A little hazy today, but the sea state was good and made for a calm crossing over the Minch to the north west coast of Skye. We made a course to Dunvegan Head and then closely followed the coast past Neist Point towards Macleod’s Maidens, an impressive group of three stacks off Idrigill head. A bit of fishing here, which bought us a good supper of Pollock and Mackerel.
Macleod’s Maidens and a dramatic coast
This is a very dramatic coastline and a real thrill to see from the sea on a day when the Minch had been calmed. It was just a little hard to think what St.Kilda might have looked like on a day like this but in all honesty we had genuinely put it behind us. How could you not when the cliffs were yielding some of their grandeur and hidden gems?
A Good Selection of Birds
A Golden Eagle was patrolling the tops of the cliffs before settling down to be occasionally mobbed by the local gulls. Auks drilled past us and again we were joined by rafts of Shags. We were now getting a little blasé about the Bonxies, which stayed with us most of the way from North Uist. We also had the opportunity to really appreciate the beauty of one of our smallest gulls, the Common Gull, being a little bigger than the Black-headed Gull and smaller than the Herring Gull. It is a dainty bird and more closely resembles the Kittiwake than its other cousins and is much over-looked.
The Best View of the Cuillins?
From the ‘Maidens’ we headed east over Loch Bracadale and into Loch Harport, mooring up at the once ‘Whisky pier’ in Carbost.
‘If there is a better way to approach the Cuillins than heading up Loch Harport towards Carbost, then I’d love to be taken there.’
That was a quote from my diary of that night. I would perhaps be taken there tomorrow!
Carbost is the home to a favourite whisky of mine, Talisker, but we’d arrived too late to go and grab a bottle or two. A couple of Black Guillemots played around the boat; we hadn’t seen many of these on our travels and they are now on the amber list with regard to their conservation status, along with the Guillemot and the Razorbill. Worryingly the Puffin is now on the red list.
The Black Cuillin Turns Mauve
With it being such a beautiful evening after our caught tea Mike, Gwenda and I walked to the granite war memorial above the village, thus getting uninterrupted views of the Cuillin range. The light was subtle as the sun set and the moon showed itself. We got back well past 10.30pm; still just enough light to photograph a Great-northern Diver in the bay, in summer plumage too. With the lights of Carbost reflecting in the still calm waters talk turned towards our time on the Kylebhan and what we would do next year. Still a couple of days left yet though and tomorrow looked promising with winds stiffening a little but the sun still likely to be with us.