The forecast was for F4-5 increasing to F5-7 later so we planned to leave in the morning to head down to Gairloch before the wind increased too much. Our escape plan was to run for Loch Ewe if the weather deteriorated early. As we passed Loch Ewe and rounded the headland the wind increased to F5 gusting 6 at times. Beating into a F6 made for slow progress but we pushed on. I was getting concerned now that the barometer was dropping faster. A gale warning was issued by Stornoway coastguard and was imminent (within the next 6 hours).
We turned the corner into Gairloch in the nick of time with Tikka’s crew in high spirits singing sea shanties through the rain and wind.
Gairloch gave us a welcome shelter from the Force 8 gail that was now on us as we berthed alongside another yacht on the pontoon. Here we met our first unhelpful character since we set off nearly 5 weeks and over a thousand miles ago. He soon realised that his statement “you can’t come alongside my boat, you will have to go elsewhere” fell on deaf ears and we tied up alongside to his displeasure. Fortunately all the other yachting fraternity here were helpful and keen to hear our story. There’s always one!