Three Men in a Tub

Rub a dub, dub; three men in a tub and who do you think they be? Well for the last five days it was Mister E, the youngest and me and what a glorious time we had.

The great thing about retirement has to be the ability to go if the weather and inclination both suit.

As a result we found ourselves sailing to Arran and then Loch Fyne in heat that was worthy of the Mediterranean. If anything it was possibly a little too hot (the soles of bare feet on the cockpit floor were grilled) and too calm (we had to resort to the big iron sail, otherwise known as the engine, when really we would have relished a breeze).

You really can't beat Scotland when the sun shines. The scenery is mesmerising and tranquility transcends. Popular anchorages are rarely crowded; you can have deserted beaches and total isolation without even looking for it.

In smooth seas the wildlife is also easy to spot and on this trip we frequently saw dolphins as well as seals on two occasions and  a minke whale on another.

Of course, I have been to Scotland before in a heatwave but it was a long time ago. Sailing out of Troon in the last 8 years, we have not been so lucky and when you are at work and have to book holiday weeks, if not months, in advance it is impossible to guess what the weather might be. We have generally prepared for the worst and received it in the form of wind, rain and cool temperatures. Indeed I even recall one year when, having taken annual vacation from work in order to sail, rain in torrents forecast to last a full week forced us to take a last minute trip to Spain instead!

Now however with the potential to escape to the Scottish Islands whenever we spot a suitable weather window, I am hopeful that this might be the first of many trips in good conditions.


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