Skip to main content


At last a minute to myself, I have a cup of tea, a piece of flapjack left over from our boat festival trip, and the house to myself, a little calm after the extra busy last few days. We returned home later than originally anticipated owing to stormy conditions on Sunday and an extra night spent on board
Shemaron in Campeltown.

The sun was shining in the west this weekend, we arrived in Campbeltown early on Wednesday evening in time to haul our mattresses on deck and dry them out in the breeze, having resisted the urge to go and find a curry for about half an hour we finally caved and brought one back to share before we settled in for the night.
The morning dawned while we were snug in our bunks and we woke to  bright sunshine, we were away within an hour of rising, Sandy and two of his grandchildren joined us on board. When ever Sandy joins us it makes for a relaxing trip, with the benefit of his local knowledge we made our way to Carradale hugging the coastline, able to enjoy the shore and watch the white feral goats feeding on seaweed that was growing on the rocky outcrops. We dropped our passengers and headed to the local store for some provisions and to the jewellers to organise some repairs to one of my rings. We had intended to leave as soon as we returned but as it was so warm and sheltered in the harbour we dallied a while soaking up the rays, before heading off. As the sea flattened before us, I found my perfect spot sitting in the wheel house doorway sheltered from the wind yet still warm in the sun. An incredible vista was unfurling before me, porpoise hooped through the water, their glossy backs leaving perfect circles on the sea surface as they disappeared into the fathoms below, unhurried by our intrusion into their natural routine. Carradale turned to a mere shadow off the port side and the scarps of northern Arran loomed on our starboard side. A short time later we were gliding passed the Slow Max 3 knotts buoys that herald the entrance to Tarbert harbour. At this point we gave up our lonely existence on the sea and surrendered to fun and frolics of the festival weekend.

We found our place on the pontoon by Golden View and Protect Me 11 and later we were joined by Ocean Gem and Grace Rithchie. After a welcome reception on the Cafe Barge which included plenty of whiskey, we returned to find the strains of cello, fiddle and guitar wafting around the marina as an impromptu musical ensemble played a casual assortment of tunes amid the beautiful traditional boats, I believe more copious amounts of whiskey were consumed as well as the odd few of bottles of wine and gin. The warm weather stayed with us during Saturday and many folk were enticed to try their luck along a greasy pole, by the bottle of Jura single malt that dangled over the water at it's end, the warm weather making the almost inevitable dip in the sea more of a fun experience than it might otherwise have been. While I sat on deck and watched the fun Chris was up to his elbows in bilge repairing one of the pumps and trying to ascertain the source of a clank in the engine we noticed as we arrived. We played host to a steady show of visitors during the afternoon, there seemed to be a healthy interest in Shemaron even though she lay unadorned without the flags that dressed the masts of almost every other boat present as we had decided to go more for the just finished fishing, fishing boat look! By evening the cooler temperatures crept around us stiffening our muscles, I did manage to stumble rather unsatisfactorily around a Gay Gordon at the ceilidh, there were one or two Tartans swinging around the marquee and an easy sense of conviviality mingled with the notes from the band. After a free brunch the next morning courtesy of the Argyle Hotel people began to drift away leaving Tarbert to it's own again.

A big thanks from Shemaron to all concerned for a well organised interesting and fun weekend.


We prevaricated for most of the day unsure of the windy conditions and left eventually around four when we hoped the wind had dropped as forecast, as soon as we turned out toward Skipness point we could see broken cloud and blue sky. Yet another beautiful journey down the Kilbranan Sound. We arrived home without mishap still not sure about the engine noise but confident after four hours of motoring any problems would have presented themselves.

Popular posts from this blog


The Rowan tree grew precariously on the side on the old Dun, its roots stretching under the fallen stones had found a tenuous hold. It was late September and the bushy branches supported a few clusters of bright red berries. From where I stood on the highest point the sides of the Dun fell steeply down to the ancient valley, where, the river Add meandered its final course before emptying into Loch Crinan. The Vale spread wide below and beyond the river’s reach it ran in a rich verdure towards the sea in one direction and the Moine Mhor Bog in another.

Seaward the valley stretched evenly, beyond the small cup of blue that denoted the ocean the northern tip of Jura lay gray and low beneath the sky. Rising in a gentle rocky fold at the eastern edge of the valley the land began to climb, here pockets of trees grew on the hillside, on the following downward slope a band of green conifer tops spread wide until the land climbed once more. The distant rocky hilltops rose under the moving sha…

Tighnabruaich and Loch Riddon

Our stop over in Carradale had coincided with the Carradale Canter, a 5 and 10k summer run in which our daughter and crew member was participating. The course started at the harbour and unfolded along Carradale Bay taking in the stunning beauty of this area of Kintyre. From our deck we had a prime view of the start and finish lines and watched the proceedings along with the local seal who popped up in the harbour interested by all the commotion. There was a lovely atmosphere in the sunny harbour enhanced by a second place on the 10k run for our Shemaron crew!We had a quick turn around after the race, the wind had dropped during the morning and we set off again around 2.30 PM leaving our neighbours free to go to their fishing later that night. 
Our plan was to anchor off St Ninian’s Bay on the isle of Bute. On our approach the wind changed direction, a swell rolled into the bay from the south west which would have meant an uncomfortable night at anchor, we decided not to stop and cont…

Strange Mythological Blue Men of the Hebrides

From - Shemaron: A Beautiful EndeavourMythological Blue Men of the Hebrides
"The “charmed Islands” of the Hebrides that lie off Scotland’s west coast have their share of myth and legend; the myth of the Blue Men evolved from ancient Greek mythology. They are the sons of Glaukos Pontius, Blue Man of the sea, and are collectively known as Glaukidai.
The Scottish Blue Men migrated to Ireland from the Mediterranean and are said to live in caves under the Minch. If a sailor saw a Blue Man he could be sure that a storm was to follow. They are reputed to have attacked ships or sailors who had been unkind to Selkies (seal people) or other sea folk. Engaging the chieftain in rhyme could avert their anger; if the wit and rhyme was deemed impressive enough, the boat and its crew would be left alone.
Boats often sailed round the Shiant Isles, which lie to the east of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, to avoid the “stream of the Blue Men” or “the current of destruction”.
Seeing these words on the pag…