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Sunsets to keep you up

After venturing to the lovely Isle of Oronsay, soaking up a relaxing night in Loch Melfort and installing some new batteries in the very accommodating and well equipped Ardfern Marina ,we picked up Mum (now 87) in Oban.

Armed with our new spade anchor, topped up with water, food and fuel we headed West and have had the most stunning weather all week. I have never seen Scotland like this: sunset after sunset – stunning scenery, remote anchorages and very happy folk where ever we went.

Our first stop was Tinkers hole off Mull – escorted by Dolphins we edged our way into a tiny anchorage, which was a great introduction to west coast anchoring for Chris, tight, challenging and beautiful – was to become a theme for the week.

An early start was in order to ensure we had at least some water under the keel when transiting north past Iona, but not before we anchored off the pier and went ashore for an early morning stroll around IONA abbey. It was restored at the turn of the century but its history dating back to 563AD.

This prompted me to pick up the book: “The History of Scotland” that provides a fascinating account that just adds and incredible richness to the places we are so lucky to be visiting.

That day we covered some miles – Iona, Staffa, and onto

anchor at Coll and a visit to the Coll hotel for some great langostines and our only encounter so far with the great Scottish midges. The following day we headed south to Gott bay on Tiree for a day on the beach – awesome. Mum even went for a swim.

The sunset picture at the start of today's blog is on Muck where we all putting off going to bed due to the stunning panaroma of the light going down over Eigg, Rhum and Skye with seals playing all around us.

On Friday we had a lovely stop at the Island of Rhum where the local ranger gave us a most informative tour of the extraordinary timewarp of a castle built by Sir Goerge Bullough at the turn of the century as his holiday home.

Having first visited this place in 2003 it was sad to see such a building with fabulous artifacts just left to decay, but it is still a splendid example of what could be done when someone loves an island and is determined to have fun.

As the forecast warned us the weather would break,we took advantage of the last calm day to go and anchor in Loch Scavaig on Skye. Another tight anchorage, especially with a few other boats around, but a dramatic contrast to the last few days with the 2900ft Cullin mountains bearing down on us , and their jagged knife edges making for yet another stunning scenic night. We were woken by a good Scottish “brisk breeze” as the weather was back to more normal Scottish, “grey and breezy with the odd bit of rain”. The really good news was the new anchor was working well. We hadn’t moved at all.