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Took a trip down to West Loch Tarbert this weekend, arriving after midnight with both chart plotter and tablet backup running and trying not to think too much about fishing buoys - fortunately there was a bit of moon. I had planned to anchor in the first little bay just around the north point of the entrance. Nice and easy, but I had not anticipated finding someone else tucked up there, at least they had an anchor light showing. What to do? Not wanting the extra difficulty of avoiding them and still finding swinging room I carried on to the next bay which is behind a few skerries. As I approached around these some lights, red over red, revealed themselves. A quick trawl through the memory recalled 'red over read - captain is dead', so someone is not in command. Were they drifting or anchored, and if anchored why not show white instead of red over red? The torch suggested a fishing boat. I crept past them into the bay and just as I was approaching anchoring depth I sensed something in the gloom off the starboard bow - a substantial yacht anchored mid bay with no lights showing. By this time I'd had enough and just anchored a reasonable distance from them. Dawn revealed a big Halberg Rassy flying a blue ensign... No sign of anyone on deck until I left to explore the inner reaches after breakfast when a head popped out of the companionway but did not acknowledge my wave. I must say that the raised beaches around the loch are quite spectacular, the one to the south of Cumhann Mor is one of my favourite places in the world I think - and I saw an otter! The red over red was an old wooden fishing boat, either they did not have an anchor light or it wasn't working, but at least they showed some lights! A quick nose around the inner loch revealed about 8 boats, so there were about a dozen all told that night. Not surprising I suppose given the nice settled week it's been.
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