Cuan Sound

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Silkie
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Cuan Sound

Postby Silkie » Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:50 pm

I've never been through here but it's a definite maybe for this season. I've got the Lawrence and CCC pilots but am still slightly trepidatious and would appreciate the reassurance of someone with local knowledge (should there be such a one on here!).

Presumably the best time to go W-E is at the end of the ebb, and E-W at the end of the flood but preferably not with westerlies against the flood at the west end. How much of the start of the ebb/flood should be avoided at springs or neaps with a small boat and small engine particularly with regard to the current setting on to Cleit Rock? How bad do the overfalls get at the west end?

The photo in Lawrence of Cleit Rock at half ebb springs is slightly daunting!

Thanks in advance for any help.

Dave

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Telo
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Cuan Sound

Postby Telo » Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:02 pm

Only been through once as I recall. As you say, go through when it's unlikely to be turbulent.

We went through E - W in reasonable conditions although a SW wind made the exit a wee bit choppy. No probs at all. Just aimed for the rock and turned just before we hit it!

It's really OK. Savour it.

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Silkie
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Sound advice (groan)

Postby Silkie » Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:52 pm

Thanks for that. I have made a note on my chart to remind me to turn before hitting any rocks. :roll:

I will savour it. It's one of the joys of sailing that there seems to be an almost endless supply of new and challenging experiences. Obviously so for a greenie like myself, but I really think I'll run out of good health (or money :( ) before running out of sailing "firsts".

Dave

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Nick
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Cuan

Postby Nick » Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:11 am

We had Fairwinds in Balvicar for two months before we went out though Cuan - very scary, but like most entries in pilot books the bark is worse than the bite. We have now sailed through at full Spring ebb making a cup of tea and whistling nonchalantly.

Have also had the engine fail to start just as we got sucked in from the W. end - I wasn't too worried as we had 10 - 12 knots of wind on the beam. Then - no wind except the apparent wind caused by the six knot tide sucking us through - twisting and turning to use this to keep some drive on the boat while the eddies threatened to sweep us onto the (very adjacent) shore. We made it though and sailed onto our mooring, but there were a few tense moments.

There is usually a wind shadow in the middle of the sound, and lots of eddies - so make sure you have the engine on tickover or definitely ready to start even if there is lots of wind outside.

The pilot warns about the tide sweeping you onto the Cleit, and there is some truth in this - but you need to go fairly close to the Cleit (say 3-4 boat lengths away) as it is very shallow in mid channel and further over. Not too close though as the reef extends about 10m from the perch. If you swing close to the Cleit when at about half tide Springs you may see an actual waterfall - a 12" vertical difference in height, quite spectacular.

Approaching from the West don't get too close to the Seil side on the approach - there are rocks there. A due W. approach to the middle of hte sound is safest if you don't know the water. Keep a firm grip on the helm - lots of big eddies. (He's a blimey, Big Eddy). Head for the Cleit, alter in plenty of time and swing past. Ig going down to Melfort / Craobh / Crinan then either stay within half a cable or less of the top of Torsa or come two cables or more off the top end - there's a rock that lots of people have hit. If heading up to Balvicar mid channel is fine. Lok out for pot buoys - Ihave sometimes seen one between the Cleit and the top of Torsa dragged right underwater by the tide.

The tide in Cuan runs at maximum speed soon after it turns, with very little slack water - it turns a bit more than 1 hour before HW / LW Oban at Springs and nearer two hours before HW / LW Oban at neaps (all approx and slightly variable with weather). Up to 8 knots at Springs, typically 6. Even at neaps if you miss the tide it's a struggle to get through in a small boat - at Springs don't even think about it. If you are early you can always anchor in Easdale Sound - that's another fun place to sail through.

Swing up to Balvicar and see us if you are coming through, e-mail me and I'll give you our phone no.

- Nick

Information in this post should not be used for navigation :wink:
- Nick 8)

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Silkie
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Re: Cuan

Postby Silkie » Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:56 pm

Thanks for the insider info Nick. I felt sure you'd have been through once or twice even if no-one else had responded.

Nick wrote:Information in this post should not be used for navigation :wink:

And I promise not to sue if I hit anything!

Dave

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Nick
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Erm . . .

Postby Nick » Fri Apr 01, 2005 1:25 am

Went through at LWS last Sunday and got a little close to the Cleit on the way out - only 1.8m under the keel (1st mate on the helm . . .)

The tide can set you onto the Cleit going E-W as well as going the other way.

All good fun. See http://www.yotblog.com/Fairwinds2005/45 for more details.

- Nick
- Nick 8)

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MacHurley22
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You should be ashamed of yourself

Postby MacHurley22 » Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:16 pm

Nick wrote:Went through at LWS last Sunday and got a little close to the Cleit on the way out - only 1.8m under the keel (1st mate on the helm . . .)

It's time the first mate got her own blog! There are two sides to every story.


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