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Cast off – Kyle’s of Bute & Clyde Estuary

January 7th-12th 2024

On a sunny Sunday morning we finally Cast off the lines!  It felt surreal and very unbelievable that we were finally leaving Portavadie harbour. We also learned that Danes and Brits have different views on what is morning. In the UK morning last all the way to noon! But in Denmark morning ends at 9 am and then we have ‘prenoon” (apparently this is a word that has been killed in the British vocabulary- maybe their lively pub culture made it necessary for the morning to last longer).

We ended up anchoring for the first night at a secluded little anchorage at Caladh Harbour on the Kyle’s of Bute, passing Steve’s Apartment in Tighnabrauich (pronouncing this takes a bit of practice) 

At the anchorage Sarah finally got a chance to properly test her SUP that she had brought with her from Copenhagen.  It was a great trip around the little private island where she ended up having a very special close encounter with a feeding otter. It was amazing.

Picture of achorage at Tighnabrauich

She also wanted to explore the tiny island, but was met by a private sign, so she decided to skip that, even though her curiosity was awoken when she found out it was a family graveyard. (Yes, Sarah has a big dream of seeing a ghost but so far it hasn’t happened.

Picture of the anchor tavern

The next day we left for port Bannatyne marina on Isle of Bute, which was very well protected and the village had a lovely little community run pub called the Anchor Tavern.

The local People here were so nice and Sarah got a chance to try Scottish folk dance and learned to play domino’s, while Steve was sipping whisky and telling anecdotes in the bar.

Dancing Scottish folk dance

The next day we walked to Rothesay, which was a very nice walk and a cute town with some amazing Public Victorian toilets – but only at the men’s room so Sarah was lucky it was outside of tourist season so she could go in there.

The antique pissoir at Isle of Bute

Unfortunately the funny American dinner was closed when we walked by, because it looked like a fun place to eat.

Picture of Sarah in front of american diner

We then headed up int the Clyde Estuary for a few days in James Watts marina as Steve had to go back to collect and sell his car. James Watts marina is quite amazing with some historical sugar buildings and a 100 year old huge crane, but the rest of the town like the once impressive Scottish ship building industry seems almost abandoned by cafes and pubs.  We did however find a very good restaurant called Scotts looking over the Clyde estuary. 

Walking home one night we saw the historic customs house toll area with the most amazing post box we have ever seen. On shore on the marina we also saw the weirdest boat ever; it seemed to be a lifeboat converted into a home with all sorts of weird adjustments and a government sign saying it was a biohazard. We had some funny pictures of the person who build this boat, but we are not sure that they like the government and their signs.

While Steve made the journey back to Portavadie via foot, train, ferry and bus to pick up the car Sarah got a chance to wander around and look at the area.

Picture of Wetjerspoon from outside

It was a beautiful waterside walk from Gourock back to Greenock and the day was sunny, so it was nice to walk around. Amazingly it seems like the rainy weather we had while in Portavadie has stopped after starting our adventure. 

Piture of a sunny Gourock

After selling his car Steve felt a little naked as it is the first time in many years that he doesn’t have one. Unfortunately we couldn’t fit it on the foredeck.

We departed James Watt Marina on Jan 13th and headed for Loch Goil

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