Saturday 28 July 2012

Port Ellen to Loch Tarbert (Jura) to Tinker’s Hole to Iona to Bunessan to Coll

After a three-night stop in Port Ellen, it was time to go sailing again.

Monday 23rd July
We left Islay and sailed north through the Sound to Loch Tarbert on Jura.
Having negotiated the very narrow entrance, Loch Tarbert was stunning.
Quiet, perfectly sheltered.  Beautiful.  A complete absence of dogs.

Loch Tarbert evening

Off to Tinker’s Hole.
This is a wonderful, rocky anchorage off Erraid just off the SW corner of Mull.

N.B.  Erraid is important because, as students, a number of us decided to acquire it from the Duke of Argyle and build a hippie community there.
The project got off to a rather inauspicious start….. 
I typed a letter to His Lordship suggesting that he might like to give us the island, but on checking through it, I found that it started with the line
 “My Dear Lord Duck”.
I still find this quite funny. 
Anyway, some of our intrepid team later set off (in mid winter) by motorbike for this island.  Unfortunately, having made it only to North Yorkshire, we overslept somewhat and awoke next day to realise that:
  1. it was a very long way to Scotland
  2. motor biking was very cold in Winter
  3. the whole project was very silly.

Tinker’s Hole is a lovely anchorage. It is a little scary to get into (and out of), but it is lovely.
We went ashore, climbed on the rocks, watched some seals, and generally felt very happy.

Tinker’s Hole

Wednesday 25th July
Off to Iona.  We anchored half a mile up from the Cathedral. 
Founded to commemorate  St Columba’s arrival in Scotland bringing Christianity from Ireland. (Of course, the Irish got Christianity from St Brendan, who had paddled across from Wales in a coracle. I’m not certain how Christianity got from England to Wales, or why it didn’t go straight from London to Glasgow … M1 M6  etc. thus avoiding a lot of dangerous  messing about in boats .. anyway).  We looked around the Cathedral and had tea.

Next, back to the boat and around to Bunessan.
We anchored in the bay. It was nice.

Thursday 26th July.
First stop Staffa   … Fingal’s Caves   (we didn’t stop, but sailed around and had a good look).

Staffa .. I wont bore you with its connection with The Giant’s Causeway.

Next, Lunga Island.  This a “must do, must see, and must go on about destination.”
A lovely anchorage.  Beautiful island.  The birds were totally wonderful.
Puffins, Kittiwakes, Guillemots.
A lovely walk along the cliffs.

Puffins on Lunga.

Near Lunga is another island the interestingly named “Dutchman's Cap”

Off again, now to Arinagour on the Island of Coll.

More about this and The Long Walk of Coll, coming soon.

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