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CRF 250 Rally beats the Oban logjam

With the traffic in Oban at a standstill due to road re-surfacing where all the industrial estates – super-markets and schools collide we can’t blame the motor-homers this time. In my eyes it’s the Council Planners to blame – or to be correct – the complete lack of planning.

It’s October – most of the tourists have been and gone. The few that are left are in the main heading for the islands via the ferry port in the town centre. Traffic is at a standstill this week – and next probably as there is not a lot of action taking place on the roadworks despite the number of colourful hard hats in attendance. There have been times when stationary traffic has snaked all the way from Dunbeg – a northern outpost of the town to Soroba in the south. Disruption to local schools and businesses must be immense.

Local geography means there’s no chance of a bypass anytime soon but what happened to night time working? The roads are virtually clear from 19.00hrs through to 07.00hrs the next day.

No worries – particularly when you have a slim-line Honda CRF 250 at your disposal – perhaps we should all have one —

She slips quietly through the stationary traffic as if it wasn’t there and takes to the little-used backroads when neccessary leaving the motorists to their over-heating grid-lock —

Mind you – I did think I’d blown it when I discovered two sections of my backroad detour under water at the bottom end of Loch Nell but if the wee CRF doesn’t have enough ground clearance with her 21ins front and 18ins rear wheel then little else does. I doubt if it was much more than hub deep and no doubt the lower engine cases were needing a wash anyhow.

The 16 miles from town centre bike park to ferry usually takes about 20-25 mins and today was no exception – despite the stationary traffic in town and added mileage on my revised route so a 15.00 hrs kick-off had me at the 3.30 ferry with ease —

Even the Skipper was impressed – but not for long —

it takes a lot more than that to impress a ‘ferry dug’ 🙂

 

 
 

Tall Ships passing Fladda Lighthouse

What a difference a touch of sunshine makes. We enjoyed it’s warmth as we waited by the North Cuan ferry ‘terminal’ for the Hotpoint truck* to arrive with promised delivery of our new appliance around lunchtime and watched the gannets dive from a height for fish.

They were so spectacular – at times they appeared to pick their prey up from under the noses of a couple of angry grey seals who would actually leap out of the water as they attempted to nab both bird and fish!. A party of about fifty shags and a variety of ducks and seabirds joined in the fun as a large shoal of fish funnelled through Cuan Sound. Even David Attenburgh would have been hard-pressed to decide what to point the binoculars at next.

Later in the afternoon with the new dishwasher safely across the Sound on the small ferry – up our rough farm track in the rear of the Yeti and now nestling happily under the draining board in the kitchen we were on our own side of the island looking west to Fladda Lighthouse when a couple of tall ships came through on the breeze —

My own photos weren’t much cop but thankfully H made a better fist of it —

They knew what they were doing and passed through the narrow navigation channel twixt Fladda Lighthouse and it’s neighbour with the unpronounceable gaelic name under full sail as if threading the eye of a needle —

Magic – especially here in the Sound of Lorne on the way up to Oban with the Isle of Mull in the background —

I did say two ships but unfortunately we were without camera when the second passed through. She carried two gaff rigged masts plus four square rigged topsails complemented with a trio of foresails all filled to perfection. A wonderful sight.

Makes me wonder why our 17ft 6ins gaff-rigged Lune Whammel gave me so much trouble to rig for the very first time t’other day —

At least I know where this bit goes even if it was hard to tell by looking at the rigging what right way round it goes —

and wee H was no help at all while she was falling about laughing 🙂

 

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2017 in boats, Isle of Luing