Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Connel road/rail bridge.

built in 1901 to carry the railway to Ballachulish and, from 1914 until 1966, it carried both trains and cars.

Nowdays it only carries the road and is controlled by traffic lights at both ends.

As you cross this bridge it is worth looking down to see the tidal stream/waterfall that flows underneath.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Sea Campion

surrounded by empty mussel shells above the high tide mark on the pebble beach. I always find it amazing that such delicate flowers can survive in this hostile environment (wind and saltwater)


sitting rusting at the top of the beach (not much good for mooring a boat) has been collecting seaweed that has dried in the strong sunlight

Cow in the shade

very sensibly taking shelter from the hot sun.

Siamese kitten

we met this little kitten for the first time yesterday. The steps proved too big a challenge so she required some assistance from me.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Paddle Faroes

Follow Patrick Winterton and Mick Berwick as they canoe from Rona to the Faroe Islands. They are transmitting their position so we can track them.

Bridge at Resipole

taking traffic across the burn that flows from Resipole farm and caravan park into Loch Sunart.

Although only a small bridge, the burn under it can flow at torrential rates during rainstorms.

Bridge at Salen

it carries traffic from the Ardnamurchan peninsula towards Fort William

Stone hut

this rather interesting old building with the corrugated roof is just beside the road bridge at Kinlochmoidart.

Kinlochmoidart road bridge

and this is the bridge you would have crossed a decade ago. It was damaged in floods and was no longer safe for traffic.

Replacement Kinlochmoidart bridge

you cross this bridge at Kinlochmoidart- note we stopped to take the photograph after we'd crossed the bridge!

View from Glenuig Hall

where we stopped for coffee.
This is a welcome stopping point on the 'circular' route from Fort William, Lochailort, Acharacle, Strontian, Corran ferry and back to Fort William.

Ruined buildings at Smirisary

and this adjacent building, what purpose did it have?

Smirisary ruins

did this old building house a water wheel?

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Hjalmar Bjorge at Corran Narrows

an unexpected sighting this afternoon. We saw her in the distance and were fortunate enough to park before she came round the corner at the Corran lighthouse.

Chalice waiting

still waiting to go to Dartmouth with/for her buyer.

Mara Mhor

approaching the Oban Times slip today returning from a wildlife trip.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Calmac's Loch Fyne ferry leaving Lochaline

12 minutes after her arrival, MV Loch Fyne was turning around to leave Lochaline again and return to Mull

Calmac's Loch Fyne ferry

arriving this morning from Fishnish on the Isle of Mull. Unusually for me, I was watching her rather than sailing on her.

Gaelic Rose NSSR sticker

some years she has sailed part of the season from Bergen in Norway.

From the NSSR sticker in the wheelhouse window, it looks like she was there in 2008.

Gaelic Rose dive boat

this wooden boat was built as a trawler in MacDuff in the 1960s.

She now sails the west coast of Scotland as a dive boat and was ashore in Lochaline this morning to take advantage of the low tide for painting.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


I just had to take a picture of this onion, not the most colourful of plants but interesting.

Hiding from sparrow babies

Mum has had enough, these babies have got to learn to stand on their own 2 feet (or fly on their own 2 wings?)

So Mum fed baby sparrow

although I discovered later that baby was more than capable of feeding itself !

This young sparrow

was wanting fed by Mum

This sparrow

also looked straight at me but didn't seem worried about my presence.

Looking straight at me

I'm sure this blackbird could hear the camera even though it was on the 'silent' shutter setting.

Today I cheated

and put some seed on the logs in the garden to see what birds arrived. This blackbird appeared to be feeding young and was very alert and watchful.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

New speed limit 40mph?

why is it, that this year, drivers are travelling at 40mph on 60mph (maximum) speed roads?

For the last 3 or 4 weeks I've also been driving at 40mph because I'm behind one of these campervans or cars and, having a 1 litre engine in my own car, have not had time to overtake when we reach a clear straight bit of road.

In fact I'm not sure I even remember why the gear stick has a '5' on it because so rarely can it be used !

Even the caravans are being towed faster. Journeys are taking 20% longer.

Baby pigeon?

this pigeon was sitting on a tree at the ferry. Is it a baby just learning to fly or is it just having a 'bad feather day' ?

Honestly, it's head was on the right way round but for some reason it kept looking backwards.

MV Clansman bow wave

just a close up of the bow wave she was producing

MV Clansman

was also sailing down the Sound of Mull towards Oban

Unknown yacht

was tacking across the Sound of Mull. I was doing very well but I confess I would not have liked to be sailing on her- I don't like the angle.

Farida moored in Tobermory

I couldn't miss this yacht tied up at the pontoons, there was something about her classic looks and the big US flag.

I understand she is a restored Colin Archer but am prepared to be corrected?

Farida- San Francisco it clearly says on her stern.

An internet search revealed she has an interesting story to tell... cruising to the Arctic and back and winning a Canadian restoration prize although she'd never been entered.

I won't reproduce the information here but instead provide you with the links to the stories and the Alaskan voyage blog.
link to blog

Confused dinghy

somebody forgot the tide goes out when they tied this dinghy up at pier in Tobermory- although looking at the water marks on the harbour wall it might just have been intentional to keep her out of the water?

Elizabeth G

the ex.NSSR wildlife and dive boat was anchored in Tobermory. I've got an invite to view this 'little ship' next week.

Spirit of Adventure- bow

a photograph of Spirit of Adventure's bow taken from the CalMac jetty in Tobermory with a passenger launch on her port side.

Spirit of Adventure- passenger launch

the launches were taking passengers between the ship and the pontoons at Tobermory.

Spirit of Adventure anchored in Tobermory

ex.MS Berlin, built around 1980 for Peter Deilmann and lenghtened by 20 metres in 1986.

She was chartered out under the names of Princess Mahsuri and Orange Melody and eventually joined the SAGA fleet in 2005- the difference being you don't have to wait until you are aged 50 to sail on her.

At 9750GT Spirit of Adventure sails from the UK and can take 352 passengers.

Hobby versus work

Well I'm a day behind again here but I think that is OK. This is purely a hobby, something to be enjoyed. There is no necessity to write the blog posts immediately and, as time goes on, they will hopefully develop into something more interesting because of it.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Crinan Classic Boat Festival 2009

I'm thinking of going to this festival, there are some interesting boats taking part and it would be good to get some photographs of them to share with everyone. They say on the website 'open to all wooden boats' and the list of participants is very interesting with some boats we have already seen this summer and many we haven't seen yet.

To start us off, here is a video from 2008.

The Crinan canal is 9 miles long and allows boats to take a shortcut between Loch Fyne and the Sound of Jura

Missed ships

well Saga Rose sneaked through the Sound of Mull on her way south on Monday and I didn't know until too late.

National Geographic Explorer (ex.Hurtigruten's Lyngen) was in the area yesterday but the AiS wasn't being picked up so it was impossible to tell exactly where. I thought, or perhaps it was wishful thinking, that she may move close in because of the bad weather but she is in Stornoway this morning and her schedule from there is north.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Snail shell

and this snail shell was found on the outside of the sitting room window- presumably the snail had climbed there... but where is it now? this looks like an empty shell?

The Swan

is a 67 foot Fife fishing smack that was built in Lerwick (Shetland) in 1900. She is now operated by the Swan Trust

Canadian Pacific

this ex.RNLI lifevoat was built at Sandbanks of Dunoon in 1938.

She saved around 250 people during the 2nd world war and served at Selsey lifeboat station until 1969

HM Coastguard

the coastguard were at Banavie talking to visitors and handing out information and activity booklets to children in an attempt to educate them about water and water safety.



some of the boats were displaying literature explaining their construction or history.

This is the Varen, a 41.6 foot yacht built in 1961, designed by GL Watson.

The Crossing 2009- flotilla flag

the boats were flying 'The Crossing' flotilla flag.

Grace Ritchie lifeboat

and another view of the Grace Ritchie, the ex.RNLI Clyde Class lifeboat that served at Kirkwall.