To buy a Harris Tweed Blanket

When we were buying the necessities for the boat, we were both in agreement that Heidi needed a nice warm blanket for sitting around on cold nights. We decided that we should go to the Island of Harris and buy an original Harris Tweed blanket there.

With a working motor we sailed north through the Inner Sound before passing through the narrows between the Islands of Raasay and Rona. We then followed Skye’s imposing east coast to the northern tip. At one point we passed a huge waterfall where a small river just ran out of land and fell over the enormous cliff. Our last alternative anchorage was Staffin Bay but we passed that after only four hours so decided to continue and cross the Little Minch. The coastguard’s weather forecast was promising a “gale force 8” for the next day so we were keen to reach a snug anchorage in the Outer Hebrides.

The Little Minch - wash day

The Little Minch – wash day

With two reefs in the main sail and most of the jib out, we were acoss the Little Minch in four hours. We only saw three ships crossing our route and all were far enough away to be “no problem”. We made the best of the sun and wind to dry out the mornings washing. I also wanted to try out the wind monitor steering (wind driven autopilot) but we were moving too fast to get the rudder locked.

At anchor in Loch Maaruig

At anchor in Loch Maaruig

Once we reached Harris in the Outer Hebrides, we entered the Fjord like Loch Seaforth and sailed two miles along it until we reached the sheltered anchorage at Loch Maaruig where we dropped anchor after a passage of ten hours. There are five houses clustered around the bay but I had a fast Internet connection via my mobile phone. Very strange.

The next day we treated ourselves to a lie in and a late Brunch. We then paddled to shore and set off to walk up to the main road in the hope of hitching a lift in to town. After about a kilometer we saw a sign that pointed along the old road to Tarbert and was only 8 kilometer. We decided to walk that way along what was now just a path. The sign didn’t mention that all eight kilometer were against the gale force 8 that had now arrived as forecast. We walked up to the pass “Braigh an Ruisg” and then down through the Glen of the Lacasdaillochs”. The scenery was extremely wild and very empty. No signs of habitation, no animals and no people. Just the wind making every step an effort.

The old road to Tarbert

The old road to Tarbert

After a few hours we reached Tarbert and went to the Harris Tweed shop to buy Heidi’s blanket. As we paid the cashier handed us a card and said “you can order online next time”.

And then, after a hot coffee and chocolate brownie, we walked all the way back being pushed by the wind and rowed back out to the boat.

Our route is at GPSies.

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