Category Archives: Scotland 2018

Rough Weather on the North Coast of Scotland

A trip up to the north coast of Scotland without a storm or two would not feel right whatever the time of year. We had cause to keep our pop up roof on the VW down on a few occasions on this trip and Gwenda was lifted off her feet during one very gusty walk out to the lighthouse at Strathy Point.

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Handa Island – Seabirds in Trouble

 

Handa is an island that simply tugs you back. It has it all; a wonderful evocative sense of loneliness (no Skomer hoards here – although it is still possible to get a quiet spot if you walk in the opposite direction to the Wick); a chance to get close to the ‘pirates’ of the bird world; archaeology and ancient history and a landscape of low coastal reefs to seriously imposing 100 metre Torridonian sandstone cliffs. Read more…

Sheigra – To the end of what was possible

This was a place we found by simply driving to the end of what was possible. We’d been down all the small roads off the road north from Kinlochbervie; Oldshoremore, Droman, the wonderful Bagh a’ Phollain.

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Cape Wrath – Nothing Beyond

 

View towards Clo Mor Cliffs, the highest in Mainland Britain from Cape Wrath

Since Mum and Dad visited Cape Wrath (the most north westerly outreach of the British mainland) in the late eighties I’ve always wanted to follow in their footsteps. Read more…

Clarity Colour and Empitness – Beaches of North West Scotland 1

We walked onto the small stone jetty at Droman, a couple of miles north of Kinlochbervie, and were struck at once by the phenomenal clarity of the water and the breathtaking colours that were refracted through its glass like qualities.

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Sandwood Bay

When we last visited Blairmore, hoping to do the walk to Sandwood Bay (map), we were in a spell of dreadful weather, with the wind whipping up the sea and very heavy rain. It would last for seventeen days!!

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Ring Ouzel and Wheatear

You sometimes get days when everything seems to be just right, I remember one at Firemore Sands some years ago when the dramatic weather played back drop to ten Black-throated Divers, Gannets diving in the bay, terns all around and surfing Red-breasted Mergansers. I had another one recently on our journeys around Scotland.

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Divers – Scotland 2018

A Star Speicies

One of the star species on any trip up to the north of Scotland must be the Divers. The small lochans around Lochinver can be productive for the Black-throated, whist the Red-throated can be virtually relied upon to be in Scourie Bay. It’s not uncommon to encounter up to four at the same time here. Read more…

Kylebhan Colour

Colour, age and weathering

A last post on the Kylebhan series and a one unashamedly celebrating colour’s relationship with age and weathering. The next series of posts will not be necessarily chronological, but will all be related to the five weeks we spent in the high north after the Kylebhan experience.

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MV Kylebhan

A Trawler with Character

Our home for the week was MV Kylebhan. It had a character all of its own and one that will stay with us all for many a year. It was built as a trawler in the 60’s but converted to carry 12 passengers soon after.

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Skye to Mull

The Cuillin at its best

Early morning at Carbost with the Cuillins as a sublime backdrop

Today was was a long sail; ten hours, with a lunch stop in Loch Scavaig,looking into the heart of the Cuillin. Read more…

Lochmaddy and Over the Sea to Skye

A Lesser-black-backed Gull takes a ride on the Kylebhan as we cross the Minch

A little hazy today, but the sea state was good and made for a calm crossing over the Minch to the north west coast of Skye. We made a course to Dunvegan Head and then closely followed the coast past Neist Point towards Macleod’s Maidens, an impressive group of three stacks off Idrigill head. A bit of fishing here, which bought us a good supper of Pollock and Mackerel.

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Broken – Apologies

Thanks to all who have commented on the posts recently. They are appreciated and being read but at the moment there is a problem with the site relating to the comments, which are not appearing. I apologise for this and we are looking at getting it sorted as soon as we are able.

Raasay to Lochmaddy

Skye from Raasay

Again the weather was fine and we could cross the Minch to Lochmaddy and the Outer Hebrides, easily. It was flat calm all the way, but too late for a push to St.Kilda. We headed up the north east coast of Skye, past the impressive Mealt falls and Kilt Rock before heading west across the Minch.

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St.Kilda …. Another Year

Leaving Loch Nevis and Knoydart

Today was our last chance for St.Kilda. If we were going to make it we would need to be at Lochmaddy tonight. The Kylebhan would need eight hours from there to reach the archipelago, an overnight stop and eight hours back. We had wanted time on the island as well, at the very least a day. The weather had cleared but the wind was still south easterly, we could get pinned in Village Bay or worse pushed onto the shore. It wasn’t going to happen.

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St.Kilda …. Looking Doubtful

Leaving Canna for Knoydart

Our third day and not much progress towards St.Kilda but all enjoying the Inner Hebrides and the uncertainty of where we would be mooring the next night. This evening we found ourselves in one of the remotest places in Scotland, Inverie on Knoydart, only accessible by foot or boat.

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Canna ….. but St. Kilda?

Woke up to a very wet day on Rum. Wind speeds were up too out of the shelter of Kinloch Bay. No chance to make a push to Lochmaddy where we would be in a position to make an attempt to reach St. Kilda. If we were going to be sea sick this was the day. Winds pushing towards 5/6 on the Beaufort scale, we were rolled and buffeted but out on deck it was exhilarating.

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Destination St.Kilda

 

Kylebhan, home for the next week. Built in the 60’s as a fishing trawler

Just recently returned from five weeks up in the north of Scotland and experienced rain on only 5 days! Whilst we didn’t get anywhere near the contested¬†33 C recorded in Motherwell on the 28th June (thank goodness) we certainly struck lucky. Read more…