Kames to Lochranza (Arran) – Section 3 | Day 8

A long day planned for today, so up with the larks after an evening relaxing in the bar.

Boats packed and we are off down the West Kyles heading for Inchmarnock on the West of Bute. This very small island is used for agriculture and has its own private roll-on / roll-off ferry for moving livestock to and from the island.

We stop briefly at the North end of the island on a beach was popular with geese and the local seal population. The latter were obvious just offshore and seemed to take a liking to attire of one of our guests from Thames Valley Skiff Club in Walton-on-Thames. He had inadvertently dressed very similar to a seal that day in his thermal base layer.

Pictured is the crew of Zebra just before launching leaving Inchmarnock.

Refreshed, we were ready for the long and exposed trip across the Sound of Bute to Lochranza on the North end of Arran.

With the easterly from the day before persisting we headed south from Inchmarnock before turning SW towards Arran. We were hoping for some shelter from the South end of Bute and to the try and make use of the Easterly to push us across as we ferry glided SW.

This photo is of Inchmarnock looking South. We are trying to get to the North end of Arran in the top RH corner of the photo.

Cumbrae Crew
As we neared the South end of Bute crews from FOCCR and Cumbrae CRC joined us ahead of the crossing.

The Gods of Scottish Coastal Rowing are with us and we transit this wide stretch of the coast with relative ease.

Moving from the Sound of Bute into Kilbrannan Sound was another beautiful evening.

Sighting Lochranza Castle near the top of the loch there is a shout from Whiteforeland to Zebra “Remember it is not a race”. This is enough to turn it into one.

All crews pulled with all their might. First crew to hit the beach would be the winner. The delights of racing FOCCR & Cumbrae, also hearing Susie Clark cheering “Royal West are the Best!!” spurred everyone on.

The Crews, the Boats and the batons touched the shore. Fritzi declared the winner to be ………….?

An evening spent in the company of like-minded folks who love rowing boats on the Scottish coast, exchanging stories & beers, staring into the open fire on the beach. What a way to finish a trip.

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