Anchorage at Rubh’ Ardalanish

20140609-144148-52908243.jpg

It is straightforward, coming from the east, to find the point of Rubh’ Ardalanish from Carsaig Bay–I set a waypoint and the GPS directed me there–although today with a short swell and no wind to steady the boat, it is a rather uncomfortable little journey. The pilot book instructions seem pretty straightforward too: do not cross the 20 metre line until you have identified the rock Sgeir an Fheidh–which at most states of tide appears as two rocks. Then line up the western edge of the rock with the bottom of the valley on Mull until the opening to the anchorage on the east side opens clear.

But it is quite a performance, with Coral rolling around in the swell, to get the mainsail down and stowed, to lift the anchor onto the bow roller ready for dropping, to make sure the chain is running free. All that done, I approach the bay cautiously, keeping an eye on the depth sounder (I decide to take 20 meters as ten fathoms). Coral rolls in the cross swell extravagantly as I brace my feet each side of the cockpit, holding the pilot book in one hand and the tiller in the other. Which rock is that Sgeir an Fheidh? That one? It looks much bigger than I imagined. Ah, there is the stream tumbling down a little valley, yes, that all makes sense with the chartlet. There are rocks all around so I take her in steady, but if I throttle back too much she won’t have enough steerage way. Is that the opening to starboard, it looks very narrow!

But the way into the anchorage opens up as I approach the shore, a wider entrance than I imagined–indeed, the whole bay is bigger than I imagined–and I steer Coral through the passage between the rocks. Plenty of depth, the water is suddenly quite smooth and plenty of room for a little boat like Coral to swing. I circle round to check depths and soon have her anchored in 25 feet of water.

Then I look around. The anchorage is landlocked in all directions except due west, and that is protected by the rocks and reefs outside. The shoreline all around is a tumble of granite boulders, most of them showing clearly in the pink tint they carry at this westerly end of the Ross of Mull.

This is the kind of place that immediately feels like a blessing: safe, quite cosy, and even in the drizzle that starts to fall as soon as we are settled, breathtakingly beautiful. Just astern of Coral on the shore, a line of boulders, their pink faces crisscrossed with fissures in a way presumably set by the stresses created when the granite spewed molten out of the earth. They show no identifiable pattern, but I remember how my old friend Brian Goodwin used to describe these as following a mathematically chaotic form. As I watch this chaotic fissured tumbling I feel my mind come into a sense of peace and quiet.

Is that the right rock
To line up with the stream ashore?
Safe anchorage.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Footnotes2Plato

"The safest general characterization of the philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." —Alfred North Whitehead

fire in the head

26 years inspiring creative & reflective writing

Richard White

explorations in place and time

Seasonalight

light seeking

The New Citizenship Project Blog

Visit our main website at www.newcitizenship.org.uk

Desperado Philosophy

rocks, buoys and riptides

Shiny New Books

What to Read Next and Why

Tidal Cultures

Explorations of cultural and natural aspects of tidal landscapes in the UK, The Netherlands and beyond

dmanzife

Sometimes I want to write things down

Joe Minihane

Travel, technology, lifestyle

Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

dianajhale

Recent work and work in progress and anything else that interests me

westcoastings

Going wild on Scotland's west coast

qualia and other wildlife

Ecological writing between ocean and land

The Dark Mountain Project

Ecological writing between ocean and land

Joanna Macy and Her Work

Ecological writing between ocean and land

The Island Review

the online home for island lovers, writers and artists

Coming Home to Story

Notes from a journeyman writer, storyteller, and narrative consultant

%d bloggers like this: