Liam’s Weekend

This weekend I had the pleasure of my nephew Liam coming onto the boat for the weekend…………he decided to bring his dad Gordon along so that they could do some fishing 😉

Unfortunately, his mum (my wee sister) Tricia get’s a bit squiffy on boats and therefore decided to stay at home.

Gordon & Liam

We set off on the Friday night and managed to slip the lines out of the marina by around 1845, with a view to picking up a mooring in Rothesay Bay or anchoring in Kames Bay for the night so that fishing could commence in earnest.

When we arrived in Rothesay Bay we discovered that all the visitors moorings had been taken (I keep forgetting that we are in the holiday season) therefore we decided instead to go round the corner into Port Bannatyne marina for the evening. We got into the marina, put the rods together, and Liam and his dad headed off around to the breakwater to fish,………..they eventually came back to the boat, but sadly they were empty handed.

We then decided to fish off the pontoon nearest the exit/entrance to the marina, where the skill of the angler came to the fore with Liam catching fish – while his dad struggled. This ended up being a late night before the rods were finally rested.

Next morning after everyone was all showered and fed, we headed over to the local shop for the important task of replenishing the stocks of Chunky KitKats, Tunnocks Caramel Wafers etc, as on the trip over the previous night these had somehow seemed to evaporate from the ships stores. On the way back Gordon couldn’t believe his eyes because one of the old boats neglected and lying on a trailer at the side of the road, was one that he had owned a long number of years ago. When he owned her she was called “Tallulah” and he was able to identify her from the parts he had fabricated and fitted to her himself………………now what’s the chances of that happening on a wet weekend fishing trip?

Here are the anglers all set for a busy day…

Liam and Gordon

We left the marina and headed out into Kames Bay where we slowly drifted across the bay catching quite a number of fish en route, until the time when we arrived at the entrance to the East Kyle. At this point we decided to rest the rods and instead we would do a bit of sailing up to Colintraive in the hope of seeing our friends Roger and Hilary who were up here this weekend; and I was hoping they would still be on their mooring.

Liam took the helm while I adjusted the sails, and I have to say that he did a fantastic job steering the boat, especially as it was busy with there being a fair number of boats moving up and down the narrows confines of the Kyle…..good job Liam.

When we arrived at Colintraive I was delighted to see that Roger and Hilary were indeed still on their mooring, and over we went to say hello. Hilary informed us that they had not managed to catch any fish, but said if we provided the fish from our catch, that she would make lunch……deal!

We duly rafted alongside Doucier and went below out of the rain to enjoy a lovely lunch. It was good to see that Hilary is recovering well and getting back to her usual cheery happy self. We had a good “catch up” with Roger and Hilary and then came time to slip our lines and head off for some more fishing. However just as we were heading off, Liam said he liked being here, and with that being the case, we simply stopped there for the night. Off went the engine and out came the rods…..

Gordon tried to catch fish……

Gordon trying to fish

Whilst Liam did catch fish………

The Master Angler

That night we were all a bit tired and went to bed at a sensible time. The next morning while Liam was fishing away in wet and misty conditions, we had the joy of seeing The Waverley coming down through the Burnt Islands. I simply love this old paddle steamer, and as it turns out Gordon had worked on her while employed at Ailsa Shipyard.

Liam with The Waverley in the background

The Waverley

In the morning, with Liam at the helm, we went through the narrows at Burnt Islands (From the photo in the link you can see the buoys between the islands) and headed over to the delightful anchorage in Caladh (pronounced Kala)

( Michael Caine moment: Caladh was used during WW2 for landing craft training….not a lot of people know that!)

It was also used for X Craft – the midget submarines……..not a lot of people know that either!

From there we went over to show Liam the Maids of Bute which have been well known local point of interest for a long time, and indeed occasionaly feature in the wonderful “Para Handy” stories by Neil Munro.

From the boat they actually look better than in the close up shot.

They have, over the years, been painted as different subjects, and it must be said, that as there are no roads round to the maids, it is a fair hike (carrying all the tins of paint etc) for those who decide to re paint/re style them – so full credit to all for keeping a bit of local colour going for 100 years.

From there we went around Buttock Point passing Wreck Bay and then back down the Kyles and headed over towards Largs.

Some of crew were having a well earned rest while “off watch” from their sailing responsibilities, and also no doubt tired after catching all those fish.

Crew at rest!!

The nearer we were getting to Big Cumbrae the sea seemed to be alive with a huge number of small white sails – this was due to the World Laser Championships being held at Largs.


Not wanting to get too close we had to pick a sensible route around them, and once passed and around the northern end of Big Cumbrae we headed into the lee of the island for a final hour of angling – but sadly no more fish were caught – so it was time for home.

It was really good weekend with Liam being an excellent crew member, and really good company…………….PS. So was his dad 🙂