" 3. A Cruise round the Inner Hebrides ~ Days 4 and 5 "


Date & Time: Tues 23rd / Wed 24th September 2014.

Locations : The Inner Hebrides islands, north of the Great Glen, south of Ardnamurchan.

Places visited : Gometra to Arinagour on the island of Coll.

Accommodation : The live-aboard motor yacht Zuza of Northern Light Charters.

With : Ann and myself, fellow guests Martyn and Sian, skipper Tim and chef Steve.

Weather : Sunny periods on Gometra but a damp evening on Coll . Fine next day.

Shipping Forecast : Wind SW 3-4 vereing W 4-5,  Sea state slight to moderate.


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After a sociable evening and a peaceful night on our anchorage it was time to stretch our legs.

Out with the chart . . . there was no land based O.S map on board for anything more detailed.

We are on the island of Gometra (circled) and Tim suggested we might like a walk from the landing point

over to the next bay.  The island is inhabited and also has a working farm, so there will be other things to see as well as wildlife.

A very-close-up of Tim and myself as we cross from Zuza to the shore in the dingy.

See you in a couple of hours.

There are several buildings on the shore line here, most of which are in a reasonable state of repair.

This one advertises itself as a Bothy, available for overnight stays.
Inside it was clean and dry with coal on request, £10 a bucket.
Outside an old boat ~ it had seen better days . . .
. . . and later a couple of old tractor wheels no longer in use.
The old graveyard would appreciate a little t.l.c.
An air of decay with old broken phone lines.

But first impressions are not always correct.

The other buildings were very much lived in and at the base of the pole was a new underground cable replacing the old redundant phone lines.

In the field across the way were four or five very nice looking horses.

We walked along the track, up and over a slight rise, to be greeted by a new view out to Staffa.

The farm gate was part of a tall deer fence that separated the farm land from the rest of the island.

The rock here is volcanic and there were some interesting pinnacles, shelves and this round beehive-like rock stack.

We walked through the gate and negotiated a flooded length of farm road

in order to get to the sandy beach, situated between this and the next tall rock structure seen in the distance.

There were two large birds hovering over the ridge.
As they flew towards us we could identify them more clearly.
Smaller than an eagle and with white under feathers . . .
. . . these were clearly Buzzards, about six in all.

They flew down, quite close to us as we walked along.

A classic Scottish beach for us to explore.

Apparently the map shows an ancient fort around here but its location was uncertain.  On top of that rock stack looked the best guess.

Ann heads down to the white sands.
Lovely shells along the tide line.

Scented Mayweed, or more likely Sea Mayweed, growing in the sand at the back of the beach.

Sea Pinks or Thrift still in flower.
Lovely heather on the grass behind the beach.

Time to be heading back so we climbed a small headland to get one last view from on high.

Across the way, Gometra House on the left and four croft houses to the right.

Mighty stags perhaps . . . . no just fine highland cattle on the skyline.

( Tim did report seeing a large stag on the shoreline opposite the boat while we were away.)

In the bay a small fishing boat comes in . . .
. . . presumably to check its lobster pots.

The sun has come out again and the sea shimmers with that bright sparkle.

Old telegraph poles have been recycled as fence posts.
Those not used showed us the way back to the boat.

Now to catch Tim's eye for the lift back out to Zuza.

- - - o o o - - -

This was the view, after a nice soup lunch, as we looked back at Gometra inlet . . . it was time to be moving on.

We motored out into the breeze, the high ground of Ulva Island to the right as we looked back.

As we headed out on our new course we had a second view of Gometra House.

No sign of the four croft houses, but the main house marked on the sea chart as 'conspicuous', was clearly visible.

Passing inshore of Staffa and Fingal's Cave.

The steady breeze made it worthwhile raising the sails again

as we set course through a gap in the inner Treshnish islands and headed for Coll.

Passing Lunga Island with its abandoned village.
Cain na Nurgh's which has an old, ruined fortress prison on top.

I was helming again as the chart plotter shows us approaching the outer harbour of Arinagour on the island of Coll.

Time to take the sails down for the run into the harbour.

The shoreward end of the pier and the ferry offices with work being done on the sea defences by the look of it.

Behind on the higher ground, two whale bones have been mounted to form an arch.

An old gun, now a memorial to the diver who found it.
Grey skies as we anchor up near the old pier.

Note the rather fine Heron flying across the photo as we prepared the boat for the night.

Scotland's secret submarine force perhaps ?

The weather being rather inclement there was no rush to go ashore . . . so we whiled our time away till supper !

Time passes and the tide flows in with it.  Our submarine rock has all but disappeared.

- - - o o o - - -

Another day and another sky.

The poor weather has blown through overnight and we are greeted by a fine morning.

Time for a few hours ashore . . . much improved by the bright sunshine.

The hieroglyphics should read TT (tender to) Zuza.
Lobster pots on the old jetty as we disembark.

Main Street, Arinagour . . . the old fishermen's cottages.

We stayed in the stone-faced cottage, Dunara, a few years ago . . .
. . . and were glad top see the ringed plovers were still there.

A fine name for a boat . . . especially for one that lives on Coll.

I had to look twice at this . . . I don't remember bringing our car ashore ?

A fine looking Subaru with gold wheels instead of our silver ones . . . should I invest in a tin of gold spray paint for mine ?

The War memorial and the new village hall behind.

From the look of the village notices, the locals seem to be using it to the full.

  There's bothy accommodation there too if you wish to stay.

At the top of the hill, overlooking the bay, was the stout stone Church of Scotland.

A plain interior but a beautifully ornate wooden roof.

Two small stained glass windows at the back . . .

. . . the others were clear, giving fine views over the bay.

Looking down on Arinagour harbour and the tall mast of our boat moored out beyond the old pier.

Back down in the village . . . where the sheep mingle with the dinghies and canoes on the grass.

Time for a quick holiday postcard for a friend.

The old letter box must have worked as she got the card !
Not a poster you tend to see in big cities.

The Island Cafe and restaurant was shut for a few days holiday . . . it will be open tomorrow . . . always the way !

Next to it T.E.S. Co.  had a wide range of spices, herbs, deli and health foods that would put most mainland shops to shame.

A colourful fence near the pier cottages.
Floats this time still used as originally designed.

Behind the pier are a selection of local boats sheltered from the weather,

Silently fishing, a heron keeps a keen eye on the waters around the rock.

Other residents include hooded crows and seagulls . . .
. . . and a fine curlew moving to a new feeding ground across the bay.

As we waite for Tim to pick us up, the CalMac Clansman returns for another scheduled visit

and it is Aringour rush hour again with four or five cars travelling in a row up the road from the pier.

The ferry departs for Oban and we'll follow it out within the hour.


- - - 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 . . . . sails billowing in the breeze.

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A previous time here - 12th May 2012 A Scottish Islands Holiday - Coll