Round the Mull - Sanda and then the outside passage

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Afrita
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Round the Mull - Sanda and then the outside passage

Postby Afrita » Wed May 26, 2010 8:00 pm

Hello All

Despite having read the pilots and various threads here and on TOP, I have a query concerning our planned first trip round the Mull in a couple of weeks time. Assuming the weather's favourable we'd rather go round the Mull than through the canal, not least because we're short handed.

We will have our 14 month old daughter with us so we're keen to keep the hours at sea each day relatively brief, thus a stop at Sanda might be good. The tidal streams atlas indicates that if we anchor at Sanda we'd have trouble getting back to the offshore route so would be committed to the inshore passage (25-50m off the cliff - not so keen on that first time round). Is that the case, or does experience suggest that it's possible to cross to the outside passage without getting caught in very rough stuff between the two streams?

The pilots suggest that any sort of westerly (and a south westerly in particular) will pretty unpleasant other than in settled conditions. Do those who have done it think that settled means F 3 or below or something else (assuming no residual sea state)?.

I'm happy that Afrita, a Contessa 32 - sorry no photo posted yet, despite dire warnings to new posters - can cope with more than we'll enjoy but would welcome the wisdom of the assembled.

David

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Re: Round the Mull - Sanda and then the outside passage

Postby MrMcP » Wed May 26, 2010 9:48 pm

Um, maybe I've missed something, but I've never gone that close to the cliffs in my times round the Mull.

From Sanda, come out and head round and North. On a calm day keep an eye out for the overfalls, on a bit of a blow just ride the swell until it calms down. Remember the tides turn at the Sanda end first and follow you round. Pick them up as they turn and the passage (in my experience) is pretty benign. Usual caveats of SW/W strong winds in preceding days applies.

It's normally a magical trip round - we have seen loads of sea birds, dolphins, porpoises, seals, whales and more going round, and if you pick up the marks and enjoy the trip you can often wonder what all the fuss was about....

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Re: Round the Mull - Sanda and then the outside passage

Postby Booby Trapper » Thu May 27, 2010 7:59 am

Done it a couple of times last time was last weekend, first time going West was flat calm and we motored the inshore passage approx 50 m off shore It was very flat and we couldn't see much activity in the water any further out. last time I also motored and there were large standing waves and tide rips which I could see less than 50m from me but I was again 50m off shore and it was very flat. Coming back to the clyde on both occasions the wind has been NW and the wind was very flukey close in but as long as you get the tides right you are pushed on and through the calm spots. Sanda sound has been fantastic both times coming back with offshore winds and flat sees screaming along at up to 10Knots over the ground.
If the wind has any North in it I wouldn't advise stopping at Sanda better to carry on or stop off at Campbelltown. But if you do carry on first stop is Islay or Gigha. On the way back I would stop at Gigha and work out when to arrive at the Mull just after the tide has started flow south and east.
Hope this helps.

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Re: Round the Mull - Sanda and then the outside passage

Postby Arghiro » Thu May 27, 2010 7:08 pm

Tide races are, obviously, tide dependant, thus, at or around slack water, the overfalls will be minimal or non-existant. Most good pilot books will give info on when problems occur so it becomes a simple matter of timing to minimise any problems.

However, I frequently fail to check time properly myself & cop for a pasting. I always promise myself to look it up next time tho'! :umbrella:

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Re: Round the Mull - Sanda and then the outside passage

Postby Booby Trapper » Thu May 27, 2010 7:17 pm

Admiralty tidal atlas NP222 has some good detail on tides around the Mull, more than NP218. Definitely a must as the tides start flowing close in in the opposite direction about an hour before the main stream gets going the same way. Worth knowing if you arrive too early.

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Afrita
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Re: Round the Mull - Sanda and then the outside passage

Postby Afrita » Thu May 27, 2010 9:05 pm

Thanks all for the helpful advice. Looking forwards to wondering what all the fuss was about and now hoping for good weather.

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Re: Round the Mull - Sanda and then the outside passage

Postby DaveS » Thu May 27, 2010 9:13 pm

Booby Trapper wrote:If the wind has any North in it I wouldn't advise stopping at Sanda


Having twice anchored in the normal anchorage, the bay off the pub, in a NW4/5 I can only agree, but there is also a bay at the south of the island which should be OK in a N'ly. Not too far to walk if the pub does in fact re-open. :)
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Re: Round the Mull - Sanda and then the outside passage

Postby claymore » Mon May 31, 2010 5:02 pm

Absolutely - better get up an hour sooner and stay in Campbeltown overnight
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