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Suggestions for a Western Isles cruise

davidej

Well-known member
Joined
17 Nov 2004
Messages
5,281
Location
West Mersea. north Essex
It looks like our 14-day charter out of Oban, planned for June, will take place in August.

Suggestions as to routes and any 'must dos' would be welcome welcome.

Be aware that we will have two girls onboard who value walks ashore and picturesque town or villages as much as deserted anchorages.

Wild life spotting will also be at a premium.
 

NormanS

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2008
Messages
7,660
2020 will be remembered for its fantastic summer weather, - the whole of April and May. 😥

Too many good places to list. Get the relevant Clyde Cruising Club Sailing Directions, and follow your fancy.
 

Quandary

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Joined
20 Mar 2008
Messages
7,350
Location
Argyll
Many of the harbours are just opening with continuing restrictions, for instance Tobermory is only opening 10 moorings and a limited number of pontoon berths, Mallaig is using one side of the fingers only but it is one of the few offering showers, takeaway food only but widely available.
Our favourite basic route Oban, Tobermory, Canna, Dunvegan or Stein, then Gairloch, Loch Torridon, Kyle or Kylakin, Loch Hourn or Loch Nevis back to Tobermory . If the weather is good go round Skye anti clockwise if it is poor use Sleat and the Inner Sound and forget about going west of Skye. Lots of options on that route Rum, Eigg, Loch Coruisk under the Cuillin, Loch Harport, Rona, ,Portree, Raasay , Plockton. Loch Moidart, Loch Sunart if the winds are strong.
An less adventurous alternative is round Mull, Loch Spelve, Ardmaleish, Iona (Tinkers hole or Bull hole if overnight) avoid Bunessan, Staffa, Ulva/Gometra, (to late for the puffins on The Treshnish Isles). Tobermory, Loch Sunart, Loch Aline, Lismore, Oban.
We generally wait to judge the weather and base a route on how benign it is, plenty of choices.

A set of Antares Charts on your tablet is really good value if you like quiet anchorages.
 
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cpedw

Active member
Joined
1 Jun 2001
Messages
971
Location
Oban
Don't rule out heading south. Check the tide for Sound of Luing or Cuan Sound then there's Loch Melfort, Jura, Gigha, Islay all assisted by Antares charts and well sheltered water. West Loch Tarbert (Jura) and Colonsay are available if the weather's not bad. Then consider Corryvreckan but it's easy to round if you prefer.
 

Carib

Active member
Joined
30 Mar 2011
Messages
330
Location
Southampton
Amazing sailing round there. Fingal's cave on Staffa is pretty memorable if you get settled weather.
 

jamie N

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Joined
20 Dec 2012
Messages
2,609
Location
Fortrose
Up the Western Isles, from Barra and and using the many (now) pontooned harbours all of the way up to Stornoway, cross the Minch and back down the mainland.
 

JumbleDuck

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Joined
8 Aug 2013
Messages
21,905
Location
SW Scotland
... avoid Bunessan
What's wrong with Bunessan? We spent a pleasant night there last year at the entrance to Loch Caol (more or less on the "R" of "Rubh' Àird an Daraich" and found it a very pleasant spot with excellent shelter from the southerlies which were blowing. In the morning we shifted along to anchor off the pier and walked in to get supplies at the slightly eccentric but very friendly shop. We then rode the rising wind back to Ulva Ferry like a scalded cat and spent two days hiding there from a real belter.

 

Scomber

Member
Joined
17 Nov 2006
Messages
588
What's wrong with Bunessan? We spent a pleasant night there last year at the entrance to Loch Caol (more or less on the "R" of "Rubh' Àird an Daraich" and found it a very pleasant spot with excellent shelter from the southerlies which were blowing. In the morning we shifted along to anchor off the pier and walked in to get supplies at the slightly eccentric but very friendly shop. We then rode the rising wind back to Ulva Ferry like a scalded cat and spent two days hiding there from a real belter.

+1 , great blackberry picking (later on) and walking too!
 

Quandary

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Joined
20 Mar 2008
Messages
7,350
Location
Argyll
It is a personal aversion (shared by my family) based on a number of visits over the last 30 years, it is a consequence of the following,
1, the difficulty of getting ashore at the pier surrounded by its dinghy ripping rocky foreshore.
2 The incredible 'highland' hospitality at the miserable hotel.
3 the absense of any alternative to 2
4 the unusual density of midges if the wind stops howling
5 the possibility of being weather bound there for 24 hours or more.
Of course your experience may be different and it may even have improved but we are not going back again to find out.
 

crewman

Active member
Joined
30 Dec 2008
Messages
646
Location
Edinburgh
Coll/Tiree worth visiting. Nice walks ashore and often see basking sharks in the vicinity. Often the sunniest place in Scotland. If you have time and the weather St Kilda is doable run ashore interesting and seabirds fantastic. Get the tide right and Corryvreckan great fun . Essentially there are loads of places to go, depends on wind on the day. Should have been there in May, postponed for a year!
 

JumbleDuck

Well-known member
Joined
8 Aug 2013
Messages
21,905
Location
SW Scotland
It is a personal aversion (shared by my family) based on a number of visits over the last 30 years, it is a consequence of the following,
1, the difficulty of getting ashore at the pier surrounded by its dinghy ripping rocky foreshore.
2 The incredible 'highland' hospitality at the miserable hotel.
3 the absense of any alternative to 2
4 the unusual density of midges if the wind stops howling
5 the possibility of being weather bound there for 24 hours or more.
Of course your experience may be different and it may even have improved but we are not going back again to find out.
The hotel is a bit pensioners-coach-tour but they were friendly enough when we went in and gave me the wifi code while cheerfully turning down my offer to pay for drinks in return.. I don't remember any problem with rocks at the pier, but since we have a GRP dinghy we may have a higher tolerance of rippiness. Overall it's not somewhere I'd head for with a spring in my step and a sparkle in my eyes but it's not, for example, Craighouse. Shudder.
 

cpedw

Active member
Joined
1 Jun 2001
Messages
971
Location
Oban
It's my understanding that Craighouse and Craiglockhart were two buildings of the same institution; likely due to expansion for WW1. I too served some time at Craiglockhart and at Napier's house.
 

Quandary

Well-known member
Joined
20 Mar 2008
Messages
7,350
Location
Argyll
The hotel is a bit pensioners-coach-tour but they were friendly enough when we went in and gave me the wifi code while cheerfully turning down my offer to pay for drinks in return.. I don't remember any problem with rocks at the pier, but since we have a GRP dinghy we may have a higher tolerance of rippiness. Overall it's not somewhere I'd head for with a spring in my step and a sparkle in my eyes but it's not, for example, Craighouse. Shudder.
Did they not have half a dozen stinking polypropylene ropes tied to and across the ladder on the pier.
Last year we were on a mooring in Gigha and it started to blow a bit from the east, I persuaded myself that Craighouse might be more comfortable, well it is better to learn the hard way.
 

JumbleDuck

Well-known member
Joined
8 Aug 2013
Messages
21,905
Location
SW Scotland
It's my understanding that Craighouse and Craiglockhart were two buildings of the same institution; likely due to expansion for WW1. I too served some time at Craiglockhart and at Napier's house.
They were separate institutions until Napier had them both.

Craiglockart was owned by the Craiglockhart Hydropathic Company until they went bust in 1920 and sold the place to the Convent of the Sacred Heart, from whom Napier bought it in 1986.

Craighouse was bought and turned into a psychiatric hospital by the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. It joined the NHS in 1948 and closed in the early 90s as "Care in the Community" did its dreadful work.

See 1920 to Present and Craighouse, Edinburgh: former private asylum, future housing development
 
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