10th September - Sutherland's Secret Coast

A place of unspoilt beauty, abounding in flora and fauna, the Highlands and Islands boast an incredible heritage from prehistory, through the early days of Christianity, to the 19th century Clearances and beyond.  Explore the rugged west coast, the Small Isles and Skye, resplendent in the colours of late summer.

Our thanks to guest John Noorani for many of the images used on this weeks cruise log.

Tuesday, 10th Septmber.

Once embarkation was complete we departed from Northern Lighthouse Pier in Oban and anchored overnight in Bloody Bay, scene of a naval battle in 1480 between the Lord of the Isles and the chief of Clan Donald, John MacDonald of Islay, and his son Angus Og MacDonald.

Wednesday, 11th September.

This morning was spent cruising around Ardnamurchan and past the Small Isles, into Loch Hourn to view Eilean Donan Castle, through Kyle Rhea and the Narrows, under the Skye Bridge to Upper Loch Torridon. During the day a dolphin and white-tailed sea eagle were spotted.

In the afternoon guests were tendered ashore in Shieldaig to enjoy walks and refreshments in Nanny’s cafe.

We anchored overnight in Loch Snizort, Isle of Skye. 

Thursday, 12th September.

After an early morning cruise into Loch Dunvegan, guests were tendered ashore to the castle, gardens or take a local boat out to see the seals.

 

During lunch we cruised the Sea of the Hebrides to East Loch Tarbert for an afternoon tour to Luskentyre Beach and the Harris Tweed shop for a weaving demonstration. 

In the late afternoon we set sail across The Minch on passage to our overnight anchorage in Gruinard Bay, west of Ullapool. 

Friday, 13th September.

This morning we berthed in Ullapool where a coach transported guests to Corrieshalloch Gorge, the box canyon set in a National Nature Reserve.

 

In the afternoon, we tendered guests ashore in Loch Ewe to visit the sub-tropical oasis, Inverewe Garden.

 


We arrived and berthed in Kyle of Lochalsh in the early evening and remained alongside overnight.

Saturday, 14th September.

This morning guests visited Eilean Ban and the Brightwater visitor centre, before afternoon walks and strolls around the pretty conservation village of Plockton.

Pictured is the memorial on Kyle of Lochalsh station to mark the Centenary of the fateful departure of HMT Iolaire for Stornoway. 

After dinner entertainment in the Tiree lounge was provided by local musicians, Louden and Allister Mackay.

Sunday, 15th September.

After breakfast guests travelled to the most photgraphed castle in Scotland, Eilean Donan, and the Clan MacRae Roll of Honour 1914-1918 Great War.

 

In the afternoon we cruised through Kyle Rhea, past Loch Hourn and Loch Nevis and the south coast of Skye to tender guests ashore in Loch Scavaig, where seals and deer were spotted.

We anchored overnight in Kilmarie Bay, Loch Slapin off the Isle of Skye.

Monday, 16th September.

Today was spent exploring the Small Isles.  This morning guests were tendered ashore on Eigg for walks and strolls under the dramatic pitchstone ridge of An Sgurr.

The final port of call was the Isle of Muck.

The Farewell Gala Dinner was held at anchor off Java point.

Tuesday, 17th September.

Disembarkation took place after breakfast in Oban and Captain Kirkwood, the officers and crew bid farewell to the guests as they commenced their journeys home.

Many thanks to Judy from Oban Caravan and Camping Park for this lovely image of Hebridean Princess from McCaig's Tower in Oban this morning.