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|Skye Yachts base on the Isle of Skye at Ardvasar||This is an overnight pontoon|
|Short stay pontoon||Visitor moorings - not establishment related|
|Pub or restaurant with moorings (except Diabeg)||Our favourite anchorages|
PLAN 1: AROUND SKYE - EATING ASHORE MOST NIGHTS [pictured below - Sleat Odyssey at Canna ]
Skye is a large island, sometimes described as having a butterfly shape, with an extensive coastline and a selection of interesting anchorages. Our most popular cruises usually take the yachts on a trip around Skye with a leg out to the Outer Hebrides. As you leave Armadale a variety of options are open to you.
DAY 1 Isle Ornsay - about 1.5 hours away from Armadale. You have the options of anchoring and eating at the hotel Eilean Iarmian or if you prefer the Award winning Duisdale Hotel you can use on of their moorings. There is also the slightly closer option of visiting Mallaig where there are pontoon facities and a selection of restaurants ashore. The Old Forge at Inverie is also popular for both the first and last nights of your holiday.
DAY 2 Heading North - if the tide is favourable in the morning you will be able to shoot through the narrows at Kyle Rhea and then a variety of options are open to you for the afternoon. Kyle of Lochalsh has pontoons so if you have forgotten any essential supplies you could tie up alongside to get them there and walk up the steps to the large Co-op. There are also showers facilities at the public toilets! Kyle of Lochalsh is not comfortable in a strong Westerly, go to the pontoons or moorings at Kyleakin instead - shoreside facilities, including food, are available but not quite as extensive. Going round Skye it might be best to push onto Portree (see below), the capital of the island, where there is a large number of visitors moorings for the night. There is also a pontoon at Portree where you can tie up to get water and diesel. A variety of attractive eating and drinking establishments and other shoreside facilities are available here.
DAY 3 If you are going to go for the Outer Hebrides this
is the day that you have to make the decision about whether it is appropriate
to do so. Suggested destinations from Portree are Scalpay or Tarbert, Harris
(yes your mast will fit under the bridge). Both of these places have much
to recommend them but there is no pub on Scalpay - there are however, showers
in the public toilets and a small food shop. Tarbert has a small selection
of eating establishments, including the Tarbert Hotel and shops. Of course
you could just go round the top of Skye and head into Loch Snizort and anchor
at Uig handy for the Isle of Skye Brewery.
DAY 4 Loch Dunvegan or Loch Bay - back on to Skye again. Both of these lochs have eating establishments. At Stein there is the Loch Bay (Seafood) Restaurant and/or the Stein Inn - there are also visitors moorings. In Loch Dunvegan there are a number of pubs and restaurants at Dunvegan itself, which has a couple of visitors moorings. The world famous "Three Chimneys" restaurant can be found in Loch More where it is possible to anchor near the pier and walk to the restaurant. Bookings and flexible friends are required for this.
If you would prefer to stay in the Outer Hebrides and the weather permits then your next port of call is most likely to be Loch Maddy where they installed pontoons for 24 yachts recently. These are handy for the village shop and Lochmaddy hotel.
DAY 5 Loch Harport, Skye, Loch Bracadale for lunch. Another scenic tour of the Cuillins. Loch Harport has a lovely pub, The Old Inn, as well as the Talisker distillery, Oyster Shed and a shop.
DAY 6 Difficult to find somewhere to eat ashore in this sector without missing out on at least one of the most spectacular anchorages in the world. Go to Loch Scavaig for lunch; we don’t recommend that you overnight here due to the unpredictable katabatic downdrafts. The head of Loch Scavaig is an iconic place to visit but it is quite tricky pilotage and GPS/Chart correlation is not accurate, so please remember to have someone on the foredeck using the Mark I eyeball rather than just peering at the chart plotter! Take the short walk ashore to Loch Curuisk. If the tide is right the inner harbour at Soay forms a secure overnight anchorage, but no shoreside facilities. If you would prefer to eat ashore you could try going onto Canna where, in season, you should be able to get a tasty meal at the cafe there. Rum also sporadically offers shoreside eating but check in advance to avoid disappointment.
DAY 7 Doune Marine for dinner, after possibly heading
down as far as Eigg for lunch. Eigg is an attractive developing island but
the anchorage is only suitable for overnight anchoring in settled weather. As well
as serving excellent food and very reasonably priced drinks Doune is only
a short sail across the Sound from Armadale. If you are going there you
will need to book dinner at least a day in advance. The Old Forge in Inverie in Loch Nevis
remains a popular destination for the first or last night of your holiday but make sure you phone in advance to book a table as it does get very busy. Allow about 1.5 hours
to get to base from Inverie.
Pictured above right - Portree Harbour