Castle Bay, Barra

It was the day after Puilladohrain that the amazing weather started.   A strong high has been parked between the Hebrides and Iceland and we have benefited from mostly sunny skies and generally reasonable breezes from the North.  Our first stop after Puilladohrain was Traigh Geal on the South Coast of Mull.  A photogenic little bay with white sands between high rocks and a turquoise water color.  It is very difficult often in the Hebrides to get ashore because of the extensive kelp, steep, slick rocks on the shores and the large tidal range.  Here, we succeeded in climbing the little hill above the anchorage and the galley was hot after the climb!

The island of Coll, our next stop, is a small island just West of Mull and it has a delightful anchorage.  On the way there through the Sound of Iona we passed the island of Staffa where a large horde of tourists could be seen exploring the large caves. 


An evening stroll to the Coll distillery and shop was very rewarding!  Unfortunately, the shopping hours did not work with our schedule!


Inside the church at the top of the hill above the Coll hotel

No cruise of the Inner Hebrides would be complete without a stop at Tobermory.  This was my third time there, the first time going back to 1976!  The distillery has a new line of peated whiskey which convinced Paul to take up whiskey drinking and provided the rest of the crew with many happy hours!  


The old home of the harbormaster of Tobermory, now owned by one of Paul’s friends from Glasgow

A traditional gaffer coming into its mooring in ghosting conditions

The view from our mooring


The next stop was the island of Canna where Paul happened to know a nice little restaurant …..  There are all of 20 inhabitants in Canna with only a handful of houses and one restaurant and shop.  They have more than 10 moorings so boats can enjoy the restaurant without worrying about their anchors.  Kincsem was too heavy for the moorings but there was enough space to anchor outside the mooring field. 


We walked around a bit and even got a private tour from a local woman with whom we struck up a conversation.   She explained that the battered Christian cross from the 700-900s in the picture below marked the site of an early settlement on the island and why it had not weathered the centuries well: the English navy had used it for target practice!   Life on Canna must be pretty lonely …. 


Seabird above the peaks of Rum, another one of the Small Isles, as seen from Canna



Canna is one of the traditional jumping off points to the Outer Hebrides and we were off for Castle Bay on Barry the next morning.  There was some concern among the crew about the offshore nature of the sail…. And then, after getting to Castle Bay, the harbormaster gave us trouble with our anchor spot outside the little marina.  She had us move twice before she thought the incoming ferry had enough room to maneuver!  This (and maybe the US flag?) made us instant celebrities in town; however, we still had to pay for our own Guinness in the pub!


The mountains of Skye over Canna; on course for Barra

The Castle Bay branch must be the smallest RBC branch in the World …..


The busy streets of Castle Bay


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