First week in Scotland

Here we are back in Ullapool! Our home away from home. Our first Outer Hebrides trip is a fact, and what a good one it was!! We have started our season with the Hebrides trips for the last 4 years. And not one has been the same. One of the highlights is the attempt to reach Village Bay on Hirta, the main Island in The St Kilda archipelago.

The group of Islands sits out in the Atlantic 40 miles of the coast of Harris. It is not hard to see that it can be tricky to find a slot in the weather for the passage over… Too much Westerly and you can’t get there. Too much east and you can’t land. All in all, a challenge. Lucky for us the North-West coast of Scotland has a lot to offer. When we set sail from Ullapool this trip, we leave with a fresh Easterly. Belting a long at 9 knots we cross the Minch to anchor at Rodel on our first evening. Rodel sits on the south tip of Harris and makes it the perfect jump of point for the St Kilda crossing.

After a good night sleep we set of early in the morning through the sound of Harris. With every stich set, we shoot out of the Outer Hebrides like a cork of a bottle! When the skies clear, the day is just perfect. 6 Hours later we drop anchor in Village Bay, Hirta. We made it!!! After an afternoon spent on the Island we depart again for the Minch. Destination East Loch Tarbert, where Lewis becomes Harris. 

Tabert is an old Norse place where you can drag your boat from one stretch of water to the next… The old Norse people thought of two places separated by an isthmus as two separate Islands. From Tarbert we set of for the Shiants. These uninhabited Islands lie half across the Minch and are a prime breeding place for all sorts of sea birds.

It is one of my personal favorite anchorages. It has the best views over the Minch towards Sky and the Highlands. It is also home to a breeding pair of Whitetail Eagles. They are doing well as we found out. We counted 7! I managed to get 4 of them in one picture! The weather stayed fair as we set of the next day for Loch Gairloch on the mainland. The Sunday turned out to be a proper “sun day”. We all soaked up as many rays as we could and even got a little sunburned.. The forecasted South Easterly did not come the next day. We made the best of the settled conditions and anchored off of Priest Isle in the summer Isles before returning to Ullapool. A perfect week with perfect company. Live is good on this side of the rainbow!

  Gijs

orcas spotted
leaving st kilda