Dark Mode On / Off

Exploring Scottish lochs in the Clyde

Picture of lighthouse from the water

13th-19th January 2024

After leaving James Watt marina we headed for Loch Goil and went castle hunting. This is quite easy in Scotland as they are everywhere! The reason for the castle hunting was that Sarah was feeling a little emotional about the Danish crown prince becoming king as she is now quite sure that she won’t be Queen of Denmark. Luckily we had a crown on the boat (from our dress up when crossing the arctic circle) so she could walk around with that. 
We found the little Carrick castle which was almost just a tower, but that was not really the dream castle, so we have to continue the search. 

Sailing around to the small anchorages gave us a chance to test the dinghy again and that has been a missed buddy. It really gives a feeling of exploration when jumping in it to go ashore – especially when we do it at night.

Steve had found a very Instagramable cafe overlooking the loch and with a small guest pontoon and moorings so after a night at anchor we set course to find this delicious little cafe. But apparently we are not the only one who wanted an Instagram moment, so we came to an absolutely crowded cafe and ended up having an expensive takeaway coffee and a sweet brownie at the dock. Luckily we have food on the boat, so we went back and made a great lunch. 

Picture of loch goil cafe

We continued down to the end of the loch, where we could tie the boat onto a guest buoy. (I was a spring tide and the pontoons were a little shallow for our 2M draft)  While we were there an email ticked in, which was from one of the people in the village, who had seen us arrive and invited us for coffee in the morning. What an amazing experience and it is always great to meet new people and hear about their lives. 

In the evening we went to shore to try and find a meal after disappointment at lunch, but unfortunately we missed the only restaurant with half an hour. So once again we went back to the boat to cook at late meal.

Digny being dragged behind boat

After a trip to the post office where Sarah almost forgot to pay, having coffee and sharing sailing adventures with our followers in the village we set off to anchor at Isle of Bute (where the lovely Anchor pub is). I forgot to tell our reason for staying in the area: we are waiting for a weather window to pass to Ireland. It is a small crossing but because of currents and cliffs the water can be turbulent so we need the right wind. As we were looking at the wind there was a tiny chance that Wednesday morning could be alright, but as we got close the wind in the weekend looked more and more dramatic, so Steve decided that we should stay in a safe marina for the 50 knots of wind that could be expected. 

So he spent the day while anchoring at Isle of Bute applying for the visa to the US. And after 5 hours down memory lane finding dates for previous visits and other fun informations, and battling with the online system that kept timing out, we really needed a drink at a pub. As we anchored close to Rothesay, we could take the dinghy to shore, but the water was a little turbulent because of the ferry and the wind, so instead we decided to revisit the lovely port bannatyne marina next to the anchor pub, that we knew and love. 

Morred at marina at Isle of Bute

This was a great revisit as people were happy to see us again and once again we were encouraged to stay to the live music on Thursdays. As Sarah also had to apply for the visa she spent several hours on Wednesday doing that and then needed to go for a run after that process. 

We decided to stay for the live music Thursday and then walked and spent the day in Rothesay having lunch at a cute cafe. On the way back we saw an church that had been made into a house and it looked amazing inside with a dramatic light and a big stuffed giraffe (they had left the doors open so we were able to look in). Sarah is now also open to live in an old church. 

We came home just in time for the live music and that was amazing. People just joined the jamming and people were singing and it was just great to feel the atmosphere. 

Live music at cafe

However now we have decided to return to James Watt marina to tie the boat up securley so it is ready for the comming strong winds.

Picture of lighthouse from the water

 Also Steve got his visa interview at the American embassy in London next week, so we are off to see London next week. That will be great as Sarah has just listened to a podcast about Tower of London (which were started by a normandic king who descended from the vikings).

Please leave a comment, we love to get your feedback...