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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Argyll
    Posts
    6,253

    Default Some notes from a cruise

    Went from Crinan via the Summer Isles to Lochinver so here is my report, feel free to contradict.
    The grub in the Crinan Hotel seafood bar is seriously good as is their coffee, two arbroath smokies a pile of leaves and chips for £12, scallops are a bit dearer but very nicely presented.
    The Oban Inn is a major disappointment, sitting outside with a beer is nice if it is sunny but inside the pub has lost all its character, untrained disinterested staff, stodgy food and miserable atmosphere, Cuan Mor across the road is much better, their seafood platters to share are great, next time I will not be sharing.
    Tobermory is missing MacGoochans, the Mishnish is struggling to compensate. The floating breakwater helps a bit but northerlies can still be very bouncy, I was told it was worse on the moorings.
    In Mallaig there is plenty of choice, the trendy bread shop and Pizza bar at the marina is open occasionally but possibly not worth the very long wait, unfortunately the massive book shop and coffee bar in the Seamens Mission was closed but should be reopening any day, some restaurants closing intermittently because of 'staff problems'.
    No pontoons at Kyle (should be in by now?)and most anchoring space now occupied by moorings, the glass bottomed boat is still trying to discourage berthing in Kyleakin, tell him where to go, he is not popular in the harbour.
    Gairloch (pontoon at Flowerdale) Len the harbour master could not be more helpful and his diesel is 30% cheaper than Tob. They have just opened a new museum in a conversion of a massive two storey redundant nuclear bunker and the Gale centre and Farm shop next door are community run. Who knew Gairloch had a nuclear bunker, they had been using it as as a Roads Depot. Golf club is good for lunch and very welcoming, right beside one of the best beaches on the West Coast, Old Inn has some good beers and food, if a little pretentious. Go to the Mountain Coffeee shop in Strath, choice of 60 varieties of coffee any of which takes at least half an hour to prepare and vegan food which takes even longer, watching the old duffers harumph off after waiting for 20 minutes with the girls oblivious to the loss of business can be a laugh if you have time on your hands.
    Inverewe gardens well worth a visit but be aware that the NT lock the gate on the landing steps when their own trip boat is not working, we moved to Aultbea at sunset but Eoin Thomas is my favourite Loch Ewe anchorage.
    Ullapool, the harbour still struggles to welcome yachts and beware of the massive rusty thimbles on the visitor mooring strops, ashore there is plenty of choice, the carry out at the Seaforth is good and you can fetch a beer to their outside tables.
    Tanera Mor now looks like an industrial site with quarries and fish farms but there is plenty of other choices and the Summer Isles are like heaven on a sunny day, did not get to Isle Martin this time.
    In Lochinver, Linda is still welcoming in the harbour office, all the berths now have shorepower and you get really good proper home cooked food in the community run An Cala restaurant in the old seamans mission, overlokking the football pitch, no license so bring your own. Probably the best cooking we experienced.
    It was bloody cold most of the time, 11C is not warm enough, shorts only got a brief airing.
    I found it hard to remember that the flood in the Inner Sound goes south but it does help when you can carry 12 hours of tide. The converse from Crinan when you have 8 hours going North but only 4 hours coming back.
    Our wee Moody with its old fashioned rig sails much better than one would expect managing 7 knots on a beam reach at times, surfing more quickly and rarely needing a reef, the pricy flexofold three blade has transformed the 2020 engine adding around a knot to our motoring speed while only burning 1.2 litres per hour.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic
    Posts
    19,777

    Default Re: Some notes from a cruise

    Many, many tides since I sailed in that part of the world so that bought back some great memories, ta!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Ardfern and Malvern
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Some notes from a cruise

    Thanks for the update which is very useful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fortrose
    Posts
    1,485

    Default Re: Some notes from a cruise

    Mishnish: you're wrong.
    Lochinver; you're right, but didn't mention the pie shop.
    Folkboat 'Stakkr' - Inverness - http://islandrov.wix.com/island-rov-web

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    N of Ardnamurchan, winter Loch Melfort
    Posts
    886

    Default Re: Some notes from a cruise

    Spent 4 weeks doing something similar, but via rhe Outer Hebrides. Notably it was b******y cold!.

    Summer Isles - I prefer Tanera Beg to Tanera More.

    Isle Martin - looked in briefly, but the wind was in the north to which it is exposed, so carried onto Ullapool.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Argyll
    Posts
    6,253

    Default Re: Some notes from a cruise

    Quote Originally Posted by jamie N View Post
    Mishnish: you're wrong.
    Lochinver; you're right, but didn't mention the pie shop.
    Tobermory needs more than one pub these days and the MacDonald Arms is not it, the tourists are sitting all night with a half of bitter in the Mish.
    Believe it or not I was trying to be brief, feel free to add any information available

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Keswick, Cumbria
    Posts
    1,824

    Default Re: Some notes from a cruise

    I rather like the macdonald arms, you dont get people wearing life jackets in there

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    On our way
    Posts
    1,338

    Default Re: Some notes from a cruise

    Great update and happy memories of a lovely sailing area.

    On the other hand, we have been dealing with the heat over the last three months. Shorts and T shirts. Now I remember why we came South...

    P.S. We like Loch Aline and the White House there (when you can get in) is a bit special
    Last edited by dslittle; 13-07-19 at 08:31.

    Dum vivimus vivamus

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    2,291

    Default Re: Some notes from a cruise

    Thanks for taking the time to write your cruise notes.

    Need to try the Crinan hotel again sometime. Previously we found it expensive and nothing special.

    Tobermory, just bypassed it and sitting at anchor in Kilchoan, beautiful spot. Toby is really too commercialised now and tbh, not worth stopping at unless you really need to. They really p155ed me off when they put mooring in Aros b
    Bay a years or two back, that’s just money grubbing and spiteful to those that anchored there (about a mile from Tob).

    Ullapool, we stopped there last summer and the Harbourmaster could not have been more helpful and welcoming. They even offer a water taxi service if you ask. Well worth a visit they probably just don’t like grumpy old foreigners ).
    Are you back or still out west? Would be good to catch up.
    Chris
    Out west.... (or in the office)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Argyll
    Posts
    6,253

    Default Re: Some notes from a cruise

    Back home, the cruise distance is controlled by the gap between the wifes hair appointments, still I have to be grateful that she will still come with me. Try the Crinan I think it is hard to match and not really that expensive. I had hoped that this year my Ullapool prejudice might be put to rest but the Asst. Harbourmaster who took our money did not show any sign of welcome, perhaps his wife is Irish?

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