THE WEST COAST OF SCOTLAND with its sheltered lochs and remote islands is a superb cruising ground largely untouched by man. The spectacular scenery is seen at its best from the sea and travelling under sail we can use the forces of nature without disturbing or defacing the environment. The ever changing views, the innumerable seabirds and the unpredictable sightings of seals, dolphins and whales all contribute to a real sense of adventure. Seeing three different sorts of dolphin in one day in May last year was a big treat and through the rest of the season there were other dolphins, sightings of minke whales and quite a few basking sharks cruising around. The sea birds are a constant source of delight. Gannets, fulmars and shearwaters soar around us as we sail and watching puffins, guillemots and razorbills at one of their overcrowded nest sites is an unforgettable experience.
On Oronsay beach in May
With the long days, wild flowers and profusion of nesting birds, May and June is a wonderful time to come to the Hebrides. It is often a period of low rainfall and high sunshine figures which offers ideal sailing. A walk on the western grasslands (or machair) or a visit to one of the great seabird nesting sites will add a spectacular and memorable experience to your holiday.
At the end of the day's sailing there is often time for walks and exploration ashore, before enjoying a relaxing drink while anticipating one of Von's delicious dinners. Each night is spent in a safe anchorage of which there are hundreds to choose from:- please see our Anchorages gallery for more information. We are working on documenting the places we go and have about 30 done already. These anchorages are usually peaceful and remote but are sometimes near a small town with pubs and people. As you can see from the gallery, we often have an anchorage to ourselves even in midsummer.
Although no-one can predict the Scottish weather, it is a fact that the rainfall is lower in the Western Islands than in the mainland mountains. If you are very lucky you may never need your waterproofs! However, the enjoyment of a sailing holiday is not dependent on sunshine alone and the changeability of the climate and the quality of light helps to create the beauty of this unique country.
Some more pictures of the wildlife we enjoy watching as we sail