Our arrival in Lock Eriboll from Stromness, 65 miles west of the Orkney Islands was without incident and in lovely afternoon sunshine we made our way south down the lock to tuck in behind a shingle spit with a pretty island on the end. Here, very close to shore, we found shallow enough water to anchor. Sheep were sunning themselves on the shingles and a few people were fishing from the old Lime Kiln landing on shore. We had a arrived in mainland UK again after almost a year.
|Anchorage in Lock Eriboll.|
The first leg of our west round Scotland trip was just 32nm to Loch Inchard. We had to round Cape Wrath the most north westerly point in mainland Britain. Once again the sun shone and the winds were gentle with us.
Rhiconich is a couple of houses and pub at the end of Loch Inchard. We ventured ashore by dingy and went in for a drink but there was a very weird crew and so we left after one quick drink incase it was catching!!
|Into Loch Inchard.|
After the night at anchor we headed back up to Kinlochbervie, a tiny highland village at the head of the loch, The snug little harbour is presided over by old disused and mostly defunct fishing buildings but there is a small marina. A nice local guy drove David off to get gas and we set off again towards Portlevorchy just 10 miles south.
What a delightful anchorage this proved to be. Good depth going in and a good muddy bottom in beautiful highland country. We had deer browsing on the shore at sundown and passed the famous “English Rose” at rest on the hard at the home of John and Marie Christine Ridgway, her owners. There is an Outward Bound camp in the bay run by Ridgeways daughter we are told. It was stunning weather and the scenery was amazing.
|English Rose on the hard|
The next leg was via a lunch stop in Badcall Bay which was filled with moored debris from fish farms. Most unattractive so we carried on to Lochinver, in all about 30 miles. Lochinver town has a few good eateries which were all very busy and we were lucky to get a table at The Caberfeidh which was excellent. The marina was a disappointment. No facilities and quite expensive. We should have anchored in the bay. Suilven Mountain looms large in the distance and i missed a photo as we came in and next day it was covered in cloud. Next morning after obtaining some fuel we headed south 40nm to Badachro which provided safe anchorage for 3 nights while some bad weather passed by.
The coastline is very barren and rocky. There are some crofts and cottages tucked away in tiny harbours but the overall effect is one of isolation. There are quite a number of crab traps to beware of but overall not busy on our watch.
|Arriving at Plocton|
From Badachro we went on 30nm to Plocton, a really nice little town and we were lucky enough to meet some West Aussies on holidays. A fun night followed.
From Plocton we sailed up to Eileen Doonan Castle but were unable to anchor as the bottom is very rocky or way too deep so carried on as it was only 26 miles to Ornsay where we anchored overnight. Link to Wikipedia on Eilean_Donan Castle
Tobermorey the next day, 40 miles south and we encountered the first crappy sailing weather with a good stiff noserley and rain to frustrate our progress. The weather forecast was bad again but Tobermory is a delightful town on the Isle of Mull so we were happy to be stuck there for 3 nights.
Moving on 25nm from Toberrmory down the Sound of Mull to Oban we met family for lunch and spent 2 nights on a mooring. A great little restaurant at the marina turned on an excellent meal which we shared with some english cruisers.
In summary, the Scottish West Coast as we saw it is a lovely cruising ground which deserves much more time than we gave it. The weather was not so great and the locals were all complaining that the whole season had been terrible. “Thems the breaks” as they say. What we did see we really enjoyed.
Our next leg north for 28nm took us to Fort William at the southern end of the Caledonian Canal. We are meeting friends here so the next instalment will be on our adventures with more locks and maybe we will see Nessie!