Saturday, 7 September 2013

A Serene and Scenic Sail in the Southern Hebrides

Heritage and Wildlife of the Southern Hebrides 6-night cruise
Skipper’s Log, Glen Massan 24th August

Departing from Oban, we enjoyed a scenic sail south through the Sound of Kerrera, cruising through a fascinating landscape of numerous small islands, both inhabited and non-inhabited, known as the Slate Isles.  With mirror-flat waters and the sun still shining we anchored for the night and our first meal on board in Loch Melfort. 
The following day, Buzzards and Ravens were seen overhead as we departed Loch Melfort with a clear view of the Island of Jura, for the picturesque village of Crinan, where guests went ashore for a walk . Then it was a short hop to Loch Sween and Tayvallich, dropping anchor at Taynish by the ancient oak forest, one of the largest remaining in Britain. Some guests decided to explore the oak woodland, while others chose to walk over the peninsula to Carsaig. We remained in Loch Sween for the night, anchoring further south at Ashfield and were rewarded with the sighting of an Osprey.

The next day we continued to sail in a southerly direction with Jura on our starboard side to the tiny Isle of Gigha, the most southerly of the Hebridean Islands. All guests took advantage of a shore trip to Achamore Gardens, rich and fertile, full of the glorious plants and flowers that can flourish in the island’s oceanic climate. We were blessed with another sunny day and calm waters for a smooth crossing to Port Ellen on The Island of Islay, our anchorage for the night. In the morning all guests went ashore, some visiting the Laphroaig Distillery, others to Kildalton Church at Ardbeg and some to the weavers shop in Bridgend. That afternoon we sailed to Craighouse on the Island of Jura where guests enjoyed a 4-hour walk on George Orwell’s favourite Scottish island and sightings of the Red Deer and Feral Goats that live there.

With weather conditions favouring a crossing to the Island of Colonsay, we cruised to Loch Tarbert on the west coast of Jura to set off for the “Jewel in the Hebrides” the following day.  That afternoon we headed for Loch Spelve on Mull for our final night on board where we were treated to a sighting of Dolphins and Buzzards.

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