Friday, 27 March 2009

A Clyde Sail

It's still early in the year to be getting out on the water, but when the opportunity came to mess about on a boat I didn't hesitate. The Firth of Clyde is a beautiful area, island-studded, with the Highlands on one side; yet conveniently close to the Central Belt.


This is the area of Neil Munro's much loved Para Handy, the fictional Edwardian puffer captain, whose stories can best be understood by getting out on the water yourself. Tighnabruach, Rothesay, Millport, Greenock, Dunoon, Tarbet, Lochranza - far apart by road and ferry, yet easily accessible by boat.

On open water:

We sailed to Rothesay, round the Kyles of Bute, past Tighnabruach (the smell of peatsmoke wafting out to us), towards Lochranza, back round Cumbrae to Largs, and saw several types of seabirds, rainbows in the waves, and a dolphin.

Heading back to Largs:

The Firth of Clyde - all islands, sealochs and quaint seaside towns - is full of character, and is a fairly safe cruising ground. Sheltered from the worst swells by Kintyre, and with a low tidal range, you can run in most directions for a good harbour.

Yet on the other side of Kintyre - accessible by the short Crinan Canal - is the Firth of Lorn. This has some of the most challenging cruising waters in the world, with fast tidal races, reefs, and the infamous whirlpool of Corryvreckan.

I think I want a boat.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Wonderful blog - close to my heart, this one!