You Snooze, You Lose

Day 58 – Gairloch – 17th July – 0 nm

The wind blew strong overnight and moved around to the E. The boats threatened to make a bid for Skye Bridge on their own so the van was headed back into wind in the early hours.

The alarm goes off anyway, but it looks like a no-go at start o’clock. The wind is still blowing pretty hard and the bay has a good dose of spume and spray. We decide to sit things out and try to go later in the day. Hurry up and wait...

With hindsight this is a mistake, the wind eases off for a time late morning, but by the time we realise and start to get things together the window has gone and the wind returns. It veers and comes hard from the SW now.

For the rest of the day it is up and down, but marginal all the while, every time we think it has settled it returns.

Planning, admin, kit and snoozing fill the day. We watch a dog obedience class in the field next door go badly wrong, teeth, fur and AWOL would some it up. We amuse ourselves further watching various items blow across the campsite and pin themselves to the downwind boundary fence next door. It’s another UK trip glamorous day.

I decide on an 18:00 cut off to go. It’s still windy so we head down to the small pizza restaurant for tea. So does everyone else, it’s full and we find ourselves eating in the ominously rattling marquee outside. The waitress reassures us that all is fine, it is anchored down to the tractor apparently; I hope it’s a large tractor.

The food is welcome and swiftly consumed, not bad at all. Then suddenly we realise the wind has dropped, the rattles have stopped. I sneak a look outside, the bay is flat now with only a gentle breeze. It’s 18:20, a few salvage miles would be possible, but both paddler and driver have partaken in the odd beer. 

The opportunity is missed - you snooze, you lose.

While it is a little disappointing, we are on the right side of the headland now at least, an early night won't go amiss and there's now time left to reach for the whisky shelf. Every cloud and all that...