Our plan was to sail up the inside of the Outer Hebrides (called the Minch) and then hop over to Skye on our way to Arisaig on the mainland.  This was not facilitated by the sometimes fresh northerly winds.  So it took some solid sailing with many tacks to get to Dunvegan castle on Skye.  But that stop, as well as our intermediate stops on Eriskay and Loch Skipport on South Uist, were very much worth it.


Eriskay is known for its wild horses and we actually saw a few albeit from afar. 


It is also known for the S.S. Politician, a cargo ship which went on the rocks of the island in 1941 with 1200 cases of whiskey.   We made it a point to visit the local pub AM Politician to view the artifacts!  Back at the Eriskay harbor we managed to convince two fishermen to part with some of their langustines, which they had just caught in over 100 fathoms (185 meters).   The dinner was a veritable orgy of seafood with langustines followed by cod a la Iceland! 


The daily morning routine of bringing in the anchor, lowering the anchor ball and spraying off the mud brought up by the chain and anchor 

One of several “hamlets” on Eriksay

Caolas Mor in Loch Skipport on South Uist was our first anchorage without a house or other boat in sight.  But our attempts for a walk were thwarthed by the heavy kelp and steep rocks. With 12 degrees water temperature we did not fancy falling in ……  


The anchorage at Caolas Mor

Our next aim was an anchorage underneath a castle:  Dunvegan on the Northwest side of Skye.  The winds were fresh out of the Northnortheast, the current mostly against us.  All not much of an issue for Kincsem and its experienced crew.  More seriously, however, the watermaker would not start when we arrived at Dunvegan and our tanks were at 1/3 only.  The issue was starting the high pressure pump: when it came on, it brought the generator to its knees and blew the fuse.  It seemed like a classic case for the start capacitor of the pump being defective.  Some calls with Martin Dejong, the manufacturers rep later, that was indeed the diagnosis and he provided a hack to get around the issue.  With that, the watermaker was again functioning – but only once and when I turned the engine on to leave the anchorage, the watermaker shut off after only a few liters made.   But new capacitors are on order for delivery in Inverness at the East end of the Caladonia canal.  Since I cannot use the watermaker in the fresh water lochs and canal anyways, a pretty good solution!  

Beating up the West Coast of Skye against the wind and current

Dunvegan castle

Our last anchorage on Sky was in Loch Slapin.  The pictures speak for themselves!

Getting into Arisaig is not a trivial matter.  The entrance channel is windy and some two miles long.  Although there are markers that show the general location of the fairway, there are rocks everywhere in the fairway and there is a .3 m bar to cross.  So the harbormaster suggested waiting for close to high tide to get in and we anchored at the “waiting room” for several hours for the tide to rise.  The reward is a beautiful anchorage/mooring field with good services and friendly people.  Just the right place for me to get Kincsem ready for the arrival of the Admiral!


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