From Troon, Blue Dove crashed south close in to the bleak Ayrshire coast and around the entrance to Loch Owen.
In late afternoon sun it was a pleasure to tie up against the wall in tiny, picturesque Portpatrick Harbour. Now that the entrance has been dredged for the RNLI lifeboat you don’t have to be so anxious about finding the transit marks (one stripe painted on the wall and one on the side of a building). Pub haddock and chips and sleep interrupted only by shore line adjustments.
In more generous weather with intermittent reluctant sunshine we headed south again, past the bold Mull of Galloway, whose much feared race treated us kindly. And so, goodbye Scotland.
The Isle of Man soon appeared over the horizon in a late afternoon sun without warmth. We crept around the breakwater under the shadow of Peel castle, dropped sail in the outer harbour and motored through the lock into the inner basin. Steep hills and a maze of narrow streets, surprisingly unspoilt by tourism. Time to sort out our sails, visit the kipper smoking factory, have an argument or two and dine well on fresh local seafood.
Motor cycles are everywhere. Hundreds of them. Blasts from my ageing past – Velocette, BSA, AJS, Manx Norton and Matchless. Nice old blokes with grey beards and full leathers discuss carburettors and tipple while they wait for the big race tomorrow. A pity we will miss it.