After a winter of hard work, the Glen Massan was looking bright, shiny and ready for the new season. The crew welcomed our passengers aboard in a cool breeze to the sound of The Majestic Line’s piper, Craig Wilson, who played us away from the quay wearing his full piping regalia. We embarked on a short evening cruise down the Clyde, passing Dunoon, then turning westward at Toward Point. This route took us on to The Kyles of Bute, before dropping anchor in Loch Riddon for the night.
In the morning we woke to a misty loch and took our passengers on a short visit to Caladh Harbour. The boat then set off down the west side of Bute, passing Tighnabruaich to drop anchor in Lochranza on Arran. There was a sprinkling of snow on top of Goatfell and guests walked along the shore to visit a ruined castle, before heading south to anchor in Campbeltown Loch for the evening.
There was more thick fog in the morning, but this was quick to pass and the passengers went ashore to explore the delights of Campbeltown. The Mull of Kintyre lighthouse suddenly appeared out of the mist as we rounded the point and set away to the north in calm sunny conditions. Passengers were dropped off at the south end of Gigha to visit the gardens at Achamore House, while The Glen Massan sailed on to Ardminish Bay at the midpoint of the island.
Today we upped anchor and crossed over to Jura to visit the distillery and an exhibition at the local church. After lunch, calm weather made for a delightful cruise to Tayvallich at the head of Loch Sween.
A stunning morning made for a beautiful run ashore, followed by lunch en route to Crinan, where we had an afternoon ashore visiting the sea lochs of the Crinan Canal and the Gallery in The Crinan Hotel. It was then onward to the evening anchorage in Fearnach Bay, Loch Melford, whilst Andy Thoms serenaded us on the bagpipes.
After breakfast, we had a chance to stretch our legs and then headed off to drop anchor in Seil Sound for lunch, followed by an afternoon trip to see The Bridge over the Atlantic, which joins the Isle of Seil to the mainland. A short crossing over the Sound of Lorn led to our final night in Loch Spelve, where we spotted feral goats grazing on the foreshore.
On our last morning, the boat headed to Oban, to moor alongside the North Pier and round off our first cruise of the year.