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

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…


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…

Under Starlight


Today Facebook threw up a memory, it was of a post I had written in December 2012.  On a very beautiful night back in the early days when Chris and I were on Shemaron we had the most exceptional time and it gave me much pleasure to remember it - so I have re-posted it...

Somewhere in the world of latitudes and longitudes fifty five degrees north and five degrees west, north but not so far north as Lapland and on the western fringes where the light defilement is minimal we find ourselves on the deck of our boat, it is night, it is dark, and there is a sharpening in the breeze.

In a lonely marina far enough away from all other boats to feel happily desolate we are sitting on deck wrapped in the woolly quiet of the night. All time is thrown open above us in random light, the past the present and the future an unfolding event on the astral plains. We are the smallest speck on the particular meridian that holds us in time and space, we sit afloat bathed in the supernal illume, …