Hebridean Summer 2003

An adventure cruise amongst Scottish Islands

The Cottage, and  the view up the Buttermere Valley
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Time and place : Summer cruise, through the Western Isles of Scotland - page 3 - Scarp to the Dolphins

After an early morning departure from St Kilda we crossed back to the Outer Hebrides and to the Island of Scarp. The old village lies next to the sheltered sound opposite the Hushinish peninsular of Harris.

After the turbulent seas of the Atlantic , the silver sand and turquoise water was like paradise.

Greek islands have nothing to match places like this today, as we went ashore to explore.

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A remote bothy on the fresh water loch, and Chris in bird watching mode alongside the sea Loch Cravadale.

The beach was as stunning as it was remote, but it had been home to someone in the past.

At the head of the beach, the remains of a stone "black house" dwelling, and lazy beds - artificially constructed ridges and furrows -built up from soil and kelp seaweed which were used to grow basic crops of old. A tough existence no doubt.

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Refreshed we made our way to West Lock Tarbet to replenish water supplies and to moor up for the night.

At the pier, the local boats were offloading crab and lobster for the Spanish seafood markets.

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A beautiful sunset ended the day at our peaceful harbour.

Our busy itinerary kept us on the move, but we didn't mind. As we passed down the western side of Skye we passed Neist Point Lighthouse, dramatically set on the headland. Behind the large cliffs were the last nesting place of the Sea Eagles last century, before they were hunted out of existence.

Fortunately they have returned, and we were privileged to see a new pair flying later in the day.

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Mountains are our passion too. Here the Cuillin range standing our dramatically above the Skye coastline.

Our evening stop was back at Canna, but this time the cliffs stood out under a beautiful blue sky. Suddenly our eyes were glued on two Golden Eagles soaring above its northern shore. With perfect timing, one flew down to the nest site to attend her young as we watched, which made the sighting even more dramatic.

The old Catholic Church at Canna, viewed from the boat, as we prepared for yet another feast.

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Great food expertly served by Alice, our head waitress, assistant cook, and bottle-washer. Congrats must go here to Jane and Alice, for the excellent food they prepared, morning noon and night, whatever the weather or angle of the boat !!

Next day . . . the stuff of dreams . . . to be in the company of dolphins . . . bow riding the boat as we sailed along.

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We were surrounded by upward of one hundred common dolphin (see yellowish underside stripe) who swam across to meet us, and obviously enjoyed every minute that they spent with us, as we did with them. They stayed with us long enough for us to launch the zodiac and motor with them, allowing us to almost touch and ride with them as they leapt and swam with us.

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Zodiac Pictures. One of the many unforgettable experiences of our trip.

 

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Technical note: Pictures taken with a Cannon IXUS 400 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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