On May 1st 2016 we moved Spindrift IV back to Portree harbour from its overwinter at Kishorn.
Ewen Gilles runs the boatyard there and couldn’t have been more helpful. Ewen’s got a long history of marine engineering and his yard is producing commercial workboats. It’s a sight to behold, pre-cut steel parts arrive from Holland and Ewen and his crew assemble the boats by welding it all together. Ewen looked after the mechanical side of Spindrift and Steven Gillies did some very professional fibreglass work on Spindrift’s hull and rear locker space. Keeping her up to scratch is very important when she’s coded to carry passengers.
Phyllis joined me for the first time aboard and brought her wee Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Sophie with her as our mascot.
The boat was put in a huge rolling frame that Ewen had made himself and rolled into the bay at low tide. By 13:00 she was afloat and with 0.3m under the keel we cast off and gave Ewen a farewell blast on the ship’s horn. The 0.3m made me a bit twitchy but Ewen was spot on. “Hold for that mark on the far shore and you’ll be fine!”
Both engines started instantly and she ploughed across to Raasay in good style. It was broken weather and there was a wee bit of a jabble (isn’t that a great word for “choppy”) but that dropped away as we came in around Raasay and turned North for Portree. The Cuillin mountains were magnificent, still laced in places with snow.
After a three hour run we were home. Peter Urquhart and Liam came out on the Brigadoon to meet us and Liam came aboard to help to make us fast on a mooring. A quick run ashore with Peter and it was into the Pier Hotel for a celebratory beer with the Sunday School!
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