Brodick (Arran) to Campbeltown 36 nm. Sailing around Britain 2014
We woke on anchor this morning having had a wonderful quiet night’s sleep. Marian was full of beans and put on a lamb and lentil stew, to cook slowly throughout the day in the Mr D’s Eco Thermal cooker. I researched and copied down a map of the island and bus times, Sean got us all organised for breakfast and before you knew it we were heading onto the island of Arran for a delightful day of discovery. Having rowed into shore, we separated, Sean and I walked off to Bodick Castle, quite a pleasant walk which at one point took us through the golf course.
The castle is owned by the National Trust, we arrive early and tried to book ourselves on the secret house tour, but sadly we were the only interested party, apparently they needed twenty four hours’ notice anyway, bar hum bug, it didn’t say that on the website! Sean and I started our look round with coffee and cakes on the terrace in the sun.
The house itself is well worth a few hours of your time if you visit Arran, Brodick house, houses one of the most impressive silver collections I have ever seen; treasures abound, in one room alone they have five Gainsborough’s!
Close to the house are a range of other buildings, which house a leather shop, brewery, pottery and a craft shop called, Arran Gems, which housed some natty original artisan jewellery, so I’ve included a link. From the 15th-18th August 2014 Arran is holding an Open studios event, where you can wander from studio to studio right across the Island, I would have liked to have remained here for that event, but that’s it with a circumnavigation, I’m just passing through.
We bumped into Marian and Simon and both ended up catching the same bus north round the island to Blackwaterfoot, here Sean and I had a picnic in the shade and spent a couple of hours reading by a stream, whilst Marian and Simon wandered along the coast and went for a swim. We all caught the 6.25pm bus round the south of the island back to Brodick. There is a large Co-op here so we grabbed a few supplies before heading back to the boat. There are fifteen blue anchor buoys in the bay at Brodick, close to the shore; at least by providing these buoys it prevents any damage to the sea bed.
Simon and I went in for a swim as soon as we got back to the boat; I have to say it was beautiful. I got out with the arrival of a very large specimen of Lions Maid jelly fish.
Marian served up our lamb stew, and after dinner Sean did the passage plan for Campletown. I caught up on some bookings for Static Boat Holidays, and Marian and Simon started looking for accommodation for when they return. All in all a quiet evening on the boat.
Sean and I were up at 5.45am, joined a little later by Marian and then Simon; we slipped off the mooring buoy as the sun was rising in a pink sky. There is a saying ‘red sky at night, shepherds delight, red sky in the morning, shepherds warning’. The reason for our early departure is that the weather is due to change quite dramatically about lunchtime; fortuitously the tidal streams are right with us round to Campbeltown.
There aren’t too many concerns on this passage, as long as we keep Arran on our right hand side, until we get to the green buoy at the southern end of Arran, and then we cut straight across instead of continuing round, we will be fine. Sean completed the passage plan for today, but as we had a circular bus journey round the island yesterday, we have a good idea of where we are going!
Holy Island off Arran was quite interesting, as we motored past (absolutely no wind or ripples on the water) we could see wild ponies, sheep and goats on the foreshore; we think they were eating the kelp. We also observed that the lower sections of Holy island appeared to be formed from Basalt rock, the same rock formation that makes up the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland, and Staffa Island.
There were more lighthouses than I have seen on a previous says sail, four, Clauchlands Point, Pillar Rock Point, Pladda and Horn Island Davaar.
I stuck out the fishing line on my second hour on watch; I caught a tiny mackerel but threw it back. As we approached Kintyre in the Kilbrannan Sound, we saw three harbour porpoise, gracefully moving through the water away from us. About 11am the rain started, it rained intermittently for the next hour, by which time Sean and guided us onto the pontoon at Campbeltown, and then the heavens opened.
We are here for two nights, so I will blog again on route to Rathlin Island on the north coast of Ireland.
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I do hope you enjoyed this blog article about are trip from Brodick (Arran) to Campbeltown if you did perhaps you would like to leave a comment, or a suggestion for anyone else taking the same journey.
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