Archive For The “Europe” Category

Stornoway

Stornoway

As is often the case, once we’d arrived in Stornoway we liked our berth and the town so much that we immediately extended our stay from four days to a week. We toured the Isle of Lewis, walked all over town, reprovisioned, visited the excellent Museum nan Eilean and, of course, checked out the local…

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Isle of Lewis

Isle of Lewis

In reaching the Butt of Lewis at the north end of Lewis Island, we’d been to both the most northern light in the Outer Hebrides and the most southern, on Berneray Island. Our day trip around Lewis Island also included stops at scenic Mangestra, the Standing Stones of Callanish, an historic roundhouse and several traditional…

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Stornoway Arrival

Stornoway Arrival

Stornoway Harbour was only the second marina we’ve stopped at since arriving in Scotland two months ago, and again we weren’t the only Nordhavn there. At James Watt Dock Marina near Glasgow, Nordhavn 55 Odyssey was moored behind us. At Stornoway, Nordhavn 68 Vesper was one pontoon away from us. We spent the afternoon of…

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Shiant Islands and Loch Mariveg

Shiant Islands and Loch Mariveg

A sailboat was visible through the Garbh Eilean arch as we arrived in the striking Shiant Islands. We gave serious considration to anchoring there for the night, but high winds were expected so we elected to take a more sheltered anchorage in beautiful Loch Mariveg instead. Trip highlights from September 6 and 7th in the…

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Loch Maddy

Loch Maddy

The CalMac ferry Hebrides runs from the Isle of Skye to Loch Maddy in the Outer Hebrides. We spent several nights anchored at Loch Maddy beneath dramatic North Lee, and enjoyed watching the Hebrides arrive and dock, particularly during a storm where we saw winds to 60 knots. We got the opposite perspective, with a…

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Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

The spectacular Isle of Skye scenery makes it one of Scotland’s top three tourist destinations, along with Edinburgh and Loch Ness. We had considered visiting Skye in Dirona, but instead opted to make a day trip by ferry from Loch Maddy. This gave us the added bonus riding one of the big CalMac ferries, something…

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Flodday Sound

Flodday Sound

The anchorage at Flodday Sound is below 475ft (145m) Beinn na h-Aire and 1,140ft (347m) Eaval, both accessible to climb. At high tide, the complex islet-strewn waterway can be explored beyond the causeway that connects Benbecula to North Uist. And fresh seafood is available from the nearby fishing community at Kallin Harbour to the south….

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Loch Skipport

Loch Skipport

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…

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Barra Island

Barra Island

The airport on Barra Island is reported to be the only one worldwide with scheduled beach landings. We anchored in aptly-named Castle Bay off 15-century Kisimul Castle for a few days and did a bicycle tour of the island, including taking in a beach landing. Trip highlights from August 25th through 28th, 2017 on Barra…

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Vatersay Island

Vatersay Island

Vatersay Island is known for its sweeping sand beaches, with a popular and roomy anchorage at Vatersay Bay. From our anchorage at Berneray Island, we took an indirect route north to Vatersay Bay to take in the seascape on the exposed sides of Berneray and Mingulay, among the most dramatic in the British Isles. Trip…

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Berneray Island

Berneray Island

For six months we had a goal to visit the lighthouse perched 630ft (192m) above the sea on Berneray Island, at the southernmost tip of the Outer Hebrides. Back in February, while we were in Daytona, Florida, we received our copy of the The Scottish Islands by Hamish Haswell-Smith. We immediately flipped to the Outer…

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The Small Isles

The Small Isles

The wreck of the Jack Abry II is a stark contrast to the spectacular Small Isles scenery and a sobering reminder that human error is one of the biggest risks we face when underway. According to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report “the skipper, who had been alone on watch in the wheelhouse, fell…

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Anchor Ensnarled

Anchor Ensnarled

Yesterday morning, we started up the main engine just past daybreak for a planned run from Widewall Bay along the west coast of Hoy and the Mainland in the Orkney Islands. But the anchor was locked down solidly on the bottom. That’s happened before and we have our tricks. Dropping another 100 feet and pulling…

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Loch Moidart

Loch Moidart

The ruins of 14-century Castle Tioram, the rapids at River Shiel and a tender tour around the Isle of Shona make the slightly tricky entrance to Loch Moidart worth taking on. Several scenic anchorage choices are inside, most with great views to the castle. We reached Loch Moidart after a 40-mile run from the Sound…

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Staffa and Iona

Staffa and Iona

The Isle of Staffa is composed of vertical, hexagonal basalt columns similar to those at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. The cliffs themselves are a sight, but an additional attraction is cathedral-like Fingal’s Cave. From an anchorage in the Sound of Iona, we ran the tender over to Staffa, then spent the afternoon exploring…

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Isle of Mull

Isle of Mull

The Isle of Mull gave us our first taste of the dramatic Scottish coastal scenery we’d been hearing so much about. In just one morning we saw spectacular waterfalls, a striking sea arch and imposing cliffs. After exiting the Crinan Canal, we sped north in the high-current Sound of Jura and anchored at Loch Spelve…

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