This year I had five days off work and Val decided to come and see what it was all about as well so a longer stay was on the cards.
We'd hoped to depart for Tighnabruaich by lunchtime on Friday but as is often the way packing the van took longer than anticipated and it was after 3pm by the time we got away. It's not a long drive for us and the scenery on the way is great so we took our time and took in the views.
That evening the rain abated so we had a barbeque on the beach.
The forecast for Sunday was much better for sailing so the whole group decided to try and circumnavigate Inchmarnock island (which lies off the west coast of Bute). Val decided not to come as she knew it would mean a long period in the canoe but Hilary decided to join Dave and Katherine was having her first sail in Stacey (Gavin's boat). Jeff and Ellen had arrived the previous evening as well and as usual they were both going on the trip as well as Dave and Jan Poskitt in their respective boats.
I ended up rushing about to get ready so was late signing out, I noticed that Tom and Graham had buddied up for the trip so I joined their group (I've spent a lot of time sailing with Graham so this seemed a natural choice). Although I was slow getting on the water once I'd launched I quickly caught Graham and Tom. It's a revelation sailing Aylen with the added performance she offers over my open canoe, where in the past I'd sailed one of the slower canoes, I now have one of quicker ones!
Soon we were back at Carry Point safely and according to my GPS I'd sailed 21 miles.
On Sunday night the wind picked up as predicted and by morning it was pouring down as well. The wind was forecast to gust up to 43mph and it was much too windy to contemplate sailing. I walked down to the point to see what the sea looked like and take a few photos (which don't do justice to the conditions).
Val and I had to return home on Tuesday so we packed up the camping stuff in the morning while it was dry. Keith and Ann and Jeff and Ellen set off on an ambitious trip to sail round the top of Bute then Portage back across the island to Ettrick Bay before sailing back across to Carry Point.
It was another great meet and a chance to try the new canoe in some more challenging conditions which has left me hungry for more.
Here's some video footage that I got on Monday while we were sailing towards Inchmarnock.