Confined to Barracks in Oban

Well I can think of worse places to be confined to barracks. Oban is a pretty town, sprawled across the front of the bay colourfully ablaze at night. Which reminds me that I almost had my own blaze in the cabin last night, as a replacement light bulb of incorrect wattage set a downlighter afire. You live and learn – all part of growing up and being British.

I am not normally a smug type, but I confess to that emotion today as I sat in a breathless, overcast morning devoid of any conflicting elements and read of unpleasant weather at home. Barry the Barometer remained depressed but I hoped he would cheer up, whilst I munched a Fat Boy’s breakfast on the poop deck – yes, you read that right – breakfast ! OUTSIDE!!!! It didn’t last of course and 30 knot gusts came in that evening.

The new autopilot was on a motorway somewhere heading Northwards, into the embrace of the laid back nonchalant Scottish work ethic, as the Raymarine Dealer put it. So fret not and relax.

I again took the complentary ferry to Oban, which I shared with a wonderful Rodesian Ridgeback (a sort of lethally playful canine Carl Lewis) who was EVERYBODY’S friend, but he singled me out as someone whose inner ears needed a thorough wash. As he was bigger than me, I didn’t argue and the other passengers looked relieved he had picked on me not them. Anyway, I had almost adopted him by the time we docked.

My new Polish friends were to dine with me chez Willis, so I headed for the 2 Polish shops with the idea that we would enjoy a Polish/Scottish menu ….

Scottish smoked beef,

Scottish smoked duck,

Polish smoked ham joint with herbs,

Soused Baltic herring,

Polish potato salad,

Scottish new potatoes,

Sugar snap peas (probably Kenyan)

Polish rye on the side

– oh and a little quiche

Fresh Scottish raspberries

Espresso coffee ….

The evening went well, though I suspected Mrs Polish was not used to observing the male of the species at work in the galley, so she probably felt her worst fears were about to be confirmed when much of the egg mayonnaise slid down behind the stove, mayonnaise side down.

Despite this early set back, the evening was frankly delightful though we didn’t get as far as the biscuits (Chocolate Gingers from the Isle of Mull) with coffee …. funnily enough I seem to have almost as much as I started with but I’ll manage.

The dinner ended with bear hugs all round after Mrs Polish crash landed from boat to pontoon, almost exiting stage left into the briny. I am not sure she was used to a second glass of hair restorer.

Excitingly for me I then found orders to deploy in my email inbox; I am to be at Craobh by Sunday night, where Harry the third will be installed! So I must go …..

Toot toot


By ajay290

2 comments on “Confined to Barracks in Oban

  1. Hi John ‘Richard Gere’ Willis,

    Polish couple sound great fun and tough.

    Have been following your blog avidly which as I’ve said before is excellent and very informative with great photos.

    Your descriptive writing excellent!!!

    I hope ‘Harry the 3rd’ arrives soon so you can sail on.

    Are you going to go through The Crinan Canal?

    Presumably you will continue down The West Coast now to Guernsey?

    Would like to talk to you about Uncle David and family history in general. I’m also having a much closer look at my mother’s side of the family.

    Anyway well done and you’re doing so well!!!

    Would like to come over to Guernsey sometime for a sail with you.

    All the best


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