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Our Skye summer

Date published: 28 October 2018

Summer 2016 was Red Moon Cruises first season in Skye & Lochalsh and we have found some 'new favourite places' – Loch Duich with its varied wildlife, pretty Isleornsay, remote Rona with its hills and crags to explore, characterful Plockton for a sunset drink and awesome Loch Torridon. There is so much to see and do just in this one cruising area.

A highlight of our season and when 'summer came to Skye' was in August when a family from Bedfordshire joined us for a week on board – along with their Canadian canoe which we were able to strap on Red Moon’s roomy roof. It was pouring with rain when they arrived, but with the weather predicted to improve we optimistically left the Kyle pontoons the next orning sailing under the Skye Bridge to Loch Carron.

There was a bit of a ripple on the Loch so we rejected the idea of canoeing and took a walk ashore. We visited the galleries including that of painter and printmaker Michael Stuart Green, colourful 'Poppy' (who is actually a gorgeous border collie) and finally to the lovely Loch Carron Gallery. We indulged ourselves at the appropriately named Waterside cafe with some yummy cake and tea – the girls' hot chocolates were to die for!

We headed north the next day and were delighted to catch sight of a large pod of porpoises. We anchored in the emerald waters off the Crowlin Islands and now it was perfect to get the canoe down and the girls got in and paddled off – being watched by a nearby curious seal. We followed them ashore and sat atop a hill to have our picnic. A short cruise to Rona for the evening followed, with an eagle sighting as we passed through the Rona Channel. Before dinner Scott took Dad and the girls to explore in the tender checking out the seals and looking for the resident otters.

The next morning was calm with the promise of sun, so we all went off in the tender before breakfast to see the seals – and one of us had a bracing swim at a respectful distance from the seals, who seemed rather nonchalant about it all!  After a hearty breakfast and a lovely sunny walk ashore on Rona we had a great motor - sail with genoa and stay sail up, to the head of Loch Torridon. We had dinner ashore in the Torridon Inn and a fabulous moonlit trip back in the tender. The next day was hot with stunning sunshine so it was ashore to the beach to swim, explore and take walk before organising ourselves for an impromptu barbeque on a little rocky island.

Our final day started with a visit a little way up the loch to Sheildaig. It was on the way that we spotted a pair of white tailed sea eagles sitting a few yards apart on the rocks and nearby branches. Shieldaig is an attractive village with a couple of very nice cafe/bars where you can sit and watch the water activity – which we did!

The trip finished with a leisurely cruise to Plockton giving some a chance to catch up on sleep, postcards or books or just sit back enjoy the sun and ever changing view – which on this day included a submarine on manoeuvres!

Scott & Mary Atkinson
Red Moon Cruises
www.redmooncruises.co.uk