North Rona with Marc Calhoun – 9 night guided cruise
|Availability||Weds 10th July to Fri 19th July||
An adventurous itinerary of northern offshore islands very much subject to weather and sea conditions. Wildlife should be rewarding plus sites of interest on remote islands.
Marc Calhoun is a writer and traveller, he has been cruising with Northern Lights for many years, his knowledge and enthusiasm for the people and history of the Hebrides is extraordinary. For more about Marc, and his travels to the Scottish islands, see his two books, Exploring the Isles of the West – Firth of Clyde to the Small Isles, and Exploring the Isles of the West – Skye and Tiree to the Outer Isles. Also see his website at http://marccalhoun.blogspot.com/.
Marc will offer his advice and knowledge on the various islands. Depending on the island, he will lead guests on a short walk near the landing place, followed by a longer, and more strenuous walk further afield. (Note that some walks may involve crossing trackless, rough, steep, and boggy terrain. As such, they may not be suitable for all guests, and sturdy, waterproof footwear may be required.) As usual with all our cruises, if you wish to explore on your own you’re more than welcome to do so.
Destination: Guests arrive at Oban for around 1230 with vessel Hjalmar Bjorge departing at 1330 for Canna on day one. Our route north will, of course, depend on prevailing weather conditions. Hopefully after a first night at Canna we will cruise up the west side of Skye and on to the Shiant Islands. From there we will head up the east coast of Lewis before making our passage to North Rona where, if at all possible, we will spend one or two nights on anchor. The village ruins on Rona are fascinating, and at its heart stand the Chapel and Cell of Saint Ronan, some of the oldest extant Christian ruins in the UK. From Rona we will sail west to Sula Sgeir and again, if possible, land there. From here we’ll head south, down the west coast of Lewis and towards the Flannan Islands with an overnight stop in West or East Loch Roag.
Highlights: If the weather is kind to us then possible highlights include the seabird colonies on the Shiant Islands and the gannetry on Sula Sgeir, puffins and more seabirds on the Flannans plus golden and sea eagles on Scarp. There should be dolphin and other cetacean sightings throughout; in recent years some of our better sightings have been in the north of the Hebrides, such as those involving orca and humpback whales (fingers crossed). There are sites of archaeological and historic interest on Canna, the Shiants, North Rona, the Flannan Isles, West Loch Roag and Scarp.
DID YOU KNOW?
The correct Norwegian pronunciation for Hjalmar Bjørge is "YAL-MUH B'YOR-GAY" but we call the boat "HAL-MUH GEORGE"