The Small Isles

These are four Islands west of the scottish mainland that are a part of the Inner Hebrides.

We sailed from Tobermory to the Isle of Muck and anchored in a bay on the north side of the island to be sheltered from the prevailing wind. Once the anchor was set, we rowed to the beach and followed the track the two kilometers in to “town”. We passed through a field of highland cattle, met the farmer working with his sheep and lambs and met a hen coming the other way as well as a lost sheep. The village was tiny and closed but we looked at the impressive community center. I was really interested in the solar and wind powered electricity generation but we met no one to ask for details. The only person we met was from the Isle of Mull. After walking back we continued along a barely defined path that led to a lonely bothy with views out to sea. All very “Lord of the Rings”.
In the evening we tackled and solved the problem of how to get the main halyard from round the radar reflector. The solution involved hoisting the spare anchor in to the rigging.

Isle of Muck

Isle of Muck

The next morning we sailed to the island of Rum. At the entrance to Loch Scresort we dropped the sails and tried to start the engine. It wouldn’t turn over despite repeated attempts. We set sail for Mallaig and hopes of a tow in to harbour. A short time later we tried the engine again and it worked so we turned round and sailed in to the Loch and anchored. Once I had done all the calculations to work out the tide heights I remembered that I have all tide details integrated in to my digital charts. It was good practice though.
After an hour of checking that the anchor was really set and holding despite the strong wind, we rowed to land and walked past the castle that an englishman built here and on to the tearoom for a coffee and cake. There were various walks in the area so we took one that led up the side of the hill and along to a glen. On the way we passed a small croft ( http://croft3.co.uk ) and later the husband and wife who run it and try to live self sufficiently on this Island. We had an interesting chat about power generation, storage and usage. The subject of Internet also came up so we went and found the man who runs the local Internet company ( https://www.hebnet.co.uk ) for a much longer chat.
Next we took a track that led up another valley and to a vantage point from which we could look down on the whole community and across to the mainland. After that it was just a short row back to the boat which we reached just before the downpour

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