Loch Skipport to Loch Eyport and on to Berneray
Saturday. A short day's sail up to Loch Eport, which despite having a tight entrance, was straightforward to navigate and we anchored in Bagh a Bhiorain. The anchor was well bedded in.... mud, about 5 metres of water, very secure. A couple of hours later, we were alarmed to hear a sudden banging on the side of the boat and leapt up expecting some angry fisherman to be berating us for anchoring on his patch or some other drama, but there was no-one there, inexplicable, really spooky. Chris then realised he had left a fishing line out and had caught a dog-fish, quite a good size and it was thrashing about against the boat, not at all pleased with his predicament. So, two mackerel, a trout and a dog-fish, he's now banned from fishing until this lot has been dealt with.
On our arrival in Loch Eport I spotted what I assumed to be a seal, on closer inspection with binoculars it proved to be an otter, carrying a fish in it's mouth, first time either of us has seen an otter in the wild, we were then watched by a big, red deer, who stood up on a hill overlooking our pool while we anchored, amazing.
A lovely quiet night at anchor, that's two now!
We were up fairly early, with no internet we only just heard about the England v Russia score in the football, Chris is fairly certain that we won the rugby and goodness knows what's happening with the cricket, but, we can occasionally get radio 4 so we're up to date with The Archers, phew!
On Sunday we motor-sailed up to Bernaray, a beautiful little island, 3 x 2 miles in the south west corner of the Sound of Harris. Bernaray's west shore is three miles of white sandy beach, with clear blue sea, typical of the west coast of the Outer Hebrides. The east coast of the island is rocky, has a bay with little harbour, mostly fishing boats, and lots of seals lying on the rocky islands in the middle of the bay. After extremely careful navigation of the Sound, we arrived in Bay's Loch at lunchtime, picked up the single visitor's mooring, ate aboard then went ashore to explore. The island has a population of 128, a shop, tea-room, information centre that has internet access, manned by volunteers 10 - 3, Monday to Fri. We will need to access internet tomorrow to check the detailed forecast. We walked a loop that incorporated about two thirds of the island, the beach, deserted; skinny dip, although washed up jelly-fish on the beach meant a degree of wariness!
Back aboard Bliss, I prepared a curry using the dog-fish with fennel, mustard seeds, turmeric, cayenne, and some fresh coriander which I thought might come in useful when I saw it in the co-op a few days ago.......not bad, I think the fishing ban might be lifted!
A very still and quiet night in the bay, just getting dark when we turned in at about 11pm.
Our route on Monday takes us further up the east coast towards Harris and Lewis, if weather permits we hope to stop off at the Shiant Isles, 10 miles east of Harris in The Minch, home to 240,000 puffins!
11pm in Bays Loch