Expedition Report 14 June - Beating the Closing Gates

Leaving Ardfern we had an early start as there were three, not one, not two, but three areas of our planned route that would see us passing through a tidal gate. These are, as we have been learning, areas where the tides can run so strong it would be like walking the wrong way on a moving walkway if you get there at the wrong time. It might even mean that at low tides there are shallow patches we wouldn’t be able to get through.

With timings worked out and our “early” departure time upon us we slipped lines and were soon hoisting the mainsail. As there was still a fair bit of wind and the gusts could be a bit hard we only put up about two thirds of the mainsail. It’s called reefing, and we were using reef two. With the staysail up next we were soon sailing well and getting some Gybing practice in while underway.

In fact, is was such a good trip that we got to Loch Aline after just six hours. It was then time to continue with our shore side explorations. This time we set about looking for ammonite fossils on the beach. We also learned about the largest underground silicone mine in Europe and how silicone sand is used for glass making.

With curry and burgers the options for dinner the day flew in. With weather watching on for the 15th it will be interesting to see where we are after another day at sea.

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A nice sail with the chance to practice our Gybing!

A nice sail with the chance to practice our Gybing!

Another day of lighter winds forecast for Saturday.

Another day of lighter winds forecast for Saturday.