Sunday, October 02, 2011
Dry mouths in the deceptive calm of Portnahaven.
Rinns of Islay. This was to be my third visit of the year and only a few weeks before, had already turned back from the Rhinns after meeting huge swell in otherwise benign conditions. Prior to this trip, a succession of days with SE winds had flattened the Atlantic swell, which is the "Governor" on this coast. Although the weather was to be mixed, the tide times were ideal. It would be one day after neaps and the north going flood would start at about 0900 hours at Portnahaven on the south end of the Rhinns.
An Tigh Seinsse (house of the singing) but it was shut and our mouths remained dry.
"This is the inshore forecast for Mull of Kintyre to Ardnamurchan Point, issued by the Met Office at 0500 UTC Friday 6th August and valid until 0500 UTC Saturday 7th August. 24 hour forecast. Wind: SE or S 4 to 5 veering NW 6-7 later. Sea state: moderate or rough becoming very rough. Weather: showers, rain later. Visibility: moderate becoming poor."
"Later" means 12 hours or more by which time we hoped to have cleared the Rhinns. The SE or S would either be cross offshore or cross shore as a tail wind so we decided to go for it...