Scottish Islands Peak Sleepathon

Amidst the stories of chaos and carnage round the Mull of Kintyre, ours was a pleasant wee stroll in comparison. Gordon Pryde and I managed a creditable 4h 59m for the Ben More hill leg from Salen. The wind helped us along the drudgery of the 4 mile road leg early on, and a good low line below the A’Cioch scree got us to the surprisingly calm summit feeling not too bad. Once out the mist we lost a few frustrating minutes overshooting the next checkpoint, before having a good contouring run across to the next checkpoint on the col. Another few minutes were lost being interviewed by the BBC Adventure Show girl, but heh, that’s the price of fame I suppose!! The wind helped hold us up on the steep descent down to the glen, and along the sheep trods back to the track, for the horrible last hour of runnable track and road, finishing about 8.30pm.

Back on the boat it was immediately down below for some rest, food and kip. The forecast was pretty dire for the Saturday sail down Jura and the Mull of Kintyre, and in the early hours of the morning our experienced crew made the very sensible decision to retire from the race and head for the safety of Craobh Haven. After a few hours kip for the crew (Gordon and I had plenty of kip already, but took some more) we headed off to Crinan along the eponymous canal. This was an unexpected pleasure compared to the probable horror of the Paps of Jura, and all Gordon and I had to do all day long was open and close lock gates and enjoy some Loch Fyne ales and lunch at the lovely Cairnbaan Hotel.

Coming out of the Crinan Canal at Ardrishaig we then hit stormy seas for the sail down to Tarbert, Gordon and I down below tryting to snooze some more amongst the crashing of the boat into the waves. This gave us a taste of how things would have been out in the far more exposed and dangerous waters round the Mull of Kintyre, with a Force 8 gale and "wind over tide" predicted. Things in Tarbert harbour were very pleasant as was the Guinness and quiet calm night’s sleep. On Sunday we simply motored down to Troon harbour (mcue more snoozing), where the huge number of retrials after Jura proved our own earlier retrial to have been spot-on. So while it was a disappointment, it was still a great weekend’s adventuring and a great big thanks to our skipper Graham and Brian and Peter for having me aboard.


SIPR website

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