Thursday, 5 May 2011

Loch Etive and the calm before the storm

After seeing the seals, I headed back across the mirror surface of the loch to the north shore at Rubha Bharr. The sun felt lovely now the cold easterly wind had disappeared and I was full of the joys of spring as I leisurely motored at tick over speed.

Rubha Bharr has a lovely shallow beach and if the weather had been forecast for light winds my intention was to camp overnight at this spot. The forecast of force three winds with force six gusts had made me change my mind so I didn’t take any camping gear with me. However I did a trial at “double anchoring” the boat. This was to ensure the boat was far enough off shore so it didn’t become high and dry as the tide went out. If that happened, I would be stranded on the beach until the tide came back in as the boat is too heavy for me to move without a trailer. Here it is off shore.

I double anchored by throwing a first anchor off the back of the boat, about a hundred yards off shore. I then tied a buoy to the anchor rope and fitted a pulley to the buoy. I rowed towards the shore to set the anchor then fed a second rope through the pulley on the buoy so I had the boat on a loop of rope which I took ashore and tied off on a second anchor placed on the beach. To keep the boat off shore, I simply pulled one side of the loop and the boat headed for the buoy. To bring the boat back, I pulled the loop the other way and it came back to the shore.

I then stretched my legs on a walkabout without worrying about the boat becoming stranded on the shore. The tide was still falling.

I walked round the point to get a good view of Ben Starav. A gentle breeze started to ripple the surface so I didn’t get the mountain reflected on the loch.

The wild broom looked lovely and colourful yielding its yellow blooms. I had my lunch in this peaceful spot and was regretting not bringing my camping gear.

After lunch I headed back to the boat and took this photo of two swans enjoying the nice weather.

I didn’t realise it at the time, but it was the calm before the storm. I was about to find out exactly what force six gusts are like in a small boat. Sadly, I later read that the winds capsized another boat in the loch and one of its occupants lost his life :(

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice. Enjoyed this! :)