This morning the rumbling of the Glen Rosa’s generator didn’t wake us until 7.45am. The first thing we did was look out of the porthole where we could actually see patches of blue in the sky! Was the weather going to turn in our favour at last? 🙂
After Trevor and I danced our usual dos à dos around our miniscule cabin trying to get washed and dressed, we went up to the saloon deck via the bridge, where we saw Jemma looking at the weather forecast and a map. We still weren’t out of the clutches of Hurricane Nigel and Jemma was deciding what we should do, where we should go and when, to try to stay out of the gale force winds as best she could. Looking around, we could see that the Glen Tarsan had already departed; apparently it had left some time ago.
Leaving our wonderful chef/deckhand/tender pilot Charlie to work his magic on some Scottish kippers and poached eggs for breakfast, I wandered around on deck, looking over at the montains and the pine forests and the tiny little whitewashed dwellings.
Ponderous clouds competed with the bright patches of blue, and the air smelt clean and fresh. Even if we only got an hour or so of fine weather this morning, this was the place to experience it. In a matter of minutes, the sky and the light could (and did!) change. You could spend ages just staring.
After breakfast, Charlie said he would take us ashore in the liberty boat, as it was such a picturesque place and there were some nice walking paths. Trevor and I were the first across and, after disembarking, we walked up the wooden landing stage and realised we were still wearing our life-jackets. We signalled to Charlie in the boat that we were happy to keep the jackets on until we returned.
Wow, wow and wow! What an absolutely stunning place Loch a’ Choire is. Everything that is wonderful about Scotland could be found right here. While it wasn’t raining (yet!) there was still a brisk breeze and those low, rolling clouds. But that didn’t detract at all from the beauty we could see around us; in fact, the cloud patterns and ever-changing light seemed to enhance our surroundings.
After we’d walked a couple of miles or so, the rain started (!) so we walked back down to the landing stage and called the Glen Rosa mobile for Charlie to come back for us. When he did so, he spotted us still wearing our life jackets and we all laughed heartily when he said he was glad to see us wearing them, because he’d brought a couple of spares across and one of them, behind him in the dinghy, had decided to self-inflate with a loud bang! It frightened the life out of Charlie and had made him think, for a moment, that something was wrong with the boat! 🙂
As the loch was getting a bit choppy now with the increase in the wind, it was a bouncy, splashy ride across. Trevor and I were sittng at the bow, and great cascades of bow wave would rear up and over us. Very soon I was soaked through despite my cagoule and water-resistant walking trousers, and my wet hair clung around my face. Even my walking boots were full of squelching water.
Back at the Glen Rosa I gingerly climbed up the ladder and stood dripping at the top. Skipper Jemma appeared with a towel but there was one thing I needed – a hot shower and some clean, dry clothes. I decided to take Jemma up on her previous offer to use her shower (as ours was neither use nor ornament) and standing underneath the cascades of hot water was sheer bliss! 🙂
Soon I was dried and changed and I returned to the saloon for a hot cup of coffee with a “wee nip” in it. As we stood there, we saw Charlie returning with another dinghy-load, and everyone (including Charlie) looked even more wet than I had been. 🙂
As it was after 12 noon by now, we all decided we could use a pre-luncheon beer, and we sat around the communal table looking our of the windows, as the sky darkened ominously, the rain lashed down, and little lively wavelets chased each other on the surface of the previously-calm loch.
Could this be the tail-end of our old friend Storm Nigel catching up with us? Read Part 2 to find out. 🙂