Shetlands and Orkneys are both travelogue locations, subjects for a long evening with something mulled.
Now Tainui is in Oban, near the Isle of Mull on the west coast of Scotland. We came out of the Caledonian Canal from Inverness a few days ago after 5 wonderful days of Loch Ness, Ben Nevis, snug pubs with haggis, dense accents, mist and endless lock gates.
Today it is blowing a vicious gale with horizontal rain. Bit of a shock after our generally good weather with less rather than more wind.
In lovely Oban we have Bristol Channel pilot cutters, northern ocean sailing hermits, stout timber fishing vessels and severe but splendid Victorian architecture wrapped round the harbour.
After some repairs – Aries bearings, mainsail batten cars and the accumulated minor problems of long passages – we’re hoping to milk another month out of the late summer. Weather permitting we hope to explore Skye and the Outer Hebrides before Tainui comes out of the water for the winter and I fly home to deal with mortgage bloat.
Next summer will either be Scottish Isles or Spitsbergen. There’s a lifetime of cruising in these waters, I must say. Early crew sign on is essential, with severe default penalties.