Missing Link log 17 June 1999

Crew: Kim Hollamby and Alex McMullen.
From: Campbeltown, Mull of Kintyre, Scotland.
To: Troon Marina via Brodick Bay.
Port engine start hours: 387.5. Finish hours: 392.2. Hours run: 4.7.
Stbd engine start hours: 387.7. Finish hours: 392.3. Hours run: 4.6.
Log start: 4419.7nm. Log finish: 4478.0nm. Distance run: 58.3.

Navigation log (full commentary follows below)
Paid berthing fee ’26 (two nights).
1118: underway.
1129: Campbeltown Loch A PHM. Spd: to 20kn. Wind: NW sometimes N F3-4. Sea: slight. Vis: 30nm plus.
1137: Otterard Rock ECM.
1157: Saddell Bay; stop to take photographs.
1209: PHM off Carradale Pt.
1240: entrance to Lock Ranza. Take photographs.
1253: underway out of Loch Ranza, head across to run alongside Caledonian MacBrayne ferry and track back to Loch Ranza entrance for photographs.
1309: Cock of Arran.
1330: off middle of three measured distance marks off NE coast Arran.
1340: enter Brodick Bay at slow speed.
1405: anchor in Brodick Bay off Cladach.
1500: boat turns to light sea breeze but anchor holds.
1600: NW wind taken over again.
1725: anchor retrieved. Interims log: 4456.2nm. Engines: 390.4P, 390.5S. Leave Alex in dinghy to take running shots of boat.
1753: Alex and dinghy retrieved.
1805: PHM at north entrance to Lamlash Harbour.
1816: stood off Lamlash for photographs.
1819: underway again.
1831: PHM at south entrance to Lamlash Harbour. Speed to 24kn.
1905: enter Troon Harbour.
1915: alongside berth C17.

MBM’s marketing manager Alan McMurty e-mailed this morning with a personal experience about our current port of call:

“I was storm bound for four days in Campbeltown in January 1984 and woke up one morning to hear several thuds on deck which turned out to be ice falling from the rigging. Then I watched a whole shed on the harbour wall lift off and land on top of a fishing boat lying alongside. Still, we did get to sample the vast range of whiskies!”

Whilst skies were probably as grey as when Alan visited all those years ago, our experience has been somewhat easier with no ice to fall off Missing Link’s mast and no shoreside buildings tempted to go walkabout. Our berth is probably quite a bit more comfortable too since those days.The Sail Scotland booklet describes Campbeltown as a marina. It’s not quite that, at least in the conventional sense, but it does offer sheltered berthing on a long pontoon serviced by water (for tank use only), swipe card shorepower outlets and the town is immediately opposite its head.

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Moorings cost ‘1.20/m per night, with every third night free. Our fee was collected by Ian Silcock, whose New Quay Chandlers were one of the four local companies that instigated, and continue to operate, the visitors’ pontoon at the head of the loch, in the shelter of the Old Quay. His partners in the project are marine engineers and boatbuilders Carmichael Marine, naval architects SC McAllister and crewing and travel agents Clyde Marine.

Before the pontoon was built, Ian reckons Campbeltown could boast no more than 500 visiting boat nights per year; now he conservatively estimates that the facility generates ‘250,000 for local businesses.

Alex took a post-breakfast stroll into town in search of a shower at one of two hotels offering the facility to tired and wet yachtsmen. He returned triumphant having soaked in a bath at the White Hart Hotel, 200m up Main Street, which made it about 250m from Missing Link.

A bath! Now I hadn’t enjoyed one of those in a little while and the temptation was too great. The White Hart charged ‘2 but I would have readily parted with ’10 for the almost forgotten experience of easing aching limbs into steaming water.


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