Anchored in Loch Scresort on Rum

Saxon Blue's Blog
Harvey Jones and Andrea Stokes
Sun 16 May 2010 20:49
57:00.799N 006:15.873W

Had a lovely walk yesterday afternoon starting on Gometra, then over the tiny footbridge to Ulva and along a track on the North side of the island. Loads of abandoned crofts on Ulva. It's strange to think of a place having so many fewer people now than it used to. We're so used to everywhere getting more crowded, not less. I was thinking how different the walk would have been when the houses were occupied. We'd have been walking through fields and past front doors with people chatting. So different to the pretty well deserted feeling now.

Just before we left Saxon Blue for our walk, Andrea spotted a huge bird and I'm pretty sure it was a Golden Eagle - certainly too big for a Buzzard and no white tail visible through the binoculars. We watched most of the mini-series of Battlestar Galactica in the evening. We watched a bit too much, really, as the boat was moving around a lot and the space visuals all contributed to a bit too much virtual reality. Andrea ended up with a headache and I was worried about robot invasions. It gave us all something to talk about, though.

We decided to set off this morning for Rum. I was hoping the wind would be favourable for sailing and I've never been here despite sailing past. It's beautiful. The whole island is mountains and very wild. We anchored right in the middle of the loch when we arrived. At the time, we were the only boat here although some others have arrived since. They've all anchored nearer to the pier so we're sat in splendid isolation right in front of Kinloch castle. Our tender is so fast that we don't mind being a bit further out and they're not getting any more shelter than us so I'm happy here in a bit more water.

The island is a nature reserve - it's usually on Autumn Watch with the Red Deer rut. We're going to have a walk tomorrow and see what we can see but we've been ashore to look at the village. Most of the houses are the usual Hebrides cottages but the main castle is massive. A huge Victorian edifice in red stone with battlements and turrets, stained glass windows and an enclosed courtyard. A real fantasy fortress. The construction must have been something to see and I assume it was surrounded by ornamental gardens and stuff. Must have had its own coal-fired power station too. These Victorians were bonkers. They just did stuff with no reference to what was sensible or proportionate. The more I see of it, the more I admire them. They didn't have doubts, just plans.

We're going to join a guided tour around the castle tomorrow and then go for dinner there as it's now a hostel. Seems pretty chaotic but should be fun and it will give Kali a night off. Talking of which, we had 3 different curries tonight and it's not even wednesday (traditional curry night). With the curry all being home-made, Andrea can't even complain at me for eating stuff that's bad for me. Result.

The sun is just setting now (10:30) and the wind has died down as it usually does so I hope we're in for a peaceful night. At least, let's hope so although I've eaten a lot of pulses so you can't be too sure.


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