Isle of Skye


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The Isle of Skye in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides is famous for spectacular, unworldy scenery. Hardly a boring vista exists, especially near the Trotternish Landslip on the northeastern shore. Several huge landslides took place during the post-glacial period, creating amazing formations such as the Old Man of Store and adjacent pinnacles, where the opening scenes for the movie Prometheus were filmed, and the Quiraing, with its dramatic high cliffs, pinnacles and plateaus.

From our anchorage at Loch na Dal, we made a 73-mile run north from the southern tip of Skye across the Sea of the Hebrides to Loch Mariveg in the Outer Hebrides. En route, we passed closed along the east coast of Skye and took in the fabulous scenery there. We’d visited the area on a day trip to Skye during our 2017 cruise of the British Isles, so particularly enjoyed the different perspective from the water.

Below are trip highlights from June 8th, 2020. 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 mvdirona.com/maps.

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Sunrise
Golden sunrise as we are underway from Loch na Dal shortly before 5am.
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Kylerhea
The village of Kylerhea to our west, on Isle of Skye, with 2,425 ft (739 m) Sgurr na Coinnich visible in the distance behind the foreground hill.
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14.5 knots
The current in Kyle Rhea, a narrow passage between Skye and the Scottish mainland, can run up to 8 knots. We’re getting flushed through with the flood current and are doing 14.5 knots where normally we’d be making 9 knots at 2000 RPM. This isn’t quite the fastest Dirona has ever gone. The record is 15.1 knots below the Ice Harbor Lock and Dam on the Columbia and Snake River system.
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Upwellings
Upwellings across Kyle Rhea as we transit in a strong flood current.
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Kyle Rhea Light
The Kyle Rhea Light on the Isle of Skye, with a better view to 2,425 ft (739 m) Sgurr na Coinnich.
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Loch Alsh
Heading west along Loch Alsh. Visible in the distance is the Skye bridge between the Isle of Skye on the left and Kyle of Lochalsh on the Scottish mainland on our right. On our 2017 British Isles cruise, we brought our bikes on a train from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh, and rode along Loch Alsh to tour 13th-century Eilean Donan Castle.
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Kyleakin
The village of Kyleakin on Skye
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Kyle of Lochalsh
Kyle of Lochalsh on the Scottish mainland, with the Lochalsh hotel prominent along the waterfront. This was the terminus of our train trip from Inverness.
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Caisteal Maol
The ruins on the Ilse of Skye of Caisteal Maol, a Mackinnon clan fortress dating from the 15th century.
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Skye Bridge
Skye Bridge, connecting the Isle of Skye by road to the Scottish mainland. In the rather strict definition of Hamish Haswell-Smith, who penned the authoritative and frequently referenced Scottish Islands guide covering the 168 Scottish islands greater than 100 acres (40 ha), .
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Kyleakin Lighthouse
The Kyleakin Lighthouse, built by the Stevenson brothers in 1857, was decommissioned in 1993 when construction of the Skye Bridge began.
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Mowi ASA
Mowi ASA facility just north of the Skye Bridge on the Isle of Skye. The Norwegian fish farm company operates in Norway, the Faroe Island, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and Chile. After a 2006 merger, Mowi ASA became the world’s largest salmon and trout farming company with 25-30% of the global market.
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View to Skye
Looking north to the fabulous Skye scenery as we exit Loch Alsh.
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Raasay
Ruins along the south end of the Isle of Raasay, from an early 20th-century mining operation. Blog reader Doug Miller provided some details. It was an iron ore mine dating from World War I and was controversial in using German prisoners of war as labour. More information is at Memories of Raasay’s WWI German POWs.
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Hallaig
The Caledonian MacBrayne ferry Hallaig moored at Raasay.
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Trotternish Landslip
First view to the Trotternish Landslip on the Isle of Skye. Several huge landslides took place during the post-glacial period, creating the spectacular formations Skye is famous for.
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Belt Dust
We are seeing an unusual amount of belt dust building around the newly-installed main engine auxiliary drive belt. Normally this engine has no visible belt dust. On close inspection, the belt is correctly installed and it’s the correct Deere part number and the same part number as the belt that was previously installed for several thousand hours.

Two possible theories are: 1) power generation loads have been higher than usual since, with our primary generator down due to a valve seat problem, the main is serving double duty as both a propulsion engine and as generator, or 2) the “new” drive belt has experienced some oxidation in storage and is throwing off the thin layer of oxidization and will quickly clean up and not throw any more dust.

We tend to use the power generation capability of our engine fairly heavily, often operating HVAC, dryer, and oven, when underway so usage doesn’t seem much different from usual. We suspect 10 years of storage has led to some belt oxidization. If it stops throwing dust, that will confirm that theory.

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Ronja Supporter
The fish carrier Ronja Supporter moored off Portree on the Isle of Skye.
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The Storr
The 2,359 ft (719 m) Storr hill on Skye is one of the best examples of the Trotternish Landslip.
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Marie Bhan IV
The fishing vessel Marie Bhan IV bobbing in the swells. The winds are blowing less than 15 knots, but a good-sized swell is rolling south through the Sound of Rassay.
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Waterfall
Multi-tiered waterfall below The Storr on the Isle of Skye (click image for a larger view).
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Old Man of Storr
The Old Man of Storr, a fantastic pinnacle rock created by the the Trotternish Landslip. We got a closer view to the formation on our day trip to Skye in 2017.
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Fish Farm
Part of an extensive fish farm operating off the Trotternish Peninsula, with some more dramatic Skye scenery beyond.
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Floating Line
We passed several buoys with long floating lines drifting behind them. These are particularly dangerous as the lines are thick enough that our spur cutters probably wouldn’t do much good if we accidentally ran over one and we’d likely end up with line wrapped around the prop. Leaded line is safer for everyone.
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Diatomite Factory
Ruins of a diatomite factory on Skye, built in 1899.
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Mealt Falls
Mealt Falls are a popular tourist destination, with a viewpoint built in the cliffs at upper left.
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Kilt Rock
Kilt Rock, so named because it looks like a kilt when viewed looking north from Mealt Falls.
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Pillar
One of several freestanding pillars at Kilt Rock.
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Eilean Flodigarry
The islet Eilean Flodigarry, foreground, with the dramatic formations on Skye behind.
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Eilean Trodday
Lighthouse on the offshore islet Eilean Trodday. Just visible on the right are one of the island’s spectacular columnar stacks.
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Shiant Isles
Passing the Shiant Isles to our west. One of the isles, Garbh Eilean, has a striking sea arch that we viewed while passing through the group in 2017.
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Pot Holders
It’s a fairly calm day, but still rough enough in the swell that the pot needs to be secured on the stove. It’s not that common for us to need to do this.
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Entering Loch Mariveg
Approaching the narrow and shallow channel into Loch Mariveg.
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Antares Charts
The charts don’t show good detail for many of the anchorages in Scotland, so we augment them with Antares charts. These are unofficial, large-scale boating charts produced by boaters focusing on the West Coast of Scotland. The charts run on a variety of devices—we loaded them up on our phone to display side-by-side with our Navionics charts.
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First Smell
Spitfire getting a “first smell” of the Outer Hebrides at beautiful Loch Mariveg. We’d stopped here on our 2017 cruise and were looking forward to visiting again.
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Cellular Reception
We weren’t expecting any cellular reception in Loch Mariveg, but managed to get some by mounting the cell phone up on the stack.
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Dinner
A relaxing dinner in the cockpit on a warm and sunny evening in Loch Mariveg.
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Olly Alston
After dinner, we had a great chat with Olly Alston, who stopped by to say hello on his way home from fishing. And he offered us some delicious freshly caught mackerel that we enjoyed for dinner the next night.
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Sunset
Golden sunset at calm and peaceful Loch Mariveg.
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 mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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