The Admiral likes sunshine and reaches. So I produce sunshine and reaches, or try to. From the Shiants, the next stop was Acarsaid Mhor (Big Harbor in Gaellic) on Rona. Unfortunately, I failed to prevent the rain storm coming through just one hour after raising the anchor in the Shiants. But I had put a reef into main and genoa before the gusts arrived. Because the Admiral also does not like Kincsem steaming ahead at 9.5 knots and 20 degrees of heel!

Rona was definitely a fun stop. There are no permanent inhabitants except a couple who occupy the "Lodge." Lodge in my mind means something like a hotel but no, they don't have guest rooms. But they shot some deer earlier this year and they sell venison! We loaded up on that. There's a nice hike on Rona to the "Dry Harbor" - i.e another harbor that dries at low tide. There are ruins of several houses and an old house dubbed the "museum", containing some artifacts of the little community of farmers who lived here until the 20th Century. There are also a couple of restored houses that seem to be for rent. They have great views of Skye across the channel. Not a bad place to spend a week!

Rona Lodge

Rona Dry Harbor

We picked up a mooring in Rona rather than anchor because there were many moorings and not really enough space to anchor. The mooring tackle seemed very substantial and a commercial boat captain told me not to worry. Well, I always worry and at 5:10 am the next morning, I heard the noise of rock on rock - the mooring block moving on the rock where it was placed. The wind had picked up overnight. We departed in a measured hurry. Luckily it was already light out and the Antares charts of the anchorage are very detailed and accurate.

At the dubious mooring in Rona's big harbor

The problem with moorings is universal here in Scotland. They throw 15-ton moorings everywhere which we cannot use as we weigh in at 24 tons and then they don't leave enough room to anchor around the moorings. So in Portree, our next stop, we tried 3 times to anchor between the moorings but ultimately, we ended up too close to the moored boats. So we had to anchor in a very exposed location. Portree is an attractive little town albeit very touristy.


We hired a taxi to tour the Northern loop route of the Isle of Skye - definitely worth it!

Mealt Falls

Kilt Rock

The Quiraing mountains

Castle Ewen - not really a castle, just a rock that looks like one! It's tough to squeeze up to the top.

Plockton was our next stop as it happened to be downwind from Portree. A nice sail, a much better anchorage and less tourists than in Portree. We loved it!

Scenic Plockton

Next on our list were two fjord like lochs - Loch Duist and Loch Hourne Baec. Loch Duist has a well preserved castle, Eilean Donan Castle, at its mid-section and you can anchor right in front of it and take the dinghy in. There are masses of tourists here arriving by road but the place is very much worth seeing. It is still in use by the McRae Clan once a year for their reunion. We loved it and sailed up the loch a bit further for a quiet anchorage for the night.

Sky Bridge at Kyle Rhea; Loch Duist ahead

Eilean Donnan Castle

At the head of Loch Duist

The next loch, Loch Hourne Baec is very dramatic and there are very few, mostly weekend houses. The loch has 3 narrows which are difficult to navigate but the Antares charts make it possible. We ended up anchoring just in front of the third narrows and took the dinghy into the inner loch.

Dramatic anchorage in Loch Hourne Beac

Our daughter Corinna and her husband Lawrence joined in Mallaig, a nice little fishing town. As fishing has decreased, tourism has increased with the steam "Harry Potter" train from Glasgow filling the town every afternoon. And they put a few docks into the inner part of the harbor 10 years ago. Great protection and excellent facilities. And a fantastic bakery - the Admiral filled the freezer with bread and other goodies!


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