Loch Skipport


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Loch Skipport is a beautiful area, with several good anchorage choices, an excellent view hike, and a complex shoreline to explore by tender. We spent three nights there, partly enjoying the surroundings, but also replacing our 120-volt interver that failed shortly after we arrived.

Trip highlights from Aug 29th through 31st at Loch Skipport in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland follow. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at http://mvdirona.com/maps

8/29/2017
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Ru Melvick

Looking northwest across the bold head of Ru Melvick on the southeast tip of South Uist.
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Beinn Mhor

2,035ft (620m) Beinn Mhor (left) and 1,988ft (606m) Hecla just south of Loch Skipport on South Uist.
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Usinish Lighthouse

The Usinish Lighthouse was built in 1857 and designed by brothers David and Thomas Stevenson whose family designed most of Scotland’s lighthouses over a period of 150 years. Thomas was disappointed that his son, Robert, didn’t follow the family career path. But he found his own success as an author, the famed Robert Louis Stevenson whose works included Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
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SSCA Burgee

Our SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Association) burgee was getting a little tattered, so we replaced it today.
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Aquaculture

Major aquaculture just outside Lock Skipport.
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Exhaust Nipple

We replaced the stainless exhaust elbow on the generator a couple of days ago for the 3rd time in 5,000 hours. We normally don’t replace the water injection nipple show in the picture above, but this one is showing enough corrosion that it’s time to replace it as well.
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Squall

The weather here is incredibly changeable. Several squalls, punctuated by sunshine, passed through while we were anchored in Loch Skipport.
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Spitfire

Our 120V inverter failed today, so we dug out the spare to replace it. We keep the spare in a 64L Really Useful Boxes in the bottom of the bilge under the guest stateroom floor. As usual, as soon as we open up a locker or storage space, Spitfire is in there immediately to check it out. He’s standing on the box containing the inverter.
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Inverter Swap

We swapped the top of the case on the old and backup inverter to transfer our inverter cooling customizations to the backup.
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Installing Inverter

James placing the backup inverter in the starboard corner of the lazarette. Accessing this area to replace the inverter requires unmounting the lazarette freezer.
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Inverter Wiring

The inverter sitting on its back near the bulkhead where it is mounted. We have a service loop with long enough wires that we can install all the wiring in an accessible location, close up the inverter, and then take on the challenging part of the job: lift the inverter up and slide it onto the four mounts bolts that attach it to the bulkhead. The inverter is heavy enough that it’s hard to wrestle around in that tight spot.
8/30/2017
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Inverter Testing

Our 4kW 120V Mastervolt inverter is actually formed of two independent 2kW inverters that are linked together and packaged in a single box. We separately tested each 2kW inverter from the unit we replaced. They both produce power, so the fault must be in the inverter control logic that controls and pairs them. Because they really are two independent inverters, they both have the complete control logic where one is set to slave and the other to master via DIP switches. Both units can produce a steady and reliable 120V, either independently or together. It’s impossible to know if the combined unit will support a full 4kW load without testing it, but it seems likely it can.

Given the system is now working, it appears that the problem was intermittent, a problem with the cabling between the two control boards, or that a prolonged battery disconnect cleared it. Before deciding to go to the work on replacing the inverter, we tried power-cycling and completely removing power from the unit. It may be the case that the combination of removing battery power with a much longer wait may have cleared the fault but it’s difficult to tell with the thin information on fault states that Mastervolt gives customers, installers, or even the customer support team.

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Wizard Pool

The view east into the achorage at Wizard Pool from our anchorage at Caolas Mor in beautiful Loch Skipport.
8/31/2017
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Rainbow

Double rainbow looking northeast from the anchorage at Loch Skipport.
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Wizard Pool

This is our third day at Loch Skipport and the first pleasure craft we’ve seen since arriving. We were expecting the area to be a little busier.
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Garbage Day

Today we removed the bag from the galley trash compactor and stowed it inside a plastic bin in one of the bow lockers. We mainly put plastics and anything else not recyclable or biodegradable in the trash compactor, and don’t put anything in there that can smell. We stow smelly foodstuff garbage in a small plastic container that we keep sealed under the galley sink. When we transfer the trash compactor bag forward, we also empty the smelly garbage into it. We can go at least three weeks without emptying the compactor, and can stow two of its cubes forward, allowing us to go at least two months without getting rid of any garbage.
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Aquaculture

Out on a tour in the tender, we stopped at the aquaculture pens we’d seen on the way into the anchorage at Lock Skipport. Here workers are raplacing the lower net, in a process called a “swim-through”. When the fish are very small, the lower net has to be correspindginly fine mesh and consequentially it will foul up fairly quickly and need to be changed.
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Pier

Ruins of a late 19th-century steamship pier near the western end of Loch Skipport.
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Fish Cages

Fish cages in Linne Arm off Loch Skipport. They looked new, so perhaps they are being stored there for installation elsewhere.
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Aground

This large fishing vessel was aground near the north end of Linne Arm. A big hole is visible in the bow just above and forward of the tires hanging off the side, so perhaps the boat had been intentially grounded here after sustaining that damage, or repair is being attempted.
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Ruins

Building ruins near shore and atop the hill at Poll na Cairidh at the southwest corner of Loch Skipport.
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Stream

Tumbling stream at the end of a small drying inlet off the anchorage at Caolas Mor in Loch Skipport.
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Caolas Mor

Looking north to Dirona anchored at Caolas Mor in Loch Skipport.
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Lunch

We scrambled up a grassy hill to have lunch with a view west across the anchorage.
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Lake

After lunch we hiked farther into the hills above Loch Skipport and worked around this large and tranquil lake.
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Deer

We’ve been seeing plenty of deer droppings as we’ve been walking ashore in the Hebrides, but no deer. We finally spotted some today. The animals are incredibly skitterish and bolt even if we’re several hundred yards away.
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Loch Skipport

Jennifer taking in the spectacular view north from the hills above Loch Skipport. At the bottom left is the freshwater lake we passed earlier, Dirona is just visible near shore beyond the freshwater lake (click image to enlarge), and Wizard Pool is on the right. The hill in the distance near center is the 406ft (126m) Rueval on the Isle of Benbecula.
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Morven

When we returned from our hike, Morven was tucked into the corner of the anchorage. Morven‘s owner, Richard, came to chat with us later that evening. He was single-handing and said he was bound for the Isle of Skye in a few days.
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Basin

From our hike we could see a large basin off the north shore that looked interesting to explore by tender. The entrance was too shallow to pass through, so we landed outside and walked up for a look instead.
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Swans

Swan and cygnets swimming in the basin we’d tried to reach in the tender.
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Foundation

Drystone building foundation along the north shore of Loch Skipport.
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Sunset

The hills north of the anchorage aglow in the evening sun. Loch Skipport is a lovely anchorage—we’ve really enjoyed our stay here.

Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at http://mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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