Ross of Mull - south coast occasional anchorages

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Telo
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Ross of Mull - south coast occasional anchorages

Postby Telo » Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:34 pm

We sometimes take a look at the chart for new places to explore, places that perhaps we've passed by previously and never really looked at for anchoring, eg Port Ohirnie (Port Odhar), and Port Donain both on Mull's SE coast.

This year, weather permitting, I'm wondering about exploring the south coast of Mull to the west of Carsaig, an area we know reasonably well from tramping about the hills, but one that we've sailed past and never paid too much attention to while on the boat. The anchorages at Ardalanish, Carsaig bay and Loch Buie are fairly well known, but I'm thinking of taking a look at the bay SW of Knockvologan, Bàgh a' Ghnoic Mhaoileanaich. From swimming and canoeing there some years ago, I remember it as having a relatively weed free sandy bottom.

Also, we attended a PanPan last year at Port nan Ròn, where a clinker built motor boat had stranded itself on one of the (charted) rocks. We entered from the south (with Bogha nan Ramfhear behind us), and exited by the west passage after we were stood down. Again, the bottom looked like sand, with reasonable swinging room, although I doubt it would be tenable in a strong southerly.

There are other possibilities, like the area around Uisken, although that may need stronger nerves than I have.

Anyone tried these places?

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Postby claymore » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:02 pm

Like you - I've contemplated this area - I've only been in Tinker's Hole once and aborted an exploration of Erraid because each time we are around there I've not felt comfortable with the weather conditions. I read in Yachting Life that PJ Korbel was considering the Iona area for laying some crown moorings. Para, Muzzy and I anchored off Martyr's Bay last year and it was a decidedly iffy place to be so a decent mooring or two would perhaps be a good thing
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Postby cpedw » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:26 pm

It's a commendable idea but it mostly seems very open to the prevailing ...
I visited Uisken by road last Easter and it seemed a very attractive location but without a chart to hand, it's hard to say if it's do-able.
Is Loch Buie a complete no-no?
I've just been cruising the south coast of Mull via streetmap.co.uk and there are many places prefaced Port na whatever so someone must have thought it possible once.
A little out of the area but I can recommend Loch Don. It's described in detail by M Lawrence but nobody apart from me seems to go there.

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S Mull Anchorages

Postby DaveS » Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:10 pm

I too quite like trying new anchorages to see what they're like (in suitable weather!) A few years ago there was an annular eclipse due in the early morning with a visable track covering most of Scotland. For the West Coast the trick was to find someplace far enough back from the hills to get a low angle view to the east. I settled on Port an Tiobairt on Jura which I found to be a lovely anchorage shared only with the seals and which would have given a great view of the eclipse if the morning hadn't given solid clag... :(

Back to Mull. The contrast between the view from land and that from sea never ceases to amaze me. On last summer's "mini cruise" we passed along the S coast of Mull and made a point of looking for the various "occasional" anchorages. Some of them, e.g. Ardalanish, did not show up at all from about 1 mile offshore. We looked at it for several minutes through binoculars and just could not see the inlet. (We were in a hurry that day so could not go in for a closer look.) Another reminder of just how much more difficult navigation was pre electronic assistance.

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Postby Shuggy » Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:44 pm

We spent a night at anchor by Erraid last year. It was very calm with a gentle breeze from the north. The bottom was sandy and the water was crystal clear. It was eerie going to bed with the Torran rocks poking above the waterline not far offshore, but it was idyllic - could have been the med:

Image

We were with some very experienced friends (40 years of west coast sailing each) who had never managed to anchor overnight during the last 40 years!

Stunning but I suspect not to be repeated for a while.
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Postby Telo » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:35 am

Great picture Shuggy. Was that Bagh a' Ghnoic Mhaoileanaich, the inlet between Erraid and Mull, SW of Knockvologan?

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Postby Shuggy » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:11 am

Hi Shard. I don't have any charts with me (ditched my PC for a Mac!) but I believe it's known as Balfour Bay or Davey Balfour's Bay as it was where he landed in Kidnapped. From memory, it's the inlet on the South East of Erraid (i.e, the beach is on the SE of Erraid I think).

Here's a view back out to the Torran Rocks before we separated the boats for the night:

Image
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Postby Telo » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:00 pm

Shuggy wrote:Hi Shard. I don't have any charts with me (ditched my PC for a Mac!) but I believe it's known as Balfour Bay or Davey Balfour's Bay as it was where he landed in Kidnapped.
Ah, Balfour's Bay, Traigh Gheal on the chart IIRC, that's interesting. I've wondered about that; from memory, the chart shows it as being very shallow, but my recollection of it from years ago, swimming and canoeing in the bay, was that the centre was deep enough for anchoring. Must take a look in there some time.

If it's the same bay, I think there's also a short granite wall at its back, and a couple of shortish climbs at about Hard Severe or MVS. Better than bouldering, but not real "proper" rock climbs. I didn't claim them at the time (80s) as they were bit scrappy and had probably been climbed before, although I published a short write up in my club magazine (Ochils MC).

It's a beautiful spot. You have rekindled my interest in it.

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Postby cpedw » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:26 pm

Last Friday and Saturday we did some exploring. The weather was quite settled, the wind about Force 2, mostly northerly. For data, we were using Admiralty SC5611 sheet 8, OS Landranger 48 and Nauticpath West Europe electronic chart. We also had Martin Lawrence, Isle of Mull. I have attempted to convert depths to chart datum - treat my calculations with caution!
We spent Friday night in the inlet west of Rubh Ardalanish described by Lawrence. It was comfortable, though there was a noticeable swell. In any sort on SW wind I think it would be quite bumpy. We checked out the adjacent inlet to the north. It was smaller and a bit bumpier so didn't seem to have anything to recommend it.
Next we investigated Ardalanish Bay. We went in north between Garbh Sgeir and the group of rocks Na Minn, turning east after passing most of the Na Minns. The depth was at least 5m all the way and we anchored in 4-5m, in sand. There was quite a lot of swell here, more than we would normally choose to put up with, even though the sea state was Slight by my estimation.
Next we tried Port an-t-Slaoichain. The entrance to this is quite straightforward, just head NNE straight in. Port an-t-S is just left of this conspicuous round headland.
Image
It's quite small and shallow (about 2.5m). There was less swell than Ardalanish Bay, but more than in the inlet west of Rubh Ardalanish. It was calm enough to be acceptable on Saturday, but it's very exposed to the south. The bottom was mud and sand.
We anchored at Port an-t-Slaoichain and investigated around by dinghy.
Port Uisken looked from the chart plotter to be quite inaccessible but we tried it in the dinghy and got lost! I think there may be a way in at high water to a pool with 2m. We saw the pool and it looked very quiet and attractive, but without the plotter we missed the likely entrance channel. Our pilotage is getting rusty with electronic assistance.
Last we went into Port Bheathain. To enter, you would approach NNW then turn N at the last. It seems to dry out a long way, too far to be a useful anchorage I think. It's just to the right of that round headland in the photo but the entrance is further east than all the rocks in the photo.

It's interesting to look in these places when the weather allows, but in conclusion I think most of the most useful locations are already well described in the pilot books. But there might be some gems known only to a select few that are still to be discovered by us hoi polloi. Do share if you find one.

Derek

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Postby Telo » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:00 pm

cpedw wrote:It's interesting to look in these places when the weather allows, but in conclusion I think most of the most useful locations are already well described in the pilot books. But there might be some gems known only to a select few that are still to be discovered by us hoi polloi.
Absolutely, and the pilot books will remain the sailing visitor's guide. But there are a lot more quite decent "occasional" anchorages there for the use of (at least in settled weather).

Thanks Derek - you've had a more adventurous weekend than most!

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Postby cpedw » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:46 am

Shard wrote: - you've had a more adventurous weekend than most!


Meeting Mr & Mrs Nick was fun but it wasn't _that_ challenging. :roll:


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