A Private Charter of 12 guests joined HBJ in the afternoon for a planned itinerary of the Small Isles and South Skye. On board were:
Steve who cheffed on Zuza, and has been back each year since having just returned from 2 months in the Med cruising Montenegro on his own boat
Tiree who has been working with Northern Light Cruises for 5 years but missed last summer due to her having cycled from Windermere to Finland via South of France and who knows where else, taking a year to do it!
Adam who helped Tim bring Zuza back from the Orkneys a couple of years ago and has been helping occasionally since.
The guests all came from the same village with most of them having been before so they were a jovial bunch as we motored up to Loch Drumbuidhe at the entrance to Loch Sunart. Next day it was over to Canna with plenty of Puffins on the end of Sanday and a good few hours on the island. Golden Eagle seen and the elusive Corncrake also.
Monday dawned with a flat sea so after being round the corner from the anchorage to spot a Sea Eagle it was over to Loch Scavaig, reputed to be one of the most dramatic anchorage in Europe. Everybody went ashore and walked up the side of Loch Coruisk. The cloud was low but it doesn’t detract from the wonder of this place with mist swirling round the ridges so it is no surprise that this place inspired Turner to paint it and for tourists to have been coming here by boat since Victorian times.
Not usually a place to stay the night due to winds coming off the Cuillin so the plan was to anchor at Soay. This is the Island that Gavin Maxwell of Ring of Bright Water fame and environmentalist (?) had his Shark factory in the late 40’s and set about killling Basking Sharks for the oil.Too much swell running so it was round Point of Sleat and up to Isle Ornsay for the night.
The morning brought the swimmers in the party out and even with the sea full of Moon Jelly Fish some brave souls plunged in. Walks ashore and then down to Loch Nevis and more walks ashore and more swimming. The day ending with, what turns out to be a nightly event, a quiz. Set by a different couple in the party each night, subjects ranged from Dogs, Cartoon Dogs, Trains, Regions and islands of Scotland and a mean game of something I have forgotten the name of.
Wednesday morning and its over to Rum. Having phoned the previous day there was hope that the Castle would offer a tour but as usual they are far to busy doing other things and anyhow they have the Chief Execative of HBOS coming for a tour! Very disappointing and yet another example of people forgetting that we are all Jack Tampsons Bairns. Regardless of this the Island is still a special place to go and walk.
Down to Tobermory for the evening with retail therapy and walks in the morning then on to Port Ramsay on the North end of Lismore for a last explore and night aboard. Then into Oban friday morning for large breakfast and farewells.