Round Mull, Bunessan to Oban

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Gardenshed
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Round Mull, Bunessan to Oban

Postby Gardenshed » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:20 pm

did anyone from the forum do the race and if so, wasn't it fun leaving Bunessan...

stevepick
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Re: Round Mull, Bunessan to Oban

Postby stevepick » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:16 am

Indeed. our sunday went something like this: up at 0700, already could hear shouting in the east bunessan anchorage, boats had started to drag after the 2nd 180 degree wind change of the night. 4-5 boats dragged and some serious efforts by people to save peoples boats. Once we started and were trying to get the anchor up I manged to get some trip line around the rudder. Bashing on, we hoisted main with 2nd reef, and headed for the start, it didn't look good, and I decided to can racing and motorsail in company with the fleet back to oban. Marisca (CO32) passed me with his storm jib set ( it was 40+knts at this point) and the further we got north out of the bay the bigger the seas got and a nasty steep 2-3m swell was making things interesting. As we got further out and I could see big race boats like Lark ( sweden 45?) banging about further out I looked around and realised the sea was going white as the wind got up more and the wave tops were being blown off. Discretion being the better part of valour , I didn't want to have a breakage at this point and with rope still around my rudder I turned back for the west anchorage. We were instantly surfing back in at 9+ knts and waved to Headcorn (the commitee/tug boat) as she bashed out after the fleet. We tried to set the anchor in line with the pier in the west bay, and for the first time ever my Rocna failed to set first time, the monstrous kelp ball when we eventually got it back up showed why. Further west it set in 4m, and we let out a ridiculous 60m rode as 40+knt gusts came through the anchorage. There were a couple of race boats still moored ( they had never left), and we set an anchor watch, one of my crew bravely donned wetsuit to cut the rope and trip buoy off the rudder. After 2 hours the boat was sorted below and up top. And we had 17 boats from the fleet of around 35 starters back in the anchorage. Some hellish efforts as people tried 5-6 time to get anchors to set. Boats coming back with lost halyards and mainsheet tracks torn from mountings. Eventually Headcorn hove into sight with Storm Mhor, mastless, in tow. It wasn't a good day to be racing ( some folk have reported the wind up to 55knts - can believe it got to that!). We waited until lunch as the wind slowly eased, and set off for a leisurely sail / motor home.
The boat did well , and that was the first time I have ever been out in conditions like that - it was certainly interesting!

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claymore
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Re: Round Mull, Bunessan to Oban

Postby claymore » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:10 am

I know you said the wind was abating but what was the sea like once you were going along the Ross of Mull?
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Telo
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Re: Round Mull, Bunessan to Oban

Postby Telo » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:16 pm

We usually miss the good weather, but, thankfully, not on this occasion. Sounds pretty grim.

stevepick
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Re: Round Mull, Bunessan to Oban

Postby stevepick » Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:19 pm

Claymore,

The strength and duration of these "extended" squalls surprised me. The wind was NW'ly and the bad seas were as soon as you left the entrance of the bay. We were anchored by 0930, and sat observing barograph and waves outside the bay. We waited until the barometer has risen and satyed steady for 2 hours before leaving ( at around 1400) and by that time the the sea had abated to slight, with gusts of 20knots. The dunstaffnage weather staion shows it here

Steve

Gardenshed
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Re: Round Mull, Bunessan to Oban

Postby Gardenshed » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:51 pm

We started with 2 reefs & the headsail rolled about half in. Kept that the whole way around
Tacking in the bay we got stopped and had to reverse the rudder to get her around but no major drama.
once clear of the bay, the seas built quite dramatically but were large rollers rather than a short chop. We were heading almost true north. Tacking was fun: still haven't found a flat bit to tack in. By this time we were a couple of miles out and the sensation of the climbing the bigger waves was incredible. That and the turbulence hitting the rudder made it a wee bit tricky.
What were the seas like: approx 20' swell. Always extremely difficult to judge but the bigger sets of waves were at least half way up the mast and when in the troughs, you could see nothing but a wall of water all around. Not too many breaking crests and the long fetch / deep water meant that they weren't too steep, Although one of my crew commented after that he thought the boat was about to start siding backwards down the waves on a couple of occasions. Speed typicaly 4-4.5kts but there were occasional gusts where feathering to stop getting flattened and a big wave almost stopped us completely.
Tacked over to Iona and the waves seemed to build more but a slightly different angle. Didn't quite make the sound in one go so put in a couple of clearing tacks. The sound was flat & quick, bear away on the other side and down past the torran rocks we started picking up some speed surfing. Tacked around rather than gybing after watching Texa & Lark wiping out. On Port it was then a broad reach/run all the way around. Some big gusts & waves but not as severe as on the northern side. Max speed seen was 11.3 but my instruments read low.
Great sail all the way back to 'staffnage
Broke a wine glass ... well its not civilised to use plastic

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marisca
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Re: Round Mull, Bunessan to Oban

Postby marisca » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:31 pm

Aye it was a wee bit windy on the Sunday. Got up late, fouled anchor on a log of wood, then when we cleared that, fouled genny on spinnaker halyard. By this time the rest of Class 3 had started so we motored to the line, did our 720 turns while trying to free the genny and then realised the wind was up over 30kts so hoisted the storm jib instead, we already had 2 reefs in the main. We then settled down to a fun beat to Iona, passed Tango Too and waved but they seemed preoccupied, ate up to windward of several Class 1 boats with reefed mainsails only. Passed Alison in Hot Toddy (Sadler 25) under rolled genny, caught a glimpse of Storm Mhor wallowing sans mast and did our best to avoid other boats. No idea how big the waves were, I do know the wind was showing consistently over 40kts for a while, only fell off one wave with a bang, otherwise Marisca seemed to be in her element. Wee bitty difficult navigating so took a wide entry into the Sound of Iona then relaxed, if 8kts with less than 3 metres under the keel (only momentarily) can be called relaxing. Through the steamer passage and found that we'd only been going for 2 hours - it felt like about 4! Lazed along with reefs and storm jib, remembered we were meant to be racing so shook out the reefs, eventually got the genny unrolled and went off on a surfing sleighride. Nearly 11kts sustained surfs when the gusts and waves combined and the waves were long enough that we never got to the point of burying the bow. Must have done something right 'cos we finished the leg 4th overall behind 12.5m of Aunt Jessie, 48ft of the Swan Matata and 43ft of Nicholson Tidechaser.
My admiration goes out to Hot Toddy and Michael the Minitonner - rather them than me.

Best bit? The ceilidh at Bunessan and the buffet - well worth the effort.

Gardenshed
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Re: Round Mull, Bunessan to Oban

Postby Gardenshed » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:38 am

It was blowing hard and its always difficult to summarise the conditions. I've seen comments of 50-55kts but your "consistently over 40kts" is a good summary. (Lark told us that they'd seen 50kts with a couple of gusts more than that). Looking at the met office definitons of the Beaufort scale, that is an 8-9 with 7m waves (in open water) which is pretty much spot on with what we experienced.
Didn't slam once.
Huge respect for Hot Toddy & Michael the Minitonner
We entered the sound ahead of Lark who passed us about 1/2 way through. got a tow on their 1/4 wave but my crew were nervous that if they touched the putty or had a wee broach, there was no margin for error....
Just wish there had been some good photographers about as the images going upwind would have been epic.
Don't think the family would have enjoyed it but what confidence you have in the boat when you see how it reacts in those conditions. Not sure if the autopilot would have coped though.
Great weekend, roll on next year


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