Classic Malts Cruise

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Silkie
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Classic Malts Cruise

Postby Silkie » Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:59 pm

So how was it then Tony?

About five thousand words + photos should suffice provided that they are an unalloyed paean to the delights of The West of course.
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Silkie
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Postby Silkie » Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:04 am

Classic Malts Cruise on Yachting TV if you click the link this month.
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Nick
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Excellent . . .

Postby Nick » Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:42 am

The bit showing the pilotage into Loch Moidart is particularly good . . . hoping to maybe get up there this season if the weather ever improves.
- Nick 8)

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Moidart, smoydart

Postby cpedw » Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:38 am

We went into Loch Moidart about 6 years ago. Hearts were in mouths as we were using Martin Lawrence's guide. He does tend to overplay the hazardous aspect I feel.
Anyway, using his chartlet and notes, it was pretty straightforward taken at a slow pace in settled weather. The entrance channel winds around a lot but it was OK - you just need to keep track of whereabouts you are.
[boast] I know some people who went in the North Channel[/boast]

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Loch Moidart pilotage

Postby DaveS » Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:43 am

Yes, I noticed the comment "there isn't much guidance for this bit". When there a few weeks ago I couldn't identify some of ML's transits either, and I could not get some of the charted rocks to tie in with reality. Decidedly tricky!

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Words fail me...

Postby foolsbrew » Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:59 am

I cannot adequately express how wonderful a time was had by our entire crew on the Cruise this year. The weather was really spectacular, the boat was quite adequate (held 7 of us well and still sailed well), and the whisky was, well, you know quite well I would imagine.

I am actually working on writing an article for either Sail magazine or Lattitudes & Attitudes, both stateside sailing rags. (BTW, I picked up some UK sailing mags on the way out of town and was reading them on the plane when I noticed a bit about passagemaking by none other than Nick!) We have mucho snaps, which I am getting winnowed down and up onto the web.

Our travels took us first from Dunstaffnage to Tobermory, where we grabbed a mooring for the night. Other than a darned good bakery, we were a little underwhelmed by Ballymory. No matter. The next night was Inverie in Loch Nevis/Knoydart on recommendation of Terry Saunders. Really incredible spot. (Having seen the Coast episode of the West Coast several times, I was overjoyed to see a pic of "Frankie" on the wall in the Olde Forge). The passage past Ardnamurchan was met with some concern, but it turned out to be for naught - we reached the point and it was flat as a lake and unfortunately no wind. I would second the sentiment that Mr. Lawrence seems to "overplay the hazardous" - a theme that was constant throughout our trip. We tried to break our dink's motor on the rocks of Inverie but managed to only lose the shear pin.

Next we were on to Loch Harport, and we had a marvelous romp of a reach in a nor'easterly at 20-25 knots. Managed to sail the entire way from the entrance to Loch Nevis to our anchoring spot in Harport off of Carbost. Ear-to-ear grins all around. More wee drams. ("wee" has a different meaning than the popular US perception, I found...). We did pull into Carbost to see a rather snazzy looking racy boat on its ear on the hard - the shoal off the distillery seems to fool a lot of folks. Skye was another fave - sitting there smelling the distillery looking at the Cuillins was just about perfect, if you ask me. Rather liked the pub at Carbost as well. At the ceilidh we were pretty much considered the oddest birds, even though the Kiwis had a team that had delivered their boat on her bottom. We spend an extra day at Carbost as the skipper (me) managed to make himself ill on undercoked beef. Stupid, but an extra day on Skye? Why not.

Next we set off for points south. We made a bit of a run out of it, though it was yet another flat windless day (Twice past Ardnamurchan and both times it was quiet.) We made for Loch Sunart, to see David at Salen. As noted on this blog, it's pricey (~20 pounds for the night) David not only gave us the weather forecast and got us tied up, but gave us the tides, offered to get us seafood, and the next morning he and his wife made a grocery store provisioning run for us! I dearly loved it when he pulled up to the boat at the pier in his brand new Audi TT - being an Audi man myself. (Apparently David and his wife have purchased a place on the other side of the peninsula, so he will be retiring from his role at Salen...)

After Salen we headed back down the Sound of Mull to Puilladobhrain. We had a pretty light but enjoyable sail down the Sound, managed to worry a warship in the Firth of Lorn - "Sailing yacht Eloise, this is British Warship Somethingorother, we are conducting operations, please state your intentions." Our intentions were to sail directly away from them at a blistering 5 knots. My favorite night of the entire cruise followed. We anchored, along with about a dozen of our closest new friend's boats, in the most wonderful anchorage of Puilladobhrain. Whoever painted the rocks to create range markers, thank you. After a lovely dinner a few of us decided to head to the pub, so we rowed ashore - witnessing a truly magnificent sunset - and proceeded to the Tigh-an-Truish. I never wanted to leave, and I should not have. ;)

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1303/929 ... 0e.jpg?v=0

After that, it was down into the Sound of Jura. We stopped at Ardfern...our only marina the entire trip. S'okay. The next day was a wonderful sunfilled sail down to Lowlandsmens Bay on Jura. After making the entrance and getting the hook set (yep, a good set), we had a good meal, more wee drams, and off to bed. I woke up about 01:30 from the howling in the rig, and came into the main cabin to find another couple of my crew there. We made sure our swing was ok, and confirmed we were not dragging, and set up 2 hour watch shifts to keep an eye on things. About 0530 the winds were down to 10-15 knots, so we all got some sleep.

Next day was Islay - another sunny sail, this time with Minke whales alongside for much of the way. (I love Islay whisky, so this stop was really nice on the whisky front.) We managed to grab an anchoring spot in the Port Ellen bay, and hit Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Bowmore and Bruichladdich before heading to the ceilidh at Lagavulin. Bruichladdich was the most interesting to me, as he is doing some wonderfully insane things with double-maturing, like a 15 yr old in Chateau d'Yquem casks. Mmmmm...Really enjoyed the Islay seafood as well, wolfed down copious amounts of oysters, scallops, crab, really anything that floated by my maw.

We pulled a marathon back to Dunstaffnage so as to not leave our charter hosts in a lurch, and thence off to Glasgow. The ride home was a blast, with 20+ knots most of the way. I will say a blow above 20 makes coming out of the Sound of Luing pretty interesting, especially with an albeit small outgoing tide. Nice wave heights - we had to time our turn north as if we were out in a true blow. No wonder you guys are such good sailors, you get a little of everything!

Besides Mr. Lawrence, we were using the charts (of course) and I had the BA charts on my trusty Mac with GPSNavX. Being a geek I had my bluetooth GPS receiver, which worked out well as the boat plotter was more of the trip planning variety, not so much for navigation. I also had a handheld GPS with all of our waypoints on it - belt, suspenders, and a bit of rope. Best book on whisky I read to prepare was Iain Banks' "Raw Spirit." I enjoyed his anti-Bush rants almost as much as the whisky discussions. This blog was extremely helpful, especially in finding those places that aren't in the books, and are all the more special because they aren't.

I still feel a bit like McIntyre at the end of Local Hero, calling the phone box whilst breathing in the sirens and noise of my home port, Seattle. I hope I always feel that way, it means that it's all still alive in my heart.

Next year we plan on taking our own baby up north from here, towards (but not to) Alaska, romping in our own backyard. Not so different, methinks.

I'll post the pics collection when we get it all together!
"Where would the poetry of the sea be were it not for the wild waves?" Joshua Slocum

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Nick
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Great report from the Brewster . . .

Postby Nick » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:01 am

.
Would you mind if I turned it into a permanent article for the site once you have some pix to go with it?
- Nick 8)

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Silkie
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Thanks for that Tony

Postby Silkie » Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:24 pm

You've done us proud and I second Nick's request to be allowed to put it in the articles section.

Dave
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foolsbrew
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I'd be honored...

Postby foolsbrew » Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:09 am

Of course, by all means. I need to get you more of the photos. My gosh you guys live in a beautiful place. I bet it's breathtaking even in storm season? Do you get many folks wanting a cottage with a fire and view of the mayhem? Around here on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia November is one of the busier tourist months.

Not to be a complete idjit, but what is the preferred pix posting method?

(I was inspired, I have a Wee Heavy in my secondary fermenter, aiming for around 9% ABV. Damned if I didn't add a bit of extra peated malt to the mash - must be Islay. Hopefully ready for the holidays.)
"Where would the poetry of the sea be were it not for the wild waves?" Joshua Slocum

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Silkie
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Re: Words fail me...

Postby Silkie » Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:26 pm

foolsbrew wrote:Best book on whisky I read to prepare was Iain Banks' "Raw Spirit." I enjoyed his anti-Bush rants almost as much as the whisky discussions.

Reading this at the moment and when I got to page 94 I knew I would have to revive this thread.
:ranton
I look at Dubya and just see a sad feck* with scared eyes; a grotesquely under-qualified-for-practically-anything daddy's boy who's had to be greased into every squalid position he's ever held in his miserable existence who might finally be starting to wake up to the idea that if the most powerful nation on Earth - like, ever, dude - can put somebody like him in power, all may not be well with the world.
:rantoff
* This wasn't actually what he wrote but it's as close as the rude words filter will let me get.

Foolsbrew never did come back with the pics, did he?
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Postby foolsbrew » Wed Apr 09, 2008 2:06 pm

Yep, he did. Nick followed up with me via email about the pix, and I finally got a link to many of them posted. I will add a few more, and try to label them more readably.

See the more recent post about finally posting the pix.
"Where would the poetry of the sea be were it not for the wild waves?" Joshua Slocum

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Postby foolsbrew » Wed Apr 09, 2008 2:08 pm

Also as a follow up, somewhere I have a pic of the Bowmore distillery which proudly features a quote from Banks stating something along the lines of "If you can't find a Bowmore to fall in love with, you're probably wasting your money on whiskey..."
"Where would the poetry of the sea be were it not for the wild waves?" Joshua Slocum


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