We reach you from fair Ballycastle in the north of Ireland where the sun shines warmly in the sheltered marina. It is nice to feel some heat after a few days of bitter winds and icy rain showers(the coldest weather captain Gazza has felt in all his days on sea).
So, last words cam whilst we where storm bound upon mull, shacked up in a cottage to weather out a furious gale that lasted a day and postponed our departure. However, it was perfect chance to for the crew to recouperate after, for some, a furiously buisy few weeks that had led up to the day of departure. that was sunday 13th. on the monday we set sail from ulver ferry in the sunny after noon to fresh winds and a lumpy ocian, flew to the island of Erraid just off mull close to iona. presnt on board where; captin garry: confusing orders, strong coffie, floot, extatic tendencies. steevy boy day: electrics and digital things, eternal youth, hendrixical guitar flicking, Mat Green: engins, oil, bautifull fiddle tones, lover of engerneering, industry, steam, and big machines, Fair Lulu Rosie: Local Knowledge, path finder, fantastic breakfasts, sturdy lassy, 1st mate Paddy: complex unnesosary knots, king of the ‘one pot dinner’, deep riffing.
we put down the ankor in the west coasts most beautifull moorage; the tinkers hole on Erraid with just enough time for a quick dinner befor walking across the island for our first gig. this was played to the inhabitants of a little new age communty of fantastic gardeners and sweet souls and a sweet gig it was. we where escorted back from the community to the winny on there little old wooden dingy, through the winy hebredeean twilight, past old volcanic rock formations, over a lumpy sea.. joy.
the next day we put Fair Lulu Rosie ashore on errid befour seting sail in fresh winds for the crinnin canal. the sun shone and the breaze was cold. we shot down the sound of mull reaching speeds of 9knots and floated in to the first lock of the cannal in the early evening, tied up for the night, ate a ‘one pot wonder’, played a beautifull tune…
the krew had to learn about cannals, quickly. in the first lock, with the inexperienced paddy on the wheel, we experienced much drama; one of the mooring ropes came undone and winny was left floundering in the inside of a lock which began to feel much like a deep watery grave. afer many near colissions and much shouting from the captin we managed to get secured to land. through out the day all became masters of the cannal in there own ways. we tied up that night at lochgillpeid
our first attempt to leave the sanctuary of the cannal w as partly sucsessfull, 45 minnits out from shore the engin cut out.so we had to sail back on light winds whilst garry and Mat the Mechanic looked at the hot and steamy machien. back at shore we spent much of a wet day tinkering with our motor and found that the tap that held the cooing water in the system was open, aha. second attempt at leaving was more sucsessfull. we motered down loch fyne to the sanctuary of east Loch Tarbet to fill up on diesel. whilst fillig up, paddy and Mat went exploring and found an old steam powered ship. mat gushed pure joy as he was invited to look in the engine room.
we were awoken the next morning at 4.30am by a Danish man telling us that we had slipped a rope (a reoccurring theme?) and that fishing boats where going to bash in to us as they passed. we had planned to make an early start anyway so we set straight off into a bitter cold damp windy dawn. out to sea we set full sail and surged onwards towards holy island. a perticuarlty strong gust of wind snaped bit of rope that held the end of the main sail on to the boom. moderate chaos ensued. the main sail began to flap wildy, garry and steve fought to tie on a new piece of rope as paddy kept the boat headed in to the wind and great waves crashed over the bow. all was made fast (tied on) and we set off on our way again. enroute to holy island we stopped off to pick up a new member of krew. Lofy Leon: onionus clothing to keep out the cold, arial expert, saxiliccious, was picked up by the dinggy off a peer and rowed bck through the wild and windy sea. once anchored off holy island the captin cooked up the krew a delicious and butter soaked breakfast of potato scones scramblled eggs and fried bagels with cheese and tomatoes, a well needed feast.
after breakfast the krew rode into holy island to descover the score. the island is home to a budist center full of beautifull soles. we arived at lunch time and played the inhbitance a song as they ate (holy island, holy water, give me to drink, give me to drink...) they loved it. we were envited to eat with them and met many incedibly georgeous beings (paddy became full to the brim with joy and love). they told us to come back in the evening to play them more tunes. after lunch we went to play music in the cave of St. Molasses, the patron saint of ginger bread, then returned to the boat to put leon up the mast and for a nap befor the nights events…back on the island we played to the holy islanders in their accousticly amasing and super beautifull meditation hall. we sang and played music and the resonance was delightfull to the max. after the gig we were given tea, bags of provissions, leon got some more layers, we were given smiles and warmth and super open hearts and instant loving connections. the krew made there way back to the boat gently buzzing and filled with joy. thankyou holy island people.
so, now we find our selves in balycaste after another sweet sail. last night, fresh eddition Darragh: photographs, dry northern irish whitt, incredible onepiece sailing suit, joined the ship. we had a delightful dinner with his pairents and where the visited by the violin and mouthorgan wheelding Les Gornell who inspired irish jigging and extatic blues.
the presance of others in to the ship seemed to make one accutely awair of the grubbieness that was developing. so today we spent the day scrubbing and tidying and washing and mending bits and pieces, Leon went back up the mast to fix electrics. tonght we go to be fed and to play music at Corymella, a center that has been championing unity beween catholics and protistants for years.
from hear we will sail down the east coast of island visiting various folk befor shooting across to the isle of man and then on to anglesea…
untill next time..extatic joy