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Sailing Round Islay

dje67

Member
Joined
20 Sep 2007
Messages
265
Location
Largs
I've often wondered about sailing round the whole of Islay, having been around the inside of Isaly and Jura many times. Might get 5-6 days to do that in August this year, weather permitting. Any suggestions of where to stop overnight, other than the obvious marina in Port Ellen?

It'll probably be a clockwise route starting at the south and, with 5 days available, I'm looking for ideas on where is worth heading to, especially around the west and north side. I might also try to add in Oronsay and Loch Tarber (Jura) on the way round.

Clearly, weather dictates whether I go anywhere near the outside of Islay , but where would you recommend if weather allows? Where's good to go ashore for food?

11m boat, 1.5m draught. Prefer to anchor at night.

Thanks.
 

BlowingOldBoots

Well-known member
Joined
5 Aug 2009
Messages
15,698
Location
Scotland.
Scottish Anchorages shows Portnahaven. Google Maps indicates some possible anchorages on the west coast, though highly probable that they are weather dependant.

Islay - Scottish Anchorages

I have Memory Map with the marine map package: Lossit Bay, Kilchiaran Bay, Sanaigmore Bay are all options that could be accessed. No Antares chart cover for the West Coast of Islay, so yer on yer own with 1849-1853 British Government Lead Line Surveys. :)

Also, Argyle Shipwrecks, Peter Moir and Ian Crawford, 2nd Edition, shows 18 on the west coast including in the bays mentioned, could be worth a read.
 
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AngusMcDoon

Well-known member
Joined
20 Oct 2004
Messages
7,091
Location
I know how fast I'm going, but not where I am
I did it a couple of years ago over 2 days. I anchored overnight at the top of the bay next to the airport, on the way to Bowmore. That was fine in the spring when north or east winds prevail but would be pants in August when it's mostly south westerlies. I think it's a trip better done in May than August, for wind reasons.

Portnahaven is the most alarming place I've been. There be dragons of a very whooshy kind.
 

bikedaft

Active member
Joined
16 Dec 2008
Messages
3,129
Location
tayvallich
From memory, CCC guide says only go into Portnahaven with local knowledge?

Just back from abouts there. We anchored off Traigh Baile Aonghais - magic. Looked like you would get a bit more shelter in the suggested anchorage behind Nave Island.

Ardmore islands are brilliant. Clas Uig also. Behind Texa usually sheltered. We went to Bowmore a long time ago, it was good.

West Loch Tarbert is a short diversion from N end of Snd of Islay. We were in last week. It's well worth a visit for the raised beaches, narrows, and views (sometimes!) of the back of the paps.

Enjoy ☺
 

grandpaboat

Member
Joined
11 May 2015
Messages
49
We did it about 15 years ago. Loch Indaal near Bowmore is shallow so had to anchor a good way off. Port Charlotte hotel made us very welcome, with the landlord buying us a round as he said he didn't get many visiting yachts. Both the above exposed to SW as previously mentioned. Also avoided Portnahaven for the above mentioned CCC directions. Also the overalls off the the Rhins of Islay where big even on a windless day, so goodness knows what they're like on a stourie day. Behind Knave Is was a good anchorage and I also endorse a visit to West Loch Tarbert Jura especially the last part up the cut at the correct stage of the tide. This is very interesting following the leading marks as laid out by Blondie Hasler. Although we did this under sail with a following wind we had done it previously in the dinghy. And again the Ardmore Islands provide some lovely anchorages. Also a distillery visit down this side, they had visitor moorings then. We visited Ardbeg and the 50 year old single malt can be recommended.
 

dje67

Member
Joined
20 Sep 2007
Messages
265
Location
Largs
Thanks for the info. How exposed is west of Islay to Atlantic swell. Seems to be present all the time, having been around that area many times on the Waverley (highly recommended series of cruises she does in May each year).
 
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