30th May 2023 (Day 16): Project day in Port Ellen

After a beautiful sail to Port Ellen with light headwinds and blue skies, we arrive in Port Ellen at sunset and drop the anchor. Upon reaching the shores of Islay, home of many scottish distilleries particularly famous for their peaty whisky, one feels obligated to crack open a bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail so indeed we do and celebrate our arrival in Scotland in due form.

Timing worked out perfectly as we pick up Dan the next day. Dan built our aluminium hard dodger over the winter and if all goes well, he'll stay with us until Iceland.

As the wind drops entirely the next day, and with sunshine and warm temperatures, conditions are perfect to unfurl the genoa and fix the torn UV band on the clew. Taking a deep breath, I set up my brand new Sailrite (industrial portable sewing machine) on deck. But after hours of battling with trying to fit the sail under the pressure foot, I reluctantly declare defeat: sail repair tape will have to do the job on its own.

In the meantime, Calin fights with the watermaker. We finally received the replacement part we needed and to our relief, it now works. Unfortunately, we’re still having issues with the flushing of the system (every time we use it, it needs to be flushed with fresh water). 

After mollifying our frustration over each our lost battle, we set sail and continue on our journey north. The evening blesses us with a stunning orange sky and a large pod of dolphins leap joyfully around us, offering a picture perfect sunset.

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