Sunday 10 August 2014

The Sound of Iona and Loch Tarbert, Isle of Jura.

Leaving Bunnessan at 09-00 put us in a good position to catch the start of the fair tide through the Sound of Iona. There was very little wind, so we were motoring with the main up.

The entrance to Iona Sound.

As we passed over a shallow area in the sound we disturbed a flock of cormorants which were busy fishing. The sound was very picturesque, and we had good views of Iona Cathedral and Martyrs Bay village.

Iona Cathedral.

Martyrs Bay Village.

By 11-00 we were through the sound and heading to pass to the north of Colonsay before turning south to Loch Tarbert on Jura. At 12-00 the wind picked up allowing us to have a good sail.

Two hours later the rain started, just as we approached the entrance to Loch Tarbert. We took the sails down in good time to pick up the leading line to take us to the north of Boghachan Baite and Sgeirean Bhudragain. Meanwhile the wind was increasing and the rain heavier and heavier! Our first attempt to anchor was to the west of Cumhann Mor but with another yacht in residence we felt that we were too close to some rocks.

We decided to try our luck further east in the inner loch. In the driving rain Sue was on the helm, steering using the chart plotter whilst I was peering into the rain over the spray hood to make sure that we safely negotiated the channel at Cumhaan Mor between the outer and inner loch.

We attempted to anchor for the second time just to the east of Cunhann Mor but abandoned this after dragging. Third time lucky, at 16-05, we anchored off the north shore of the loch, south of Cruib Lodge on a gently shelving bottom. We were glad we had taken the trouble to find a good anchorage as at 16-00, Belfast coastguard issued a gale warning for Malin and Hebrides sea areas! Despite noting winds up to 30Kts the anchor held fast and we had a good night lying to the northerly wind.

Next morning the gale had blown through leaving a bright and pleasant day for us to appreciate the fine scenery of the loch as we departed to head further south.

Anchorage to the south of Cruib Lodge. 

The Cumhann Mor narrows. 

One of the Paps of Jura. 

Raised beaches on the shore of Loch Tarbert.

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