Sailing & Cruising Flotilla to Tarbert

With a free weekend ahead of us we managed to wrangle a spare space on the Sailing and Cruising Scotland Flotilla to Tarbert.


We made it to Rothesay, in the dark, late on the Friday night to avoid such an early start on the Saturday. On arrival, Rothesay was a hub of activity with several boats on the visitor pontoon along with some boys with an extremely well-built, homemade raft. We heard from our boat neighbours that they had come across on it from the mainland, and promptly disappeared to the pub!

We spent what was left of the night chatting by lamplight to our pontoon neighbours who shared their experiences of crossing the Atlantic! We were gripped by all their tales and tried to memorize all of their valuable advice! Before we knew it the small hours had arrived!

After a late night chatting we were up just in the nick of time to join the flotilla at 10am at Toward. It was exciting to join the rest of the boats, all dressed with flags for the occasion. It was the first time Chris had his new flag set out…although they had to be hoisted in rather a chaotic hurry!

In the Kyle’s of Bute we caught up with the boys in the raft from the previous night. Chris thought it would be funny to donate a tin of spaghetti hoops as ’emergency rations’ so we slowed down to get close enough to pass it over. They were so pleased that they exchanged it for a metal screw! The fun continued as one of the boys decided he’d like to hitch a lift in our dingy! It provided plenty of entertainment, and was quite a sight to see! We decided that their raft was lacking a flag, so we donated our humongous rainbow flag to them!

It was typical West coast weather with glorious sunshine one moment and rain the next. Just as we approached Tarbert the heavens opened and there was an almighty downpour….! Doh! Oh well, we’re used to the drowned rats look!

Once in Tarbert, we chilled out for a while and then braved going for a walk once the sun came out. We stopped off in a small gallery to “have a look.” We spotted some gorgeous highland cow prints and just couldn’t resist….we decided to buy one….we left with three! Next we ventured up to the castle which had a spectacular view, and then on to a beach covered in beautiful scallop shells. Chris picked Rosanne the best to take back to Ragdoll. We headed back to the marina as it started to rain, but of course we stopped for an icecream on the way (rain or no rain!!) looking forward to the BBQ. Unfortunately we were too late! We ventured to the local Indian Restaurant for dinner instead.

Later in the evening we went for our usual wander around the marina so that Chris could have a good boat perv. We spotted one boat looking a bit low in the water. Thinking she was sinking Chris went to investigate and rather panicked the owner. Thankfully the boat was very much afloat and just had people on board!

We returned home next day, enjoying the sunshine and a good bit of wind! White Dawn accompanied us as we left Tarbert and Rosanne practiced using her camera in more choppy conditions!

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