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Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

3rd September, 2018

Well, you can only imagine my delight when I awoke to sunny skies and a gentle breeze on Monday morning. All was looking delightfully well for our first port of call on this interesting ‘Celtic Homelands’ itinerary.

Our tenders were lowered at around 07:30 and we commenced ferrying passengers ashore shortly thereafter. It was only a half a mile or so ride into the little local fishing harbour & marina. The village acts as the gateway to the beautiful peninsula of Kintyre, and the harbour still home to a working fishing fleet. Behind the village, backed by rugged hills, lie the ivy-strewn ruins of Robert the Bruce’s 14th century keep which offers smashing views over the surrounding area.

Local fishermen shared the little quay with us as we carried out our respective operations. The fishermen were landing tubs full of crab & lobster; a small amount of which headed to the local village but a significant amount was also being loaded into a Spanish registered refrigerated lorry, which would travel straight down to Spain as soon as it was fully loaded.

National Trust for Scotland’s tours today whisked those who wished off on visits to the Trust’s gardens of Arduaine and Crarae; the most prehistoric site in mainland Scotland so I am told. Inveraray Castle – the 18th century home to the Duke of Argyll – could also be visited.

Early evening approached and it was time for us to weight the anchor, which today posed a few more challenges than normal. We had somehow managed to snag an entire factory’s worth of wire & rope from the seabed around it, which took a while to detach using boathooks and a zodiac armed with bolt-cutters. I assumed that the wire we plucked up and cut wasn’t the main phone line to Bute, however we haven’t heard from them since to confirm…

After freeing ourselves from the seabed, we enjoyed a sunset sail along the east coast of the Kintyre Peninsula as we sailed south through the Kilbrannan Sound. Next stop tomorrow: Barrow-on-Furness… or so we all thought.

Captain Kim Tanner

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