Thursday, 27 May 2010

SIPR 4: Jura

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Graham and I woke to the sound of the engine. The tide had turned but the wind had not risen. We were motoring to Craighouse and had thus forfeited the race. But we all felt it was the right decision: we were still determined to complete the course and sail when possible, even if we were no longer in the honours. Phosphoresence glowed round the boat, and we set off about half four on Sunday morning, deer grazing by the roadside. We were out the race, but personal pride meant we still wanted to complete the course in as good a time as we could. Another crew caught us up at Jura Forest Lodge, but we left them behind once on the hill. This wasn't surprising. They had rowed all through the night and looked knackered, whilst Graham and I had enjoyed a full 24 hours rest in gentle seas.

Graham on Beinn a' Chaolais:

On Beinn an Oir:

The paps were unpleasant: I've heard them called 'the graveyard of fell-running shoes' and now understand why. The screes ripped my flimsy shoes and we were glad to get down off the last hill without damage bar a couple of stubbed toes. I have to take my hat off to those crazy bastards who run down this ankle-breaking stuff. We tried some ineffectual running back along the coast road, and stopped to chat to some tourists. "Jura's great, for example..." the man said, "but wait, I'm not going to tell you about it! We want to keep it to ourselves!" Cuckoos called in the trees. It seemed a shame that our first visit to Jura was so short, but what was that in the bay - The Blue Pearl! They'd made it down the west side of Jura without being sucked under in the Corryvreckan: a journey worthy of their darker namesake.

The Paps reflected:

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