Scotland 17
Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 2:16PM
Chris Strickland

Setting off for a tow up to Largs for the start of our cruise

Helen and I will be cruising to Oban and the Western Isles

More details later

Update on Monday, May 15, 2017 at 12:12PM by Registered CommenterMike Deacon

Wonderful sight - say 'hello' to Bonny Scotland (& Dougie & the 'Wee Beasties' & Nicola S) for me.


Update on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 9:15PM by Registered CommenterMike Deacon


It was an epic journey towing Seahound from Lymington to Largs on the Clyde,Scotland almost 500 miles. We started in the rain with countless lorries passing us in the narrow roadworks on the M6 which seemed to go on forever plus 2 trailer tyres down and changing a blow out. Luckily we had two spares with us.  We were launched promptly in Largs Y H by the superb yard team who had waited for us to arrive as we were three hours late.

We left Largs on Thursday morning in sunshine but encountered a choppy brisk sea F4 /5. round Arran.  We decided to make for the Mull and take the inshore passage inside the island of Sanda not knowing what the Mull had instore for us. The Irish coast was clear with a massive black storm cloud hovering above the coast. After rounding the Mull and negotiating a few large rollers in the overfalls that luckily were not breaking we picked up a following sea and headed for the island of Gigha.

We stopped off as to our delight a new pontoon had been put in for the summer. The Boathouse has a charming new owner who has been open since Christmas. Having gone in for a drink we ended up sitting in the sun having a three course meal. Local oysters, lobster Shetland mussels all cooked to perfection. 

As the sun started to slip away behind the twin peaks of Jura we left for Craobh arriving 21.30hrs but still light!

We leave tomorrow for a short hop to Oban.

More on our cruise laterRegards

Chris & Helen Strickland

The view to Ireland from the Mull of Kintyre

Ailsa Craig, just before the Mull


Very good new pontoons at Gigha


Sunset over the Paps of Jura


Craobh Haven Marina to Dunstaffnage Marina

We cast off from Craobh early afternoon and headed out past Creagach and North to Torsa.
After passing through Cuan Sound and past Cuan Point we skirted Easdale and northeast to Kerrera and Oban. We made fast at Dunstaffnage Marina late afternoon to be met by our daughter Sarah and partner Ben who were staying at the Wide Mouthed Frog. After a superb evening meal in the Fish House on the pier in Oban we made our way back to the Frog for last orders. Sarah and Ben spotted this restaurant when they came back on the ferry from Coll, following a five and half hour passage, in early March having flown to Tiree and then on to Coll where they became storm bound for several days.

 It is noteworthy that both marinas charged approx  two thirds of the cost of a berth on the south coast per night including electricity and there was plenty of space available.  Facilities in Craobh include the excellent pub 'The Lord of the Isles' but it does not open until midday so you need to be self sufficient for breakfast. There is an adequate chandlery on site.

Also we spotted a slightly odd notice in The Frog advising that  'our Sunday lunches proved very popular last year so please be prepared for a shortage of meat'.   Sunday lunch is served in the afternoon from 2-6pm.

The excellent Dunstaffnage Marina



Update on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 6:25PM by Registered CommenterMike Deacon

Dunstaffnage, Portavadie, Largs via The Crinan Canal

On our way back to Largs we decided to stop off at Portavadie as Dougie Crockett (BIBOA’s chap in Scotland) had organised a Biboa cruise there 7 years ago when the marina was in its infancy

Due to southwesterly 5-6 forecast we decided to miss out on a passage round The Mull and to take the short cut through The Crinan canal.

We arrived in Crinan and locked in through the sealock and made fast outside The Seafood Bar for the night in very tranquil surroundings. The lock staff advised us that we could have an assisted passage in the morning using the services of Yot Spot, for the price of £50. They would take our ropes, open the lock gates and the sluices along the canal. It would have been almost impossible with the turbulence of the water filling the lock for single handed crew to keep the craft in position. Also all the locks are operated manually. It should be mentioned that Scottish canals have reduced the price of traversing the Crinan by at least £50 from 2 years ago but no help is given other than at the sea lock each end of the canal. The staff are extremely helpful and charming. There are 15 locks and 7 bridges to navigate along the 14km length of the canal. The cost for Seahound's passage was £115 plus the assistance fee.  The assisted passage took six hours.

After leaving the sea lock at Ardrishaig we made the ten mile passage to Portavadie mooring up just before the heavens opened.

Seahound entering the Crinan Canal en route back to Largs


Sarah and Ben from Seahound enjoying a wee dram before winding all those lock gates.


Entering the Crinan Canal

We're on our way through the Crinan Canal

Crinan Village

Just one of quite a few Crinan locks, note our wet weather gear, this is Bonny Scotland.

Cheer up Skippy, there is blazing sunshine at home down South.

Maybe this is the Crinan Les Miserable ?

Portavadie Marina

Flowering gorse at Portavadie

Cottages to rent at Portavadie


Exiting Portavadie Marina after a warming mug of hot chocolate, or maybe something a little stronger....

A nautical visitor on the pontoon at Largs

Scott's bar at Largs, a very welcome Hendricks G&T after a wonderful cruise in the land of Lochs and rocks.

Yours Aye from Chris, Helen, Sarah , Ben and Seahound 5 !



Article originally appeared on BIBOA - British Inflatable Boat Owners Association (
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