Leg 4 of the Sail for Macmillan Round Britain trip began with our two teams sailing away from Corpach near Fortwilliam. During Victorian times, paddle steamers sailed up Loch Linnhe into the bay at Corpach and then into the Caledonian Canal as early travellers journeyed to Loch Ness and Inverness in the north. More recently, in the 1970s a pulp and paper mill provided employment and has grown to develop and expand to provide not only building trade but boat building, creating a thriving village trade to add to that of tourism.
The first day’s sail of leg 4 brought the boats down Loch Linnhe. Sadly, the fine weather that they have been blessed with so far on their trip seems to have travelled south quicker than they could, so the crews were glad to reach the sheltered haven in Oban.
Despite its small size, Oban is the largest town between Helensburgh and Fort William and it can host up to 25,000 people during the tourist season. An t-Òban in Scottish Gaelic means The Little Bay and this little resort town lies within the Argyll and Bute area of Scotland in the Firth of Lorn. The bay is shaped in a near perfect horseshoe, protected by the island of Kerrera; and beyond Kerrera, the Isle of Mull.
The island of Kerrera has been described as a jewel in the Firth of Lorne. Just a few minutes ferry ride away from the mainland of Oban. As well as Gylen Castle there is a profusion of wildlife, including a seal colony, wild goats and occasional visits from golden and sea eagles. Porpoises, dolphins and otters are also sometimes sighted by visitors to this remarkable island. The view from the Castle faces down the Firth of Lorne to other Argyll islands, and the atmosphere of isolation and beauty must have changed little over the centuries.
As the crews rest up and enjoy some well-earned rest and nourishment, they can look forward to another day of beautiful Scottish coastline on their way South tomorrow.
Anyone interested in taking part in a Sail for Macmillan should contact Colin and Jan of Premier Sailing, who will be happy to share more details and if you wish you may express an interest in taking part in 2018, without obligation.
Donations to support the cause may be given to the Just Givingpage.