An amazing gem and Rum…Thursday 25th and Friday 26th May

We wave goodbye to Skoling and with light winds make our way down the Sound of Sleat   heading towards the tiny Loch Scavaig as recommended for lunch stop by Brian and Anne.

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The entrance is tricky (especially with Lyn doing an impersonation of Kate Winslett) with lots of partly submerged rocks but we anchor in 3m almost completely surrounded by the towering peaks of the Cuillins.

There are parties of day trippers brought by small boats, but that doesn’t spoil the magic of this wild and desolate place. We walk up to Loch Coruisk past some waterfalls and find ourselves alone and in perfect peace….with only the gentle sound of our KitKat wrappers to disturb!

John does some “rock climbing” not to be out-done by Lyn in the naff impersonation stakes…

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The sail to Rum is glorious and not overly strenuous …

although over too soon and we cautiously nose towards the shallows with 20m of anchor chain at the ready. Our first attempt  at digging it in fails miserably and we bring up a huge gob (technical term) of mud and kelp. Some strenuous work with the boathook and a brush and we are ready for another try. This time it holds and we spend half an hour checking and re-checking bearings.

Eventually dinner, some scotch and scintillating conversation provide some reassurance that we’re going nowhere. A couple of other boats have followed us in and anchor in deeper water (presumably being without the comfort of our twin keels).

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“James…..JAMES” from Ashley at  2.30 in the morning brings a alarms going off and a worried face waking us wondering if we are about to crash into rocks. The alarms are right…we are in less than 1.7 m and we are 1.4m deep. What’s to worry…we’ve got 30cm to spare! The joy of a bilge keel boat is the relative freedom from depth anxiety (providing it is only mud below us). We turn off the alarms and return to the zzzs.

Rum is odd, but in a good way. In the morning we run ashore to discover showers, a bunkhouse/hostel and apparently 26 people living on the island. The grand old house/castle lies sadly unused these days…

even as a hotel it failed to thrive and the days when visitors were met by a fleet of Albion cars from the ferry are long gone. However there is a funny mix of almost alternative life-stylers here together with a little shop and post office and a community hall selling coffee and some freshly baked and still warm cakes. A poster advertises music tonight courtesy of Stoneage Jenga. We don’t know them but it sounds heavyish and thrashish enough to put off even us dedicated musos.

As we prepare to leave for Canna, the ferry arrives and at least 50-60 people get off (many with back packs) and a beat up old Mercedes van, presumably carrying Stoneage Jenga.

We watch the boat next to us failing to get their anchor up and then sending down their youngest and presumably most bidable person down to try to get a line on to release. Fortunately ours behaves and soon we are sailing out of the loch, leaving them still stuck firmly to the Rum shore.

The sail to Canna is a glorious reach at over 7kt in the sunshine and we even break out the sun cream. We’re not competitive….but we pull away from another boat not far behind ha! Canna is another tricky entrance, not at all obvious at first sight, but the harbour is simply stunning and soon we are rocking gently on a mooring and considering showers and dinner….

The harbour is actually between the islands of Sanday and Canna although there is a footbridge linking the two….built by the parish council to help children from Sanday get to school. There are also 3 churches/chapels…

Also with a population of just 26 we wonder what life on these islands outside the tourist season must be like. We are enjoying over 19 hours of daylight, but in the winter months…

The husband and wife owners of Café Canna run it during the season, and the rest of the time she is a graphic designer, able to work from home. Perhaps connectivity and on-line working/hi-tech could be the saviour of these very remote communities. We’ve booked ahead fortunately as it is full, but the food is great.

Just the tender to the boat is slightly heavier than when we started…

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2 thoughts on “An amazing gem and Rum…Thursday 25th and Friday 26th May

  1. Hello there, As a dedicated member of the above mentioned ” Stoneage Jenga “, I would like to say I can assure you there is nothing heavy or thrashy about our collective! Through our music we supply fun, laughter and the positive message of peace and love.

    Among our messages of well-being, we also like to encourage People not to be presumptuous or judgemental of others . This ensures that one doesn’t miss out on ” a ruddy good time”. Never judge a book by its cover! Then again I’m no librarian, I’m just a simple dedicated muso.
    Peace ✌

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    • With apologies to the Stoneage Jenga from all of us on Heydays…quite right to take us to task, not even having listened to your music. If you have a CD we’ll happily buy a copy…peace and love from Heydays…

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