September 21, 2023

Isle of Mull Adventure 2023

This morning our intrepid Isle of Mull Adventurers gathered for their briefing on the pontoon and then set out on a short row around Ardmucknish Bay. They faced challenging rowing conditions with very strong gusts - the Scottish weather wasn't being cooperative!

A few rowers felt the effects of the swells and rough conditions of the sea. However, the whole crew, without exception, rose to the challenge and realised that this was the start of a great ocean rowing adventure. They are to be commended for their gallant efforts and positive spirit under the dark grey skies.

Tonight will be spent under canvas, in the Roxy yurt, before a longer row tomorrow as long as the weather conditions allow a safe passage across to the Sound of Mull.

Day 2 of our Isle of Mull Adventure saw the crew undertake a testing 12 hour row right up the Sound of Mull to Tobermory. Despite the never ending windy conditions that Scotland threw at them and a challenging row across the Firth of Lorn, the crew quickly settled into a 2 hour shift pattern.

Whilst rowing up the Sound, Roxy was visited by a passing yacht who took photos and was acknowledged by one of the Calmac ferries as it passed by.

Much of their day was spent pulling on the oars against a foul tide but the sight of the brightly coloured houses of Tobermory and a stunning sunset were just rewards for their physical efforts.

This isn't an expedition for the faint hearted and the Rannoch team were suitably impressed by how the whole crew rose to the challenge.

Day 3 dawned and after another night in the Roxy yurt, it became clear that the weather was going to prevent the crew circumnavigating the Isle of Mull. Undeterred, the crew set off on a slightly shorter day row up into beautiful Loch Sunart.

The grey skies were out in full force again but the rain held off for the most part. Porpoises, seals and lots of sea birds were along the loch and as is customary on Roxy, there was plenty of on board banter, music and singing.

These two long day rows have prepared them for their overnight row on days 4 and 5 where they'll get to experience night time rowing and, with any luck, the clouds may just break for them to see a starlit sky.

Days 4 and 5 of our Isle of Mull Adventure saw the crew undertake a gruelling but hugely rewarding overnight row back down the Sound of Mull and along the east coast of the island before turning north back to their final destination, Oban. The weather has not been kind to them this week but the team spirit was unbreakable.

A HUGE well done to Alison, Ananya, Macarena, David, James, Sasha, Francesca, Marta, Ian & Jane for what they achieved this week. They take home precious memories of a unique adventure.

This expedition is summed up perfectly by two of the crew:

"An impactful moment of our experience, for me, was yesterday, towards the end of our overnight row, having gone through some fairly challenging weather conditions through the week, when, at all times, there is the constant motion of Roxy, offering herself to the waves and the rhythm and sound of the boat being rowed,  We were given the order to lift our blades and the six oar-powered engine, which had provided the soundtrack to the week, fell silent as the boat glided to a standstill.  We just listened to the sounds of the sea, the breeze and whatever else was in the air, surrounded by such dramatic and beautiful scenery, in the warm sun; it was a very moving few moments, really quite emotional, where I felt so grateful to have shared such a profound experience with our diverse group of, until recently, total strangers, amongst whom it now felt totally safe to be vulnerable; so much more than just rowing a boat! There are a handful of events that have shaped my life; this trip now has a well deserved place in that Hall of Fame." Ian Walker

"I was so nervous before we left about how I would cope physically and mentally, not wanting to be that one person who flakes out! Well I’m just so proud of everyone! My 2nd big worry was how 11 strangers would get along for 5 days….a pointless worry as I just experienced a boatload of good kind humans." Jane MacDonald