Early 2017 continued cold but mainly dry and we were able to explore a bit more of the area around Greenock with some lovely walks up in the hills, where the very first signs of spring were on their way.
Springtime in Greenock saw Red Moon’s crew hard at work sprucing her up for the new season ahead. On a still and gorgeous morning in March we made our way up the Clyde to Clyde Boatyard at Rothesay Dock. We both had a feeling of excitement as this was our first trip out on Red Moon since the chills of winter.
We spent a warm and sunny weekend in the boatyard and saw some of the most amazing sunsets we have seen up here!
After a rather nerve- racking lift out of the water, we gave Red Moon a lovely coat or two of paint watched by the boatyard dog …
Back in James Watt Dock Marina we continued the spring clean and general pre -season preparations which included taking delivery of some lovely new covers for the aft deck. By the end of March we felt we were just about ready to receive our first guests…
Our first cruise of the season was a surprise birthday trip – the surprise lasted pretty much up to our guest’s arrival at James Watt and Red Moon! We took Nicola and Tom to visit Arran and its lovely distillery, spending the first night in Brodick Bay anchored within sight of Brodick castle. After a visit ashore to Arran Brewery we up – anchored and headed to Lochranza for their Distillery trip.This seemed to go well with them staying on for an extra tasting session and coming back with some samples… We all enjoyed the smooth taste of Arran Gold and a little on-board testing of the 18 year old single malt which can claim another whisky convert in Nicola!
This was followed by a night stop at St Ninian’s Bay on Bute; the next day we had a leisurely scenic cruise around the Kyles of Bute, including a walk ashore, with picnic (described by Nicola as a ‘full buffet in a bag’!), from Kames Bay to Tighnabruich and then onto our final nights anchorage in the Burnt Isles.
Following quickly on from this cruise we were joined by Beth, Dave and Allie for our delivery trip up to Oban. We spent the first night in Loch Fyne by Barmore Island and awoke to a gorgeous morning – and Mary’s birthday! It also happened to be Good Friday so after lovely hot cross buns and copious cups of tea and coffee we set forth for our transit of the Crinan Canal.
For Allie, Beth and Dave this was their first experience of the Crinan canal and after a rather rapid initiation they soon got the hang of the lock gates. The Crinan canal is a very pretty canal but requires fast flurries of intense activity followed by a short interludes on board. After the first few locks we got into a team rhythm, but by then it was time to stop near Cairnbaan Hotel where we went ashore for a delicious birthday meal.Having done the canal for the first time on our own the previous October we were very appreciative of having some extra help…
After exiting the canal we went for a little explore in Loch Craignish and spent a windy evening at anchor. The next day we sailed through Dorus – Mor , the Sound of Luing, past the slate island of Easdale before we took a little diversion over the Morvern peninsula where we hoped to catch a glimpse of some sea eagles. Sadly we didn’t see them but there were lots of seals, gannets, shags, the ubiquitous seagulls and more surprisingly rather a lot of noisy Canadian geese!
A final fish and chip supper on board followed once we were moored in Oban and then sadly it was time to say good bye….
Now we are in Oban awaiting our next guests who are coming all the way from Tennessee for their honeymoon on Red Moon…❤️