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Circumnavigation of Skye, August 2011: Countess of Sleat

Log of the 'Countess of Sleat' (an Elan Impression 434 from Skye Yachts): August 31st July to 6th August 2011

30st August 2011 Saturday

Log 2852 nm

All arrived successfully, and boarded with what seemed a huge amount of gear and provisions including a pot of fresh Basil – much to the amusement of Charmian and Mark who I think must have wondered if we thought we were going on a canal boat! All successfully stowed, we ended up with Ruth and Steve in the forward cabin, Richard and Fred in the cabin with two bunks, Sarah and Shanta sharing the aft port cabin, although Sarah took to using the main cabin, and Helen and Jeremy the aft starboard cabin.
The tide was Ok to go up through the tidal gate of Kyle Rhea, and we motored through this splendid piece of water heading east into Loch Alsh and into Loch Duich passing the two starboard hand buoys, anchoring at Totaig, opposite Eilean Donan Castle.
A lovely spot, and fabulous introduction to the West Coast for those who haven't been before! We celebrated Freds birthday with bubbles and a fantastic chocolate cake with an almond icing - made by Fred and Joys daughter Katie. Dinner courtesy of Fred – warming and very delicious chilli con carne, definitely a standard setter!

Travelled 19nm motored


31st August - Sunday

Log 2873

Left Totaig after a lazy breakfast. Motored out to Eilean Donan Castle and then into Loch Alsh, past Kyle of Loch Alsh and under the Skye Bridge. Then we set some sails and anchored at the Crowlins for a lazy lunch. After lunch we motored to Acairseid Mhor on Rona. This popular anchorage in the upper section had eight yachts at anchor, so we anchored at 1845 just inside the entrance in 10m of water with 50 – 60m chain out. Dinner was made by Steve to Sarahs receipe and instruction: delicious chicken thighs on a bed on halved baby tomatoes with two bulbs of garlic and the whole tub of fresh basil. Mmmm!

Travelled 21.7nm sailed from north of Skye bridge to Caol Rona otherwise motored

1st August - Monday

Log 2873.7nm

Reanchored nearer the pontoon. Left Countess at 1130 for a walk to Dry Harbour, the ‘summit’ and Church Cave. The manager now charges £1 per head to come ashore and £5 per shower, we declined the latter. Back for lunch finding the stern uncomfortably close to the rocks moved off reanchoring at the same spot as the previous evening. Departed Acairseid Mhor at 1330. Motored to Loch Torridon via Caol Rona (eastern channel) anchoring in 7m water on a rising tide at Sheildaig.

Sarah prepared grilled mushrooms with garlic, and Venison Stew! I think we were setting new standards here!

Travelled 13.4nm motored

2nd August - Tuesday

Log 2887nm

In the face of a reasonable forecast and brilliant sunshine, we decided to circumnavigate Skye.
0600 forecast read:
24 hour forecast: Variable 2 or 3, increasing 4 at times. Slight or moderate. Showers. Good, occasionally poor. Outlook: Variable 2 or 3 becoming easterly or southeasterly 3 or 4, occasionally 5 later in south. Slight or moderate. Showers later. Moderate or good.
Departed 1010 arriving Loch Dunvegan 1715. Vey little wind so motored virtually all the way. Unfortunately it soon clouded over altho’ we only had rain once – in Loch Dunvegan itself. The pilotage into the Castle anchorage is as described. Switched to the forward water tank so no more showers.
We settled into the culinary routine to which we were becoming accustomed with Jeremy and Helen creating a superb Lamb Curry. I’m surprised we didn’t have tourists swimming out to the boat for a take away!

Travelled 37nm motored

3rd August - Wednesday

Log: 2924

Woke and breakfasted to a beautiful sunny morning. Two parties went off rowing, no Otters spotted despite being reassured by locals they were about! Went up to the Dunvegan Pier, at high water and without any trawlers, and refilled the water tanks – which seemed to take an age. Missed out on a good chocolate maker though – next time visit Janns Cakes! 01470 521730
Moved off for Loch Harport, not sure of time. Encountered a large pod of dolphins in Loch Dunvegan and spent time giving chase. Lovely beasts who I’m sure just play with yachts for fun! Rounded Dunvegan head, motored past Loch Pooltiel and past Neist Point LH. All very dramatic.
From Neist Point bearing 151° T until Arnaval bears 100° T (so skirting An Dubh-Sgeir rocks giving good views of MacLeods Maidens), follow until the Ardtreck Point small white tower bears 55° T.
This section was in lovely sunshine. Ruth enjoyed sitting in the bow ‘seat’!
We anchored off the Talisker Distillery in 5.8m water at almost low water on 50m chain. Had a perusal around Carbost – Jeremy and Helen took the tour! We admired a huge no of scarecrows!

Dinner of Bradan Rost, boiled new potatoes and courgettes.

Travelled 25nm motored

4th August - Thursday

Log: 2949nm

Off for Loch Scavaig, departing 1000 in light airs of 6kn. Dropped off so motored. Pain a visit to Port na Long, Loch Harport to look at the Lerwick registered wooden gaff cutter Ezra.
Motored past Loch Eynort and Loch Brittle up the Sound of Soay, arriving Loch na Cuilche ?time. Steve rather twitchy about depth as seemed less than expected and so didn’t join the shore parties to go to Loch Coruisk. Rain and midges I think prevailed!
We rowed around circumnavigating a small island in search of seals, collecting a lot of mussels en route! Richard spent a great deal of time preparing them, and they were great! Complete with pearls!

Dinner: Mussels, boiled ham and fresh fruit.

Travelled 20nm motored

5th August – Friday

Log 2969

Departed Loch na Cuilce and Loch Scavaig 1000 motoring out past rocks adorned with seals in all kinds of silly and unlikely (unless you’re a seal) poses! Windy so sailed on a single reefed main and reefed genoa giving a tankingly good sail out to the Sound of Rum and on to Muck for lunch. Anchored near the RoRo pier but now not very scenic, unfortunately!
Departed Muck 1515 motoring in through Eigg arriving Armadale around 1830 – 1900
Dinner mmm left overs probably, a time honoured dish!!

Distance run 35.8nm Tankingly good sail from Scavaig to Muck, motored thereafter

Total distance for the week 172nm

Engine hours 34.8



Route of Sleat Odyssey 18th to 25th August 2012

Route of Sleat Odyssey 18th to 25th August 2012




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Welcome aboard and ....(Photo by Sarah).jpg
Welcome aboard and ....(Photo by Sarah).jpg
......it's Freds birthday! (Photo by Sarah).jpg
......it's Freds birthday! (Photo by Sarah).jpg
Eilean Donan Castle (Photo by Sarah).jpg
Eilean Donan Castle (Photo by Sarah).jpg
Totaig
Totaig
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle
Ruth has a row at Totaig
Ruth has a row at Totaig
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle
Acairseid Mhor, Rona
Acairseid Mhor, Rona
Acairseid Mhor, Rona looking west
Acairseid Mhor, Rona looking west
From our overnight anchorage
From our overnight anchorage
Anchorage on the GPS
Anchorage on the GPS
Achaceid Mhor (photo by Ruth).jpg
Achaceid Mhor (photo by Ruth).jpg
Achaceid Mhor to Portree (photo by Ruth).jpg
Achaceid Mhor to Portree (photo by Ruth).jpg
Church Cave, Rona (photo by Ruth).jpg
Church Cave, Rona (photo by Ruth).jpg
Sheildaig, Loch Torridon
Sheildaig, Loch Torridon
Sheildaig, Loch Torridon
Sheildaig, Loch Torridon
Sheildaig, Loch Torridon
Sheildaig, Loch Torridon
Sheildaig, Loch Torridon
Sheildaig, Loch Torridon
Sheildaig morning (Photo by Sarah).jpg
Sheildaig morning (Photo by Sarah).jpg
Sheildaig, Loch Torridon
Sheildaig, Loch Torridon
Sheildaig, Loch Torridon
Sheildaig, Loch Torridon
Sheildaig reflection
Sheildaig reflection
Sheildaig Shag
Sheildaig Shag
Sheildaig, Loch Torridon
Sheildaig, Loch Torridon
Loch Dunvegan
Loch Dunvegan
Loch Dunvegan
Loch Dunvegan
Loch Dunvegan
Loch Dunvegan
Loch Dunvegan
Loch Dunvegan
Loch Dunvegan (Photo by Sarah).jpg
Loch Dunvegan (Photo by Sarah).jpg
Loch Dunvegan
Loch Dunvegan
Loch Dunvegan
Loch Dunvegan
Loch Dunvegan
Loch Dunvegan
Countess of Sleat at Loch Dunvegan
Countess of Sleat at Loch Dunvegan
Shore party!
Shore party!
Dunvegan Castle
Dunvegan Castle
Dunvegan Pier
Dunvegan Pier
Dunvegan Pier (photo by Ruth).jpg
Dunvegan Pier (photo by Ruth).jpg
Fred and Jeremy, Dunvegan Pier (photo by Ruth).jpg
Fred and Jeremy, Dunvegan Pier (photo by Ruth).jpg
Helen and Richard, Dunvegan Pier (photo by Ruth).jpg
Helen and Richard, Dunvegan Pier (photo by Ruth).jpg
Countess of Sleat at Dunvegan Pier (photo by Ruth).jpg
Countess of Sleat at Dunvegan Pier (photo by Ruth).jpg
Loch Dunvegan
Loch Dunvegan
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 1
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 1
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 2
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 2
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 3
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 3
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 4
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 4
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 5
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 5
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 6
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 6
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 7
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 7
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 8
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 8
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 9
Loch Dunvegan dolphins 9
Loch Dunvegan dolphin 2 (Photo by Sarah).jpg
Loch Dunvegan dolphin 2 (Photo by Sarah).jpg
Loch Dunvegan dolphin (Photo by Sarah).jpg
Loch Dunvegan dolphin (Photo by Sarah).jpg
Loch Dunvegan dolphins (Photo by Sarah).jpg
Loch Dunvegan dolphins (Photo by Sarah).jpg
West Coast of Skye 1
West Coast of Skye 1
West Coast of Skye 2
West Coast of Skye 2
West Coast of Skye 3
West Coast of Skye 3
Neist Point Light House 1
Neist Point Light House 1
Neist Point Light House 2
Neist Point Light House 2
Neist Point lighthouse (Photo by Sarah).jpg
Neist Point lighthouse (Photo by Sarah).jpg
Neist Point Light House 3
Neist Point Light House 3
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