Chapter 5: Aug 6/7 - Loch Spelve to Loch Creran

August 6th - Loch Spelve. We were under way about 10 and took 'Nighean' in tow and had a grand passage across the sparkling, rolling, white capped, sunny Firth of Lorn past the 'Saucepan Lid' and Gylen Castle and up the Sound of Kerrera into Oban Bay where we cast off our tow and nosed about for an hour or so under the railway pier, not bothering to drop an anchor. This is a manoeuvre of which the Skipper approves and which he operates to admiration. The Frails went ashore for the mails and brought off one for me which greatly allayed my anxieties, fortunately for the rest of the cruise.

After lunch, during which we still dodged about we made out past Dunollie and up the Lynn of Lorn into Loch Creran and for that night found no weather worth the name. I seem to have stressed the climate somewhat unduly, in fact, general conditions were delightful and it is merely the exceptions that I note. This season we enjoyed the best weather anywhere in the British Isles. We happened to be cruising in the region most subject to Gulf Stream influence and apparently least troubled by depressions from Iceland or the labour government.

August 7th - South Shian, Loch Creran. Pandora lies very snug close to the ferry slip and about half a cable distant from the Sgeir Cailleach one of two romantic islets of sheer rock adorned with ling and thrift and tidal foliage and one or two rather solitary caledonian pines, anyhow a bit of faery realm, and an ideal piece of scenery to nuzzle around in the dinghy. McClumsie and Mollie did so and caught some fish.

Though probably not the least apparent to my shipmates; I am really very busy each day of this divine cruise. When not drying a mug or stowing a spoon I am deeply occupied in the compilation of a work which, like Humphrey's in the Golden Butterfly, will stagger the critics and the whole anglo-american reading public with its erudition, its wit, humour, dash, elan, verve, brilliance, originality and charm. That takes some doing, and as I say, it kept me busy. Meanwhile I was sitting perched on the flap shelf in the wheelhouse. Here it was warm and bright and quiet and the air and light were simply delicious. Beinn Lora, he who overlooks the falls of that name, was my nearest eminence, but all Benderloch (literally the mountain between the lochs) heaves up its vast heights in my Panorama; with the blue gray water of the loch for a foreground. There is a converted naval cutter with a green coach-house just to the north of us and a stately little yawl lies over there below the wood encircled farm on Eriska. It is a snug anchorage save for the SW force seven which hurtles through the gut at the south end of the oronsay of Eriska.

Last night Smab and I went towards Barcaldine Castle along the shore of the loch in search of milk and to post the mails. There is a little red box at the cross roads just a mile and a half from the ferry. It said "Next Collection Wednesday" so I was in time. At the roadside and in the fields there were red sorrel, a primrose flower with purple tongue, which they call Dead Nettle and yellow corn daisies, very fresh and sunny. We gathered a posy for the 'Potting Shed'.

Go to Next Chapter