'Norman James' Re-launching.
On Monday 20th April, we were ready do do a shake down cruise, and with a settled forecast we decided to make a few days of it. Heading south down Cumbrae sound we had a gentle beat on both tacks to help settle the new rigging.
Heading for the southern tip of the Isle of Bute.
As we approached Millport on the South end of Great Cumbrae the wind started to fade, the engine was started and we headed for the southern tip of Bute and on to Lochranza on the north west of Arran. As we approached Arran we could see several warships a submarine, and several support vessels. the submarine didn't appear on AIS but the other vessels were identified as 'NATO VESSEL XXX' - so we weren't being invaded!
NATO submarine with Goat Fell in the background.
On arrival in Lochranza we found that the Lochranza and Catacol moorings hadn't been laid out yet, so we anchored just of the castle, with great views out to sea and up the valley towards the mountains
Above and below : Views from the anchorage.
Spectacular sunset with crescent moon
The next morning there was no wind and we couldn't decide whether to make for Campbeltown ( south ) to East Loch Tarbert / Portavadie ( north ), in the end we headed south to Campbeltown.
The lighthouse on Island Davarr outside Campbeltown with Ailsa Craig in the distance.
Looking back to Island Davarr from the entry channel to Campbeltown.
On arrival at Campbeltown we found that the new marina facility was not finished, but the harbourmaster hailed us and pointed out the visitor moorings, one of which we picked up for the night.
Flat water on the way to Troon.
Pladder lighthouse on the south end of Arran.
On contacting the marina we were allocated a berth close to the exit ramp ( which was nice ). We were impressed by the timber processing industry in Troon early last season, and it was in full swing again with thousands of tree trunks being moved around.
Timber industry in Troon outer harbour.
Supercat ferry berthed outside Troon Harbour.
Five minutes later we exited the harbour and set a course for Cumbrae sound and then on to Largs where we tidied the boat and sorted ourselves out for the drive home. A few teething problems were sorted out during the week but we are now ready for the summer cruising which we hope to start at the end of May.