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


Date & Time: Wednesday 24th September 2014.

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

Places visited : Coll to Tobermory.

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 : A cool Coll morning with the weather improving as the day went on.

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


Click here or on the map for bigger version.

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We arrived at Coll yesterday afternoon but aperitifs and supper were a greater attraction than going ashore in the rain.

In the morning however, the weather had improved (as forecasted) and we had chance to get ashore for a short walk.

Back on board now it was time to be making passage once again . . . as Tobermory called.

Passing the green buoy to starboard (the right) on the way in and to port (to the left) on the way out.

Failure to observe this rule tends to end up with the boat running aground, or worse . . . rock shaped holes in the hull !

Clear of the harbour now and time to settle back into the voyage.

No time to settle for this kittiwake as it was harassed by the herring gulls till it dropped its catch of food.

Such is the battle for the pecking order and ultimately the battle for life out here at sea.

Ardnamurchan Point, the most westerly point of the UK mainland.

It beats Lands End, being closer to America by several miles.

A similar photo . . . but did you notice the unusual sighting, repeated here a minute or so later.

Minke Whale are larger than dolphins, move more slowly and appear longer in length when breaking clear of the water.

They don't often breach or jump though as they are less agile . . . this was a fine sighting today.

Ahead is the vista of the Inner Hebrides.

To the left, the island of Rhum with Skye in the background, low lying Muck in the center and Eigg with the shapely Sgurr of Eigg to the right.

A complex of ropes and halyards . . . time to use a few of them.
The main sail halyard needs someone to operate the winch.

Call the cook from below decks and put him to work . . . hold your cursor over the picture to get Steve to hoist the sail !

That will do fine . . . thanks Steve.
Just add the jib sail and we're fast moving again.
Heading under sail for the Sound of Mull . . .
. . . enjoying several hours of sailing.

The Red Cuillins of Rhum shining in the sunshine . . .  Ruisival and Aisnhval.

The Ardnamurchan Light is closer now . . . note the gannet flying by too.

The lighthouse constructed by Alan Stevenson, uncle of Robert Louis Stevenson, was built in 1849 using granite from the Island of Mull.

Glen Gorm Castle on the mainland of Mull.

Rumour has it that it was named Glen Gorm (the blue glen) on the day that the crofter's houses were being burnt during the Clearances,

the smoke from the houses turning the valley a smoky blue that day.

Into the Sound now and Eigg disappears behind the headland.

I take the helm again and turn the boat "into wind" in order to take the sails down.

Tim goes forward to drop the main sail.
It falls neatly into the blue 'lazy jack' canvas sheet.

One last tug with the boat hook to bring the main fully down.

There's more shipping in the Sound . . . this is a deep water trawler.

A rather sleek yacht heads out under power.

Volcanic rock intrusions create strange shapes on the headland opposite.

Tim takes the boat close to the shore, looking for sea eagles . . . he saw some here on an earlier voyage.

We spotted a seal in the water . . . who was possibly hanging around close to this fish farm hoping for cast-offs.

Martin checks out the Rubha na Gall light close to the entrance of Tobermory.

May I say it could do with a rub down and a coat of paint ?

Pay attention . . . watch out for the Kilchoan ferry which appeared quickly from behind the light.

We've arrived . . . no mistaking this colourful seafront.

The next job is to find a route through the moorings to the pontoon where we plan to stop for the night.

There's more activity in the harbour than anticipated.

There was a pod of half or dozen or more bottlenose dolphins in the harbour.

They move fast in the water . . . passing close to our boat.

You have to be quick to catch a photo . . .
. . . sometimes quicker than others.

We were entertained for several minutes as the dolphins swam back and fore.

The plain grey colour identifies the bottlenose dolphin.
They seem to be having a great time . . . we certainly are.

One final leap out of the water and they head out of the bay . . . amazing.

Back to concentrating on the job in hand.

Mark, the skipper from Hjalmar Bjorge, catches our mooring line.

" Could you pass that one please Ann "

Safely moored . . . time to relax.

Did I tell you the name of our boat ?

The new harbour buildings and Museum . . . time to look around.

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

We go ashore for a walk around the town.

Sadly the famous Tobermory otter (Elvis) has died and so there is little chance of seeing any of these lovely creatures today.

At the head of the jetty is the distillery.

Unexpectedly we met up with Diane, who we know from her visits to Loweswater in recent years.

There are several boats moored up on the town wharf.

The old church has a new lease of life as a visitor centre / cafe.
A cherub water fountain on the seafront.

With the sun fully out once more, the colours really come to life.

The fishing boat tries to match the colour of the houses and shops.

The Tobermory Lifeboat, moored out on the end jetty, ready for any eventuality.

New trees on the shoreline add their own colour to the scene.

Zuza's mast stands out, head and shoulders above everyone.

Back on the boat I chose a different subject for a change . . . boats !

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

Whilst supper is being prepared, the sun continues to set, reflecting in the windows of the house on the hill opposite.

A small boat crossing the harbour adds ripples to the water.

After dinner there is time to repeat a photo from earlier,  though it takes several goes to get a shot without blurring.

I tried for a panorama again

but the motion of the pontoon didn't bode well for a clear photo . . . hence no enlargement this time

Still the effect is rather nice.

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After dinner we were invited onto the other boat for a little entertainment . . . courtesy of the crew

Rhona played flute and Lulu played the fiddle.
Mark, along with Lady Seven, the ships's dog, just played being skipper.

We had an all too short time on board listening to the music . . . thanks to the guest and crew for our invite.


May we offer you some music and a taste of our day on our Youtube video.

Click on the start button to view the two minute video.

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More pictures to follow soon . . . we're not quite home yet.


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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 recording of the music.

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A previous time here - 23rd September 2009  A Scottish Islands Holiday - Tobermory