" Skye 8. ~ Portree, A Boat Trip and Home "

Date & Time: Friday / Saturday  5th / 6th July 2013.

Locations : Scotland ~ Isle of Skye ~ Carbost, Portree.

Places visited : Loch Portree, Sound of Raasay, and the Kylerhea Ferry home.

Accommodation : The Old Croft House, Carbost, near Portree.

With : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Overcast and showers ~ brilliant sunshine south of Loch Lomond.


" Skye 8. ~ Portree, A Boat Trip and Home " at EveryTrail

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With the holiday drawing to a close we decide on one more outing to explore the local area

and maybe have an extra sighting of some of the local wildlife and bird life.

We make our way down to the colourful town of Portree for an afternoon sailing on "Brigadoon"

Meet at the end of the quay they said . . .

Here we are at the quay side . . . now to find the boat.

First sightings . . . a local gull.
Second sighting . . . we're on track.

It's a calm day and rather overcast as we made our way towards the end of the quay.

It should be a calm trip on the boat but the weather offers no guarantee of good behavior.

There's our boat at the end of the pontoon.

Harry has short legs as they both carefully descended the gangway.

I think seeing the water below him, through the gaps of the walkway, didn't help !

Safely on board . . . the man . . .
. . . the woman . . . and children ?

A hint of sunshine brightens the RNLI Lifeboat as we move across the bay.

Peter our skipper started to tell us a bit about the area and what we might see today.

This old crofting area was farmed within living memory.
Our tour will take us out to the local headland.

The RSPB and Scottish Natural Heritage have organised the re-introduction of Sea Eagles into the area.

The birds were native here until the early part of the 20th Century.

On the way across the bay we spotted a shag . . .
. . . but he spotted us too and turned away.
Two herring gulls . . .
. . . take to the air as we pass by.

Success after many photos of the empty sea . . .

Portree has a pod of Harbour Porpoise and we kept seeing two briefly breaking the surface of the bay only to disappear as quick as they came.

One of my photos did manage to capture the moment successfully.

Across the bay from the town are the Scarf Caves . . . we motor slowly across to catch a view inside.

On a shelf of rock inside, one of several shag's nests . . . this one with recently fledged young.

Outside the sheer cliffs of the headland . . .
. . . are home to a family of Sea Eagles

The skipper couldn't promise to see any . . . wildlife is wildlife after all . . . but suddenly a large bird flies overhead.

There's no mistaking the outline and colour of this superb bird.

Circling around our heads . . .
. . . the sea eagle gave us a fine display.

Passing close overhead, the picture enhanced by using the zoom lens on minimum setting . . . he wasn't that far away.

After a couple of circles, he flew out across the sound and we lost sight of him / her (both sexes look alike in flight)

We cruised around keeping an eye out for other sightings . . . this was the briefest of visits from an inquisitive seal.

The mountain above us is Ben Tianavaig, the dramatic hill we had seen from our walk at The Braes earlier in the holiday.

Hidden in the grey of the poor weather . . . the quarry at Sconser . . with the Red Cuillin behind.

Our skipper now set off across Loch Portree, heading out slightly into the Sound of Raasay.

They weren't convinced about the motion of the boat . . .

but the dogs coped well with the voyage

sometimes standing up to see the view

sometimes preferring the shelter

of the seating.

Across the other side of the Loch, we turned for Portree once again.

These were the 800ft dramatic cliffs of Rubha na h-Airde Glaise on the side of Bealach Cumhang mountain.

Making our way back south towards Portree Loch.

Peter closed in on the lower cliffs to show us an old raven's nest . . . but no signs of life today.

Off the harbour are a series of fish farms where they are raising salmon for the supermarket and catering trade.

Floating pontoons with nets above and below . . .
. . . suddenly a splash as a large fish breaks the surface.
And another, and another . . .
. . . I did manage to catch one fish in mid air.

Further on a second floating enclosure.

This one is of an older, more substantial design but it is apparently more prone to damage from extreme weather.

The nets above the enclosures are there to prevent the gulls eating the fish food . . . or the eagles eating the fish.

Heading back into port . . . the shags preen on the rocks as we stay clear of the shallow water.

The weather was cold but otherwise kind . . . out thick fleece and eventually hat and gloves were much appreciated.

Not the best of weather, not the busiest of wildlife sightings but a very pleasant trip out.

Harry and Bethan don't look to keen to get back in for a second ride.

Out thanks to Peter of Brigadoon Boat Trips for taking us out and showing us the area . . .

and allowing us to catch that close-up sighting of the eagle, the porpoises and the other sea birds.

While we were in town we enjoyed a meal in the Harbour View Restaurant

their white fronted house can be seen here on the top road overlooking the harbour.

Another delightful " Seafood platter for two " for the couple on the table with the harbour view.

( If it is holiday time and you fancy calling in then you may need to book first as the town can get very busy.)

On the way back we stopped off to see the sunset . . .
. . . and found these superb orchids

There was another green-veined white butterfly on the flowers

and the colour on the second shot reflected a burst of bright sunlight from behind us.

The view of the sunset from Skeabost Bridge.

We drove round to catch the view from the side of Skeabost loch.

The setting sun over the golf course . . . only the second good sunset of the holiday . . .

But what a lovely sunset it was.

- - - o o o - - -

The following day it was time to leave Skye.

We had travelled " Over the Bridge to Syke " so on the way home we took the road to Kylerhea

to depart the island by sea . . . using the old Glenelg Ferry

First climb Glen Arroch . . .

At the summit we start the descent into the Kylerhea Glen with the view of the mainland ahead.

Our ferry lies waiting at the jetty.

It does regular crossings in the summer months and is now the only official way to go "Over the sea to Skye" as the old song suggests.

Sailings are every twenty minutes or as required, depending on traffic.

The short sea crossing in wide-screen.

Click here or on the photo above for a larger Loweswatercam annotated panorama.

This is the last sea-going vessel of this type with a manually swung turntable for the car deck.

It has survived because of its steel hull.  All the other Scottish ferries of this type were wooden hulled and too expensive to maintain.

People using the ferry help to pay for its upkeep which helps employment and promotes the other businesses in the area.

Long may it continue.

A sailing boat races down the sea loch . . . helped by the stiff breeze and the fast tidal current.

In what seems no time at all we are approaching the mainland, our short crossing nearly over.

The crew swing the turntable by hand . . . making this a drive-on, drive-off ferry . . . very easy and very convenient.

Once ashore we look back at the island of Skye

We feel we know it a little better now . . . after so many years of not visiting its shores.

We leave as the ferry prepares for another crossing . . .

We take the Glenelg Road over to Sheil Bridge using the Old Military Road,

. . . a drive down through the Mam Ratagan Forest being a fitting end for our Scottish holiday.

- - - o o o - - -

Here's a final compilation from our last night's entertainment at the Dungarvan Hotel to complete the set.


Click to start the video . . . and then sit back and enjoy the music.

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220 or my Canon 1100D Digital SLR Camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . .  a camera full of memories.

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