Oh how wrong I was.
I crossed over to Kintyre and was immediately hit with the biggest waves since the Irish Sea crossing. They were so big that Em even capsized for the first time. It was horrid. To make things worse we could only do 2 hours in the water before having to run for shelter, which was a good 4 hours motor north (Read more about the logistic here). Progress was very slow and I was only averaging 5 miles per day which would make the swim last another 2 months. This was heartbreaking. Im not sure my fragile body could cope for another 60 days in the freezing cold waters of Scotland.
We slowly made our way up Kintyre and eventually into the shelter of the islands. Things were getting better for anchorages and we found some amazing ones but the weather decided to be predictably Scottish and we were forced to find a harbour and shelter from 60mph winds. It was agony sitting there wondering if this was it. Had I reached Scotland too late and would the weather end my swim. Surely not. After 4 days, although still windy, it was good enough to make progress. We headed out expecting a 7mph northerly tide. This however didn’t happen and I only managed 4 miles in 4 hours. The tide then turned and we started getting swept south at 7mph. So it looked like the tide south is strong but the tide north, not so strong. It was going to be a long slog.
I battled for a few more days doing a few sessions from 1am till 4am which always hurt a lot, and then I entered the sound of Mull. After dodging a few ferries I started to get into my groove. I managed to pick my pace up to 2mph and made it to Tobemory in two days. We needed to restock the boat so took the morning off to do so. Tobermory was beautiful and a definite place to revisit. The list is quite long now with all the incredible places along the UK and Irish coastline. We are very lucky. After Tobermory we set off towards Ardnamurchan Point. I did another good day and we found a nice bay to stay the night. As we were dropping anchor a bunch of kayakers came over and we chatted. One of them had heard about my swim but thought I had given up. We all laughed. We chatted a little more and once the anchor was secure we turned off the engine and noticed the safety lights were off. We tried to start the engine but nothing. It was dead. This wasn’t good. We tinkered for a while but nothing worked. We had no choice but to manually crank the engine much like what you have to do to very old cars. We did so and headed back to Tobermory, arriving at 2am hoping to find someone in the morning to fix it. We did. A Frenchman called Philippe. Obviously! Turns out it was just a fuse. We got it fixed and carried on north.
As we passed Muck and started making our way up Eigg, I felt so cold and weak that I had my first feed on the boat. Em looked at me and made the decision to force a rest day. My weight loss and fatigue would not be fixed in a day but carrying on could mean that I would become too weak to carry on. We're now in Eigg, trying to fatten up and rest up as much as much as you can in a day, before heading up towards Skye. Progress has still been slow with virtually no tide assistance but at least the Scottish weather has stayed away.