Lussa Bay, Jura

After two nights at Craighouse at the southern end of Jura, I left as soon as it was light to catch the last of the tide northward up the Sound of Jura. When the tide turned against me, I took Coral into Lussa Bay, tiny, south facing, twelve miles or so north from Craighouse,and tucked Coral in between two rocky peninsulas out of the tide. A lone cormorant stood sentinel at the tip of the rocks. Low cloud had descended full of dampness and sometimes light rain. The ensign hung soggily from the backstay. Through the mist the greens and greys and browns of the land were subdued–a sharp green scrub, russet brown bracken, punctuated by almost black windblown trees; rocks dark and wet at the waterline, lighter above. At the head of the bay a house stands amid a cluster of mature trees, a bridge over a stream, and what appears to be a cultivated field.

As I turned off the engine and its mechanical grumble and the churn of the propeller that had been in my ears for two hours stopped, I was struck by the silence. But after sitting still for a while, my ears accustomed themselves to the subtle watery sounds that are around me. In the background was the burbling of the tidal stream running past the little headland, light but solid. Then a deeper, hollow percussion of wavelets hitting against the rocks. And above those noises a faint patter on the deck and sprayhood comes and goes with the fine rain that envelops the bay, punctuated by the thud of little drops falling from the boom and sail. Coral herself lies nearly still, rocking ever so gently from side to side, occasional creaks coming from the engine as it cools down.

As I stand in the companionway out of the rain looking across the bay, a harsh bird calls. I look around and see a raven landing on therocks, inky black feathers penetrating the rain mist and standing out strongly against the grey of the rocky shore. I thought I saw something moving in the water. Could it be an otter? But after searching the surface carefully there is no further sign.

I came into this bay for the purely practical purpose of waiting out the tide. But I am enchanted. I have spend an hour or more watching and listening and trying to find the right words. The silence of the bay has silenced my mind and I am absorbed by just being here.


  1. Miriam Darlington says:

    Oh Otter Country! Keep a look out along the shorelines, there will be otters-a-frolicking for sure just keep still and you will see .. Sending lutrine wishes
    Miriam xx

    • Yes indeed. We should have stuck around. But Coral was keen to get to the end of her journey and so we pushed on. Now on a buoy at Oban. Winter quarters just round the corner.


      Peter Reason

  2. lovely, soft piece

  3. Well done Peter…what an amazing journey!

  4. Thank you so much for this, Peter. It was just what I needed this morning.

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