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Advice and recommendations for sailing from Craobh

adwuk

Member
Joined
10 Jun 2015
Messages
623
Location
Tarbert
Its going to depend how much sailing you want to do in a day, but if you just have a week, and want to enjoy some 'off the boat' time, then I would head either (1) round Mull or (2) South to Islay, Jura and Gigha. Which one will depend on the weather. If it is fair, head round Mull. If the weather is less favourable then do a whisky tour.

If you are happy to just sail, and not much else, it is quite possible to make it to Tobermory, round Skye, out to Benbecula, a quick stop at Canna and down the West coast of Mull in a week.
 

prv

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29 Nov 2009
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36,869
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Southampton
If you know your likely departure time from Craobh you'll be in a better position to decide.
The boat is available from 2pm. I think mum and dad are assuming we’ll spend that afternoon settling in and leave the next morning - though my preference would be to get sorted out fairly quickly and make a short hop to somewhere nearby, just to feel like we’ve made more of the day. We’ll see which plan ends up happening - I haven’t yet looked at nearby anchorages or the tides, which will obviously play a major part in that decision.

On the frequently asked question of “Anchor and eat aboard? Pontoon, pub/restaurant each night?”, again we differ. We share Ariam but don’t normally sail together - I like to anchor in out of the way places, they generally stick to pontoon berths and a nice pub or restaurant. However, they’re well aware that the Scottish islands aren’t the Solent, and are quite prepared to make routine use of the dinghy. Part of the reason for choosing this boat is that it has davits and - unless the charter company have swapped it since the brokerage photos I found - a small RIB for a tender. No problems of mobility, dad just has an aversion to “soggy-bum fart-bags” acquired in a series of leaky deflating Avon Redcrests in the 70s and 80s 😁. We’re assuming that nights will generally be at anchor or on a visitor mooring rather than alongside, but they would prefer several of them to involve eating ashore so that mum doesn’t have to cook every night.

Pete
 

kaj

Member
Joined
24 Feb 2002
Messages
34
Location
Finland
You probably mean Kerrera and the buoyage has been changed - you now do go between the red and green at the Ferry Rock.
Out of interest, how was it changed? A red lateral replaced by the "Ferry Rock" East cardinal mark and a new red placed on the Western side of the sound?
 

JumbleDuck

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8 Aug 2013
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22,808
Location
SW Scotland
In your position - which I am, fairly regularly - I would wake up each morning, check the weather and then decide where to go. A week isn't enough time to plan a major expedition, so you might as well just potter about.

One advantage of early September is that things will be a lot quieter than they are in the summer so you should, for example, avoid the rush of charter boats down the Sound of Jura on a Saturday afternoon, all trying to get to Port Ellen in time for a pontoon there. Even Puilladobhran (shudder) might be tolerable. The disadvantage is that it is quite likely that you'll have a week of rubbish weather. September is often not a good month.

From what you have said, a few personal recommendations / observations ...

  • A basin night at Crinan is quite cheap and a very nice place to ride out a hoolie. Good food (bar or restaurant) at the hotel. In nicer weather it's easier to go on a Crinan Boats visitor mooring.
  • The restaurant at the marina on Kerrera is a lovely place to have a meal.
  • My favourite restaurant anywhere is Ballygown (ballygownmull.co.uk) on the north side of Loch Tuath on the west of Mull. They'll fetch you by car from the pontoons at Ulva Ferry or you can anchor in Ballygown Bay.
  • If you are at Ulva Ferry pontoons, the community car will take you across to Tobermory for restocking, but you need to book at least a day in advance.
  • Aros at the south end of Tobermory Bay is a lot more peaceful than Tobermory itself and only a short dinghy trip away
 

Minchsailor

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2 Dec 2014
Messages
1,108
Location
N of Ardnamurchan, winter South of Oban
I've had a 'boys' week from Ardfern which got us to Castlebay/Barra and a few places in between. That was a fair bit of sailing!

But you really have to decide on the sailing/sight seeing, and things like eating out compared to cooking yourself while on the anchor.

JD has some good advice - decide each day as it comes, but in a week you should be able to get round Mull. Loch Aline is one of my favourites and now has pontoons, and if you want a 'special' meal the Whitehouse has it in spades. (watch the tides in the entrance, and the ferries)

Tobermory is a good place for supplies and a lunch; you can do a day stop on the pontoons after the overnighters have left, and then head over to Loch Drumbuie to anchor for the night. If you want scenery go up Loch Sunart to Salen (pontoons)

Coll/Arinagour has visitors' moorings, but exposed to SE; good for a visit to to the Treshnish Islands and Staffa. Can be combined with Ulva. Also, in the area is Bunessan which has small shop.

After that try Tinkers Hole, then down to Loch Tarbert (Jura).

Sound of Islay to Craighouse (vistors moorings buoys) and back to Craboh Haven.

Some advice - watch you fresh water consumption as once away from the Sound of Mull area there a few places to go alongside to take on water without taking a detour.
 

JumbleDuck

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8 Aug 2013
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22,808
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SW Scotland
Some advice - watch you fresh water consumption as once away from the Sound of Mull area there a few places to go alongside to take on water without taking a detour.
That's one of the good things about the Ulva Ferry pontoon - it makes the west of Mull a much more practical proposition for an extended visit. Mind you, that may be more of a boon to my 26 footer than 43' Ovni with only three on board. I did once get permission - cheerfully granted - to take on water at the Fionnphort ferry terminal, which was a matter of doing a quick in-and-out while the ferry pootled across to Iona and back.
 

adwuk

Member
Joined
10 Jun 2015
Messages
623
Location
Tarbert
Plan some eateries to visit. Here's a start:
- Cafe fish, Tobermory
- Cafe Canna, Canna
- The Boathouse, Gigha
 

prv

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29 Nov 2009
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36,869
Location
Southampton
Thanks for all the advice so far - much more than I'd expected :). I'm going to have to sort through, probably nearer the time, and collate it into an easily-referenced form for planning purposes.

Some advice - watch you fresh water consumption as once away from the Sound of Mull area there a few places to go alongside to take on water without taking a detour.
Noted, though again this isn't really a surprise. The boat is listed as having a 460 litre tank - Ariam's is about 100 litres, which gives me and two friends several days around the Channel Islands being frugal but not extreme. So we'll keep an eye on it, but shouldn't have any difficulty.

Pete
 

prv

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Southampton
The disadvantage is that it is quite likely that you'll have a week of rubbish weather. September is often not a good month.
:(

Fingers crossed, then. I imagine they probably picked that date based on experience in the West Country, where September is very often better than August.

Pete
 

prv

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36,869
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Southampton
6, Victualling at Craobh is poor. The nearest large supermarket is at Oban where you can stock up, or if you come over the ferry way, Inveraray has a Coop and the last is at Lochgilphead which also has a Coop.
I believe the plan is to stock up in Dumbarton on the way to Craobh, rather than diverting to Oban.

I didn't notice a route involving a ferry. Where from, and is it worth doing?

Pete
 

adwuk

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10 Jun 2015
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Tarbert
The ferry route is from Gourock to Dunoon, then a drive to Portavadie, a ferry to Tarbert and then the drive to Craobh. Personally I wouldn't bother. Just drive to Glasgow, up to Crianlarich, Oban and then south.
 

prv

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Just drive to Glasgow, up to Crianlarich, Oban and then south.
I'm actually making my own way to Glasgow, where my parents will pick me up having taken a leisurely drive up over three days or so, stopping to visit some other places on the way (the joys of being retired ;) ). So from my point of view that's where the car journey starts. We were assuming the south-about route to Craobh - A82-A83-A816, via Lochgilphead - which Google reckons is a bit quicker than north-about via Oban. Does local knowledge say otherwise, perhaps because of campervan traffic?

I'd get the train to either Dumbarton or preferably Balloch to meet them, so they don't have to navigate the city centre to find me (and I don't have to sit in the back of the car quite so long ;) )

Pete
 

Mataji

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3 Jul 2012
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335
Location
Plymouth
The number of replies to this thread and the detailed content just shows what a great place to sail this is and how much people love it.
I could add more but the suggestions already made could take up many weeks of sailing, they are all good. Don’t believe that the Sound of Mull is anything like the Solent. If you are only up for 1 week it is not to be missed. While there, visit the pontoons in Loch Aline for what in my opinion is one of the best restaurants in Scotland. The White House. You will definitely need to book in advance. It’s 3 years since I’ve been so check recent reviews but Loch Aline itself is well worth a visit.
 

Mataji

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Re the drive up. I used to live in Lancashire and kept my boat in Craobh so I know the drive well. The Lochgilphead route is the best. After Lochgilphead the drive north through Kilmartin Glen is magical.
 

dunedin

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3 Feb 2004
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Boat (now back in) the Clyde
I'm actually making my own way to Glasgow, where my parents will pick me up having taken a leisurely drive up over three days or so, stopping to visit some other places on the way (the joys of being retired ;) ). So from my point of view that's where the car journey starts. We were assuming the south-about route to Craobh - A82-A83-A816, via Lochgilphead - which Google reckons is a bit quicker than north-about via Oban. Does local knowledge say otherwise, perhaps because of campervan traffic?

I'd get the train to either Dumbarton or preferably Balloch to meet them, so they don't have to navigate the city centre to find me (and I don't have to sit in the back of the car quite so long ;) )

Pete
Nearer the time check that the Rest & Be Thankful road up is actually open. It has been frequently shut by land slides - due to lack of investment in proper defences, as seen in Italy and other places. Often they are doing one way convoys through the Old Military Road, which seems to be better suited / engineered than the more modern equivalent, This is scenic but can add to delays if operating - and sometimes even this is closed!
But yes if R&BT is open the Lochgilphead road is normally quicker.
 

adwuk

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10 Jun 2015
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Tarbert
The local knowledge says avoid the Rest. There isn't much difference in the route times, but there will be if you get stuck at the Rest.
 

SaltIre

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13 Mar 2017
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None of your nosey business
I'm actually making my own way to Glasgow, where my parents will pick me up having taken a leisurely drive up over three days or so, stopping to visit some other places on the way (the joys of being retired ;) ). So from my point of view that's where the car journey starts. We were assuming the south-about route to Craobh - A82-A83-A816, via Lochgilphead - which Google reckons is a bit quicker than north-about via Oban. Does local knowledge say otherwise, perhaps because of campervan traffic?

I'd get the train to either Dumbarton or preferably Balloch to meet them, so they don't have to navigate the city centre to find me (and I don't have to sit in the back of the car quite so long ;) )

Pete
Big ASDA and a Morrisons in Dumbarton, on opposite sides of the road, between two of the Dumbarton railway stations - Central & East. The other option is train to Oban and meet parents there - smaller supermarket, though...
You'll need plenty of whisky to dilute 460 litres of water!:)
(Bottled water might be preferred....)
 

scruff

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2 Mar 2007
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1,070
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Over here
One point to note which hasnt been mentioned (I think) above; if you've got no phone reception to get a forecast, circling/passing near a calmac ferry terminal will offer a public WiFi spot over a good few hundred meters or so. Obviously don't do when ferry is arriving / departing...

Secondly XC weather seems to be the most accurate weather app I've found.
 
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