Friday, 17 May, Loch Harport (Skye) to South Uist

The forecast was for moderate northerly winds so we set off with a reefed mainsail only to find that once outside the loch there was only a gentle breeze. With the wind direction it was going to be difficult to make Loch Maddy on North Uist without a lot of tacking (not our strong point with only two onboard) so we decided very early on to head for Lochboisdale on South Uist that meant what we hoped would be a nice reach. It started off that way and, with George the Hydrovane steering, we made good progress until the wind died and we motored for about 10 minutes until the wind reappeared and then it built and built. It was soon blowing 24 knots plus (Beaufort force 6) and we had two reefs in the mainsail and a well reefed/furled genoa. It was our first real blow of the season so we were a little apprehensive. Harvard went well though doing nearly 7 knots most of the time.

A windy day in the Sea of the Hebrides

It was still very windy when we entered the new harbour at Lochboisdale but we managed a more or less smooth approach to the pontoons and were soon safely moored up. As it turned out it seems the pontoons at Port Maddy on North Uist have been damaged by a dredger and the marina is now closed so we were fortunate in our decision not to try to reach there. After a nice shower we walked towards the town but there is really nothing there apart from the ferry terminal and as it was quite cool we were glad to soon be back onboard, out of the wind, for supper after an exciting day.

Ferry in Lochboisdale
The harbour at Lochboisdale created by joining two islands together by the causeway on the right of the photograph.

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