Port Appin to Drimnin – Section 4 | Day 9

The Port Appin club, being brand new to Coastal Rowing, decided to wait a wee while and become more confident and proficient before they undertook a long voyage across the Lynn of Morvern and into the Sound of Mull. They weren’t sure that their paint would be dry in time. But next year will be another story?!

Luckily, Aggregate Industries, operators of the Glensanda superquarry, very kindly agreed to transport the baton from Port Appin to Lochaline on Morvern in one of their workboats this morning, to meet the Morvern Sailing Club’s Witches of Morvern on the outer harbour pontoons by mid-afternoon. The RowAround co-event coordinator and the safety officer made sure that the baton arrived safely, hitching a ride across.

Castle Stalker: photo James Fenton

Leaving Castle Stalker and Port Appin behind us, the workboat headed down Loch Linnhe, past the Glensanda quarry and the Lismore lighthouse and into the Sound of Mull.

The Glensanda workboats at the quarry harbour
Glensanda Quarry, seen from a sightseeing flight from Oban Airport: photo James Fenton
The lighthouse on Eilean Musdile at the south end of Lismore, guarding the entrance to the Sound of Mull: photo James Fenton
The launch of The Witches of Morvern, May 2018: photo James Fenton

The Witches of Morvern takes her name from from the eight burns that flow over the Ardtornish cliffs into the Sound of Mull. In strong south westerly gales, the water is blown back up in the air and known locally as the Witches Chimneys. Her colours are dark grey, light grey and white. There is no particular reason for this other than the fact she looks absolutely stunning in dark water when the sun catches her!

Morvern Sailing Club Skiff Rowers Facebook cover photo

The Witches of Morvern rowed 18km up the Sound of Mull, with a favourable tidal flow of 1.25km/hr. Main landmarks along the way are remains of 14th century Ardtornish Castle, site of the Treaty of Ardtornish 1474, The Wishing Stone (Clach na Criche) and remains of Castle of the Dogs (Caisteal nan Con). There are photos and historical notes of all three on the Morvern Heritage Society Facebook page and we welcome anyone to have a look.

The skiff arrives at Drimnin Bay just as the light fades. There was talk of a mid-Sound transfer of the baton to the Mull skiff … Drimnin can stake a claim to be one of the most remote places in Scotland, lying at the end of a single track road from Lochaline. The skiff is loaded onto the trailer for the return to the sailing club.