Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Nick sails into retirement on Mull

We take a little break from the Dower House as we celebrate
 Nick's 65th birthday June 29th on Mull and Iona.

Five years ago on his 60th birthday Nick was so ill he couldn't do the trip he had dreamed of, which was to go across the ocean on a tall ship
We were not sure he would even be able to paddle his kayak again due to rheumatoid arthritis. 

Tiredness, long hours and stress at work, stuck in a rut!

Three years ago in August we were on Islay on holiday with  friends and family...and the rest is history.

However when given the choice of sailing, Nick chose to sail with Mark Jardine on the Isle of Iona as we had been out with Mark a few years ago and had a great time. So Nick's sister Helen booked us a house on Mull and here are the photos of a most fantastic week with three days sailing and some fabulous memories.

Journey the world between ocean and coast
Let the wind decide where we go
An unhurried drinking in of the landscape
Disturbing little
A different sort of trip
Birthe Marie is an unashamedly old fashioned boat
Quietly finding her way into places hidden from life ashore. 

Alternative Boat Hire Iona
Mark Jardine

We travelled by Cal Mac ferry from Islay to Oban and then across to Craignure, on a very misty day, but I loved it as there was so little driving involved.

Jenny was able to come for the whole week, 
Katie, Dan  and Angus joined us later, but sadly missed the sailing, we'll go again I promise.

View from the cottage at Ardchrishnish

Touring the Isle of Mull.

Greylag geese with goslings.

Mull has very dramatic scenery...


Why would anyone want to go on one of these
 when you could go on this?

Birthe Marie

The Skipper checks the deck hands have got it right.

Nick at the helm...


Helen at the helm...


Always smiling...

Scoor beach,
 where we have spent many wonderful holidays over the years...

Fabulous sailing weather...

Some Auntie/Niece bonding!

Day 2 
The Treshnish Isles and Staffa...

20 years ago I spent £16 on a boat trip to the Treshnish Isles in June with a group from Poole Harbour Canoe Club. 
It was the best £16 I have ever spent! 
Well almost...

Look it's a puffin...

Talking to puffins...

Sand eels for supper...

The puffins are completely at home with people, possibly because people are safer than gulls and other preying birds that try to catch them, or their catch as they come in to land.



Shag with nest.


1000s of sea birds...


 More puffins...

Staffa and Fingal's cave...

Have you ever listened to
 Mendelssohn's The Hebrides Overture ("Fingal's Cave")? 

We almost went into the cave, but the mast wouldn't fit!

Shags almost look prehistoric, they have bright green eyes!

Helen and Ian have a wish to sail round Britain, I think it may be less relaxing than this!

...and on the way back, what we thought at first to be a dolphin turned out to be a Minke whale, a first for most of us...


Sunset Ardchrishnish...

As the sun goes down on another spectacular day...

I think this could be classed as child cruelty!

Mark rows us back to the boat. 

I have to confess that when I got into the dingy next I did a nose dive onto my face..
I wouldn't have said anything, but unfortunately Jenny was watching!

Happy sailors!

Happy birthday Nick!

The secret Isle of flowers...


Mmmm shall we go back for them?

On the 4th day someone else was sailing with Mark and we watched from the shore, but what a sight and 
what an amazing few days.

It rained on Iona...

...but Helen had an umbrella!

Katie and Dan arrived on the same day as Angus 
 and we spent the next 2 days exploring on foot.

The beautiful Scoor beach...

Angus still uses film cameras and it made me 
quite nostalgic for my old Pentax spotmatic.

Dan and Nick discussing rocks...I assume!

Jenny on the edge!

Angus took one look at the sea, stripped off and ran in!
He did keep his pants on thank goodness. Katie and Dan followed, Jenny ran in and out in 10 seconds, while Nick and I just looked on in wonder! 

There were a few eagles on Mull!

Grass Point just before we parted from Helen and Ian heading back to Cambridge, while the rest of us extended the holiday back on Islay.

...and as we returned home we passed the barque 
(tall ship) Tenacious sailing past the Paps of Jura

If you want an amazing experience and don't mind if it rains or the sun shines, if it's windy or calm, then Mark Jardine is your man. 
I have absolute trust in his knowledge, judgement and ability on the Birthe Marie, he is also a natural teacher and gives you confidence.

Thank-you Mark, we'll be back!


No comments:

Post a Comment