A smart way to visit Hyskeir

Date published: 01 July 2019

To the west of the Small Isles the majestic Hyskeir Lighthouse stands guard over the Sea of the Hebrides.  Perched on a 10-acre outcrop of rock, formed from hexagonal basalt columns, the Stevenson designed white tower was manned until March 1997, becoming one of the last lighthouses in Scotland to be automated.  Like many of their colleagues, the lighthouse keepers grew vegetables and flowers in a protected walled garden, but they also managed to create a mini golf course on this tiny patch of land. 

We landed on the island many years ago, when our children were youngsters. Back then, pilotage into Hyskeir was basic, a compass bearing and an echo sounder.  To entertain them, we took a deck brush and tennis ball ashore for a quick round of golf, more like crazy golf.  Nature had of course reclaimed the keepers’ golf course but that didn’t deter us.

 © F. Bozzi

This summer whilst en-route to the Uists, the weather provided a brief spell of calm allowing us to pay another visit.  This time however we were manoeuvring the Oyster 68, Moonshadow of Lorne, into the rock-strewn gap of an anchorage. Fortunately, we now had the advantage of Bob Bradfield’s remarkable Antares Charts to assist our pilotage.  We also had the novelty of an aerial view of our progress thanks to a guest’s sophisticated drone.  

So with one smart phone displaying our pinpoint position on Bob’s detailed survey work and another smart phone relaying our eye in the sky, we edged into the narrow channel to capture some stunning images of this unique little island.

Colin Taylor

Moonshadow Yacht Charter Ltd