left in charge of a fire in Saint Serf's monastery. He fell asleep and the fire went out. Taking a hazel branch, he restarted the fire.
  • The Bell — the bell is thought to have been brought by Mungo from Rome. It was said to have been used in services and to mourn the deceased. The original bell no longer exists, and a replacement, created in the 1640s, is now on display in Glasgow.
  • The Fish — refers to the story about Queen Languoreth of Strathclyde who was suspected of infidelity by her husband. King Riderch demanded to see her ring, which he claimed she had given to her lover. In reality the King had thrown it into the River Clyde. Faced with execution she appealed for help to Mungo, who ordered a messenger to catch a fish in the river. On opening the fish, the ring was miraculously found inside, which allowed the Queen to clear her name.

After a lovely salad and copious amounts of coffee and hot chocolate we walked the mile or so to the Scotland Street School Museum a building designed by Charles Rennie Macintosh and now a museum to him and to early 20th century schooling. All those tiles and desks and blackboards brought memories flooding back for both Hilary and me. The building is a stunning bit of architecture both inside and out.

We arrived back tired but happy to a still windy and rainy Largs.
Bacon and eggs for supper!

Friday, 5 June 2015

Getting too cocky

On the strength of yesterdays great sail we decided to go out again today. The forecast in the morning was rain so I sat in and repaired the mainsail. We headed out after lunch it was forecast Force 5 or so and getting stronger through the afternoon. I thought the stronger winds would not come until 6pm or 7pm. However they came quite a bit earlier! The wind was from the south east blowing up the channel between Largs and Great Cumbrae.
I put a double reef in the main before we set out. It was a bit too windy for our comfort. In the end we used the genoa only and only two thirds of it at most . We tried a bit of beating across the channel then decided to run up the channel before the wind. We cracked along at about 5 knots. After about an hour the wind was getting stronger and the sea rougher so we furled the genoa and motored south back to Largs. It was very rough. Again Hilary coped wonderfully, so we think we are ready to attempt a trip to visit some of the other marinas in the area. Watch this space!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Round the Island

We did are first serious sail today round the island of Great Cumbrae. The forecast was for a gentle Force 3 at most from the south. We had some rain but it was generally a lovely sail. We sailed round clockwise

We saw a porpoise which swam round the boat, it announced itself with a rather watery cough and then kept appearing for the next half an hour or so. Gannets were diving, the Eider ducks were just floating around and of course were were inspected by the odd seal.

Hilary did really well and coped with everything that went on, she had to put up with some wallowing around in calm conditions off Sheanawally Point and found that drinking lemon and ginger tea helped to deal with the queasiness.
The highlight of the trip was seeing a submarine, I presume nuclear , heading out to sea as we headed towards the Portachur mark. It was surrounded by guard boats that kept a continuous ring around it as it steamed down the channel.
The trip was 14.5 nautical miles, took 5 1/2 hours and our average speed was 2.4 knots.
No pictures I'm afraid as we were too taken up with enjoying the sail!
When we got back to the Marina I was treated to pair of very smart sailing boots as an early birthday present - thank you!!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Hilary's first sail on Harmony

The wind was forecast F4 and no rain forecast. So we ventured out for our first sail together.
I think Hilary enjoyed it!
She coped well with helming whilst I played around with sails etc and even making the tea.
The weather was kind as we tootled about in Largs Bay and tried out various combinations of sails.

The day finished with a very good sunset

Tomorrow the winds are light from the south and south east so we will have a go at circumnavigating the island of Great Cumbrae.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

A walk on the Hill

As the day didn't look very promising with wild and windy weather we walked to Fairlie Castle and over the Hill back to the Marina.