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Archive of entries posted on June 2008


Lewis | Click photo to enlarge

Originally uploaded by arctica

The wild weather over, we ventured out again and made for Lemervay, at
the mouth of Loch Shell, inside Eilean Iubhard where a large Norwegian
‘mother ship’ was hoovering up salmon from the fish farm. (Photo -
Shiants and Skye from Orasay, Loch Shell). Cromore, at the entrance of
Loch Erisort was our next port of call – a sheltered spot overlooked by
a few cottages and croft houses.From there it was a short hop to
Stornoway and the luxury of a pontoon berth in the inner harbour. The
excellent bus services were used for trips north to Tolsta to climb
Muirneag 248m, and west to Shawbost for Beinn Bhragair 261m. We have
decided to return home for ten days, leaving Arctica in Stornoway; our
sailing adventures will resume thereafter.

A Bit Wild

A Bit Wild | Click photo to enlarge

Originally uploaded by arctica

Just a nice photo – no connection with the gale! Overnight, the wind got
up as forecast and we let out extra anchor chain as a precaution. By
morning a gale was being funnelled through the gap in the hills east
of Clisham and came roaring over Loch Maaruig, driving white horses
through the anchorage. It set up quite a racket – waves breaking, water
slapping the hull, a howl from the rigging and loud snubbing of the
anchor chain as Arctica sheered about, heeling dramatically in the
strongest gusts. Despite all this, we recorded nothing more than a Force
8 gale. The mind boggles at the thought of being out at sea in a Force
10 – hats off to all deep sea fishermen! The weather did not seem to
affect the otter out fishing for his dinner quite close to the boat. Today is another of gusting wind, but there are signs of the weather moderating. We will be content to spend another day here catching up on our reading.

Back to Harris

Back to Harris | Click photo to enlarge

Originally uploaded by arctica

According to the local press, this continues to be the driest spell in
the Outer Hebrides for 40 years – we can scarcely believe our good
fortune in being here at the right time. Since Miavaig we have visited
Loch Carloway with its broch, Kirkibost in East Loch Roag, Loch
Tamanavay where we saw another golden eagle, and then returned through
the Sound of Harris to Loch Finsbay. Today we sailed up the east coast
of Harris, spotting two minke whales, and in to Loch Maaruig, an
offshoot of Loch Seaforth. On a bright and breezy afternoon the Skipper
climbed Todum 528m, a shapely hill overlooking the anchorage, and met
people for the first time in the last 21 hills. With the possibility of
winds gusting up to Force 8 in the next 24 hours we will review our
options in the morning; fortunately the east coast of Lewis offers a
good choice of sheltered anchorages.

Miavaig, Lewis

Miavaig, Lewis | Click photo to enlarge

Originally uploaded by arctica

With no sign of impending precipitation and the fine weather continuing,
we went in to Miavaig, in the SW corner of West Loch Roag, which looks
full of interest on both the Admiralty Chart and the OS Map. We were
glad of our chart plotter, which enabled us to easily avoid the many
skerries, reefs and shallow patches. We were struck by the beauty of the
place, and the temporary availability of a pontoon berth induced us to
stay for three nights. We were fortunate to befriend Alastair and Margo
who live locally, and will soon be setting sail for Greenland in their
lovely wooden yacht ‘Iona of Rhu’. A few more Marilyns have been
climbed, and the Mate enjoyed a short visit to Stornoway on the Post
Bus. With no rain for seven weeks now, the moors are exceptionally dry,
but would normally be exhausting bogland. As it is, the going is rough,
compensating for the relatively low height of the hills.

More Islands

More Islands | Click photo to enlarge

Originally uploaded by arctica

We were fortunate in choosing the best day of the week for our visit to
Taransay, now uninhabited with no obvious traces of ‘Castaway’ from a few
years ago. The scenery, weather and turquoise water gave nothing to the
Caribbean save the water temperature – not enticing for swimming!The island
is very attractive with sandy beaches and dunes, rocky foreshore, hill
lochans (one with remains of a dun), and fine views of the Harris hills from
its summit, Ben Raah 297m. Next morning we set off early for the beautiful
anchorage at the north end of Scarp (photo), the Mate sunbathing while the
Skipper climbed Sron Romul 308m. Later we moved on to Camas Uig, Lewis, a
few miles short of Loch Roag, where we dropped the hook in a nice pool with
a sandy beach, sheltered from seaward by islets.The day ended with another
spectacular, fiery sunset but we can expect some showers within the next 24