Monday, 21 July 2014
Island of Canna and on to Loch Harport Skye
Canna is a very small island in the Hebrides, dwarfed by its nearest neighbour Rhum which is slightly larger than 'very small! It has a population of 18 and is home to sea eagles, otters, dolphins and many other species of sea birds. We think we saw an eagle which was quite distinctive, and definitely saw a group of three buzzards. Dolphins outside the harbour and seals are now expected in these parts, though none the less memorable.
We had a sufficiently filling meal of white bread, cheddar cheese and Iron Bru, these being the only choices in the only 'cafe', on the only island and we were the only visitors apart from two other yachts whom we met and who were moored like us in the bay. We took a long walk through very muddy, woodland on grass paths which looked like they had not been trodden for a long time, but then with 18 inhabitants and very few yachties, maybe that was correct. There were three churches on the island, however, one beautifully kept and welcoming. After a short time decontaminating shoes, we left after three hours on the island, bound for the temptations of loch Harport, on the western coast of Skye. After about half an hour, a huge shout from Vincent identified a whale slightly to our stern which had come up to breathe, but sadly so fleeting was the encounter that only he saw it. These waters really are teeming with sea life.
We sailed up the West coast of Skye which is very mountainous and simply stupendous, and arrived in Loch Harport, Isle of Skye, a deep loch surrounded by huge mountains erupting from the sea on every side. Impressive stuff! Our anchorage was about 20m in front of the excellent Old Inn, where we had a good meal and met some interesting sailing folk. One asked me if the name of this blog was similar to keepturning left.com, and I replied that I had read and admired that blog written by a fellow circumnavigator who was going the other way round. Since my fellow diner knew him and Dylan was in the Orkneys, he gave me Dylan's mobile. A quick text led to an amusing conversation with the great man himself and an assurance that we would try and meet somewhere as we closed on each other over the next few days. Imagine the media sensation of keepturning left meeting keepturningright! It might even make the local paper!