to the Western Isles & St Kilda
Having 12 days available allows us to venture almost anywhere in the Hebrides and Western Isles and perhaps to St Kilda, weather permitting.
It is posssible to finish the trip by returning to Dunstaffnage marina or else by finishing at either LochBoisedale (South Uist) or Castlebay when guests could catch the Calmac ferry back to Oban, followed by a short bus/taxi ride to Dunstaffnage marina. This alternative would mean we would have at least two or three more days over in the Western Isles and make a visit to St Kilda far more practical. However the decision to return by yacht or ferry is TOTALLY down to the guests and would be discussed either before joinng or else before leaving the marina on the Sunday evening.
During the sailing cruises, passage times are such that we are able to enjoy visiting the islands with plenty of time to go ashore to explore and enjoy them. In the evenings we stop overnight at isolated anchorage's where we always lie to anchor and except during one day when we need to get stores and take on water, we rarely visit populated harbours.
With all the TV coverage it has had, some with superb photography, St Kilda has become a very popular place. I can remember when Hirta was a very difficult island to visit with only a handful of people making it there every year. Now there are several ways of visiting - from day trips to week or fortnight long charters, travelling out on board RIBs right up to Ocean going cruisers.
But to be able to say you have visited St Kilda on a sailing vessel is something very special and is still restricted to a small number of people.
For many centuries the inhabitants of St Kilda relied on sailing boats to come out from Skye carrying essential stores, new residents and the owners agent. The boats would return bearing feathers, fulmar oil, cheeses, cloth and any other goods by which the islanders could pay the costs of their rent. To voyage to the archipelago by similar means gives the traveller a true taste of the isolation of the islands, even if it is in the comfort of a modern ocean going sailing yacht.
However St Kilda is a wonderful place to visit for its' unique history, geology and for of course the spectacular wildlife.
In particular seeing Boreray with its massive Gannet colony is a lifetime memory experience
We try to stay for two or three days in village bay and spend some time on Hirta as well as visiting the off lying islands in the archipelago before leaving and visiting some of the less popular islands elsewhere- the Monachs, the Flannans, or the Priest islands to the south of Barra.
|© 2015 Website David Leaver Northern Wanderer. © Images David Leaver|
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