Summertime, and the livin’ is easy

Summer has crept up on us . You don’t notice it at first , but the evidence is in little things like not objecting to a salad at lunchtime. Previously the mere suggestion would have brought about an attack of blue knees and chattering teeth! Not that knees had been much in evidence , but now shorts are occasionally seen in the middle of the day , even if the insect life does drive them back into troosers before evening. It was in the delightful Summer Isles that we first got up without reaching for the heater switch , and down the coast in the charming village of Badachro we sat outside a pub sipping an evening drink , basking in the warmth of the sun in our shirtsleeves!
Its good timing for the animals as there are babies all over the place. Families of porpoise seem abundant , slipping around in their shy undemonstrative way . We haven’t seen dolphin since leaving the more exposed Atlantic waters , and although we have left the really wild places where they breed in huge numbers , the next generation of guillemots and razorbills are to be seen hereabouts swimming alongside a parent . Hopefully we will get back to the outer islands before the puffins all do the same and head back out to sea for the winter.
We stayed for a couple of days on the Island of Rona and whilst exploring the coast by canoe found evidence of otter on a rocky outcrop , so were entranced to find two small animals playing in the water. We drifted closer and realised that they were two ungainly baby seals splashing and playing and generally having a wonderful time . Eventually the sleek shape of their mother glided into the picture and shepherded them off to the far corner of the bay where they continued their boisterous play under her watchful eye.
Mike and Louise joined us again in Rona , before heading North. This island is now owned by a Danish lady who is running it as a conservation project. Sheep and cattle are no longer grazed , deer are strictly controlled and trees are slowly regenerating. Visitors are made hugely welcome and the manager gets some income from two renovated cottages and selling venison , fish and langoustine caught from creels set in the surrounding waters. We had a few from his freezer as a starter on our first night , and they were so good I went back for more the next day. I sat alone in his room using his internet with the langoustine in a plastic bag at my feet. With much creaking and cracking the bag started to inch its way towards the door! This lot were live so once on board had to be cooked straight away before they invaded the bilge. There seem to be quite a few pots in these waters; I hope this fishery is sustainable!
The Vela’s have now taken the high road roond the top , whilst we tak the low road to explore the waters further South , and hopefully will be in Hamble afore them as the Fastnet entry is now confirmed. This still leaves us a couple more weeks before heading home in earnest , so until then the Festina’s send their love from the glorious waters of NW Scotland.


  1. Hi Phil and Linda
    Just to let you know that we are vicarious Festinas once again. Although the weather here is probably not much different to the cool North, it is nonetheless mid winter and sailing is restricted to a round the cans each week. Last Saturday they called it off with gusts reaching 70 knots. I find I’m ever so slightly less gung ho when I am the owner of the boat and suffered not unalloyed disappointment. Fortunately, I was able to race with a friend on Sunday when the gusts never got above 35knots. We may be over in late August – early September and would love to catch up.
    Happy cruising
    John and Fiona

  2. We will be around then – so make sure you include us in your itinery – beds etc available.


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