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Showing posts from June, 2014


In the early hour of the misty morn Came the mournful tone of the Viking horn. Men at oars in their dragon ship Were on the water borne.
The dragonhead took a breath, Full fearsome on the sea, bore
Men at arms with Viking charms, To raid the Loch Fyne shore.

We took a couple of days out from her “freshening up” program to drop in on the flotilla of traditional boats that escorted the Viking boat to the head of Loch Fyne. The moorings at Cairn Dow were the pre arranged meeting place for the commencement of a program of Viking raids on the poor residents living on Loch Fyneside!
With an engine happier at a speed of several knots and tuned for seeking out herring shoals, Shemaron found it difficult to match the pace required by an escort. We decided to range ahead, the low visibility made it hard to see any distance. The fog was down so thick I stood for a long while on the foredeck worried in case we missed the buoys that marked the channel for Otter Spit. The Golden View was a little off our st…


Although it has predominantly been about working on the boat this week we did manage a trip out. Staying in Campbeltown means it is so easy to climb aboard Shemaron and just go. On Sunday morning we emptied the contents of the fridge into a carrier bag and went!

We could see the Ailsa Craig between Davaar Island and Fishermans Cottage when we left the harbour, a grey mound far off from the blue and the green of the sky and land. The day promised to be still; mainly cloudy with patches of sun. After all our manual efforts during the week we felt no qualms about kicking back and enjoying the ride.

Once clear of the channel and the lobster pots, we turned southeast. We lost sight of the Ailsa Craig but it re appeared once we passed the Davaar lighthouse. There was a yacht under sail heading towards the mull, but our course was out towards the grey horizon and the mysterious lump of rock that beckoned. We were full of anticipation heading for a destination by sea is always a thrilling exp…


After working on Shemaron lonesome in the harbour this week it was lovely to have my man back with me in Campbeltown. When Saturday dawned with the weather still and smooth we decided to anchor up the coast and continue our painting under the beautiful Dun at Kildonan. It doesn’t seem that long ago since we were there last year during our wonderful “hippy holiday” when we kicked back and did absolutely nothing! It has meant a lot of hard work this year because Shemaron was in need of some tender love and care, brightening up and general maintenance.

What a day! The sun shone down on us and we painted while Shemaron ranged about on her new anchor. The tide went out and came in again and we painted while the rocks grew around us then shrank back into the sea. Gunnels, strakes and strings all pristine and clean!
This was our first time at anchor this year, it seems a late start but it was worth the wait. The sea was quiet we saw a couple of gannets in the late afternoon the only other th…


When the rest of the world sang in shadows I sat on the sweep of a bay, the sky was full of rain that never came and I lost the world somewhere in illusion.  I sat with an Oyster Catcher in the scars on the rocks and found some freshness in the breathless day.  Ever so softly the sea folded onto the shore and washed powdered pebbles; which lay in pastille shades around the frozen sea stone.

A fish jumped in the shadow of trees, the sky cleared from west, the world turned green and blue once more.
The tall Scots Pine broke the conifer hills while currents spun patterns on the sea. Bright green shore weed echoed the emerald hills with rising rhododendron blush. The quiet bay moved to its own tune in an intimate expansive hush.

I wandered down the clover pathway to watch the heron hunt.

 I kept feeling I should go but I had no reason not to stay. So I stayed and watched and listened.  


Heavy, low, onerous and dark grey the cloud moved ponderously over the loch in the fresh wind of the morning; way above its lumbering progression clean clouds hung, tinged with the remains of a hidden dawn. Waves ran oblivious on the shore and the birds called up the day. The top of Bengullion was soft, swallowed in the smother of the lagging sky. Caught in the changing daybreak light the lower slopes ran in green with the escaping sun.
I watched this at 4am then went back to bed and had the most blissful sleep! When I got up again the sun was up and the day was bright.

Our plans to paint the wheelhouse roof were put on hold because of the wind and instead we decided to walk over to Davaar Island and up to the triangulation point. Such beautiful views over the loch, half way up we stopped to watch the gannets diving.  Our vantage point enabled us to look down on these magnificent birds as they dropped vertically upon their prey. They plummeted into the lagoon left by the turning tide. 


Our first week in Campbeltown is almost over! Lots of hard work going on board Shemaron, my overalls had survived a winter in the fish hold and were put back to use as we got to grips with painting the forecastle. Our fenders have been tidied up with neatly spliced rope, the skylight overhauled, and the pipework for the engine cooling system has been replaced. It looks like the fore cast for rain today has changed and hopefully it will stay dry, so more painting and maybe a look at the stern gland.
Yesterday was so warm it was a pleasure to work, but we called a halt early in the afternoon and took Shemaron out for a quick turn. She had not been out of the harbour since our mishap at Easter; we wanted to make sure nothing untoward was going on. We are happy to report that all was well!
We headed west towards Balnabraid Bay. We often visit the by car and sit on the beach and I thought it would be interesting to see it from the sea. What makes the view work from the shore are the colours…