Thursday, 9 May 2013

Help When It's Needed

When it comes to giving help in a time of need, the open-handed generosity of members of this tiny community is difficult to beat.

This picture shows a yacht coming in to Kilchoan Bay during yesterday afternoon's heavy weather.  The lone sailor has enjoyed an exhilarating day at sea in a brisk wind - but now he has a problem.  His yacht has a keel, which means he cannot bring it alongside the slipway to land, but his dinghy has been swamped by a wave and had to be jettisoned.

The yachtsman talked of swimming ashore, but a cold sea and filthy conditions made this an unpleasant and, possibly, hazardous option.  But a request for help brought local creel fisherman Alasdair MacLachlan to the slipway, where he set off to pick up the sailor from a temporary mooring close to the shore.

Alasdair's advice was that, with the wind still gusting to force 5 and a low spring tide due during the night, it would be wise to use one of his moorings further out, a more secure mooring in deeper water.

Alasdair led the way, while the yachtsman manoeuvred his boat under power to the better location....

....where the boat was safely moored for the night.

There were smiles all round as the two men reached the shore, not least because they knew they were on camera, with inevitable results.


  1. What no lifejackets ! Local fisherman should no better! Well done to your tiny community once again.

  2. Lone sailors should take heed of the weather forecast before putting to sea.

  3. The lone sailor described here was well aware of the forecast. I don't think this Diary entry suggests anywhere that he should not have been out. What he undertook was challenging, and the price he paid was the loss of his dinghy.

  4. Life jacket worn under waterproof a seago manual inflatable. I agree transits in severe weather are best avoided. I had hoped to use the earlier better weather window - lessons learned. The yachtsman greatly appreciates the vigilance, care and concern that was evident from Kilchoan's marine observers, seafarers and Alastair McLachlan in particular. This is not taken for granted.

  5. We used to tow our dinghy until a memorable event in the Sound off Lochaline when it filled with water and the painter snapped. Several attempts to catch it were unsuccessful and we had to abandon it because we'd got too close to the shore. Since then, I've been a stickler that the dinghy always but always gets deflated and lashed down on deck no matter how benign the conditions!