Sunday Outing to the East Coast of Skye

For many years I’ve planned to return to Beareraig Bay and sail up from Holm to the Kilt Rock. I sailed over here about 8 to ten years ago it was a beautiful day but I had no camera. The rocks and landscape are very special, not many tourists see it from this angle and often they pass it but only look out for the Old Man of Storr.

Holm Island

I had Calum with me who is very acquaint with this area having sailed and fished there many times over the years, so it was a bit of a tourist day out with my own guide.

I was fascinated to take time to look at the Generating station at Beareraig . I’d been told about the railway there and it was interesting to see it at last.

My Old friends  Ronnie,  Fraser MacDonald from Dingwall (HEB) used to visit this area often for work and tell many stories about it when I lived in Maryburgh, at last I could take time to take them in. A fascinating place.The rock formations and geology were quite breathtaking, to sail slowly along the coast, it would have been good to go ashore and spend more time here and there but the rain had other ideas. We went ashore at Rigg to see the rocks close up and to look for a landing stage where I could pick up friends. I was surprised to see how much erosion there was. We landed by an old Salmon station I guess and the sea was slowly claiming it back.

This cliff face had certainly changed since Calum’s last visit and with the rockfall we were able to see the signs of fossils in quite a few of the rocks. It is quite overwhelming to stand there and to take in just how old the geology here is.There were many Belemnites and a few Ammonites nice to see them and wonder. More time in the near future and the rain not soaking the camera and there could have been some interesting finds. Next calm day!!!!If my camera has survived to-day’s soaking.The landing at Rigg was as Calum predicted, a natural pier. I have some friends coming from this area and had a thought to zip over and pick them up there. A wee scramble over the rocks and we will be good to go. A good Recce. A surprise when concentrating on finding fossils to see a ‘Burnet Moth’, on the shore resting on a rock, we see them on Rona occasionally but not for a long time. The red spots stuck out on a grey morning, lovely to see but am thinking the weather was not so good for it. The beach stones were also fascinating, we do not have many round stone beaches on Rona and certainly not any as interesting and colourful as this. Again if we had more time it would have been nice to stay. As it happened before we could go any further the rain really came on and with a very wet camera it was time to pull out. We had a big pod of Dolphins on the way home always a pleasure to see not so sure about the newfishfarm (camera and phone now too wet for a picture) off Rigg. I wonder how it will get on during the Northerly storms, although there were many anchors and rope about!Which reminds me that on arriving at Beareraig the first thing we saw was a fresh salmon jumping out of the water, the second a Sea Eagle with what we thought an Oystercatchers chick but it may have been a fish, whatever, it was a kill. Ten minutes later the Male Sea Eagle flew out from the shore in front of us. All in all a great trip out on a wet Sunday  morning.

About Bill Cowie

I've been living on the island since April 2002, alone for the first 5 years, my partner L joined me in 2007. We manage the Island for a Danish family who bought the Island in the early 90's. Their hopes for the Island are to make it self sufficient supporting its inhabitants and that is where we come in. We look after the stock, 3 holiday cottages, machinery, boat and of course the visitors. It is pretty challenging but it is a beautiful place to live and work, we love it and strangely enough we love it even more in the depths of winter when all is quiet apart from the gales and rain. We do a bit of fishing, stock work, stalking deer and loads of other stuff. We have good support from lots of people whom we have met over the years and have become involved in the Island. Too many to mention here but keep an eye on the blog, they'll be there for sure in the future.
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8 Responses to Sunday Outing to the East Coast of Skye

  1. Harold Shewan says:

    What was the story about the visiting yacht last week

    • Bill Cowie says:

      It was an interesting one, maybe put it on the blog later this week. by that time the yachts will be back on the go anyway but it was disappointing to see the yachts appearing when the yachting fraternity have been very good (yes some boats are stuck in yards which stops temptation)during lockdown. Friday we had a local yacht but no messing, the local Bill said just take their picture send it to us and we’ll take it from there, this I did and informed the yachtsman who then decided he did not live aboard and was doing aquaculture work at 8.30pm on a beautiful Friday night, so decided to go home. The Polished Manx 2 yacht was a disaster for the RYA and the IoMann. Especially with the Manx emblem all over his boat, it was all over FB and I think he was told probably by the Manx authorities via the RYA to get home. As I say I am very impressed that the kayaking/hill walking/yachting fraternity have been almost 100% adherence to the rules. Only one other yacht, a local, least said about that one the better………..

  2. Harold Shewan says:

    Hi Bill I’ve been watching Polished Manx 2. He seems to be a law unto himself.
    He is still running around the Clyde. Ardrossan to Troon today.
    He is a good advert as he is an RYA instructor.
    Did he actually try to go ashore.
    When do you reckon you will be open for business.

  3. Bill Cowie says:

    Polished Manx 2 probably can’t go back to the IoM because he will have 14 days quarantine. He is an embarrassment to the RYA and Manx people. But it is nearly over and he will be remembered for that , whereas the 99.9% of Yachtsmen will be remembered for staying at home and abiding by the rules, well done. We’ll be open for yachts coming on the 4th July Moorings are there, you can come ashore for sure, if you want venison from the shop phone ahead. There will be restrictions but we will have signs up, we do like a sign!!!! We look forward to seeing you (at a distance!!) Bill

    • Harold Shewan says:

      Reply received from your mate Dear Harold

      Thank you very much for contacting me and giving me a chance to explain our situation.

      All our movements in Scotland are result of Risk Assessment we carried out when Polished Manx / commercial yacht was lifted out in Troon and need time for additional work /spare parts became apparent.

      This combined with Scottish Government announcement of Phase 2 and RYA Scotland interpretation becoming available on the 19th June created very challenging situation for our boat and her crew of 2.

      Not being able to stay on board in any of the Scottish Marinas we have decided to stay on board observing as many of the Government Guidelines as possible and I am pleased to advise that so far we have managed pretty well, being in breach with only one – staying on board.

      Our movements up and down the Scottish Coast were dictated by frontal systems which passed over us in last 96 hours. Not being allowed in Marinas and preferring mooring buoys to boat anchor we have been carefully following weather forecasts and choosing safest possible anchorages. Rest assured that all mooring owners were contacted and fees duly paid. We were in NO CONTACT with any locals strictly observing social distancing and NOT GOING ASHORE – just staying on board of our boat.

      Scottish Coast Guard – Stornoway and Belfast CG were fully aware of our movements.

      Never in last week we have tried to avoid being spotted, having our AIS all the time on and our conspicuous Manx Sails on, believing that full transparency would be the best way forward. We have not been ashore and have been strictly observing self-isolation rules although boat arrived from COVID free country – ISLE OF MAN and now has been in Scottish Waters for 14 days with no symptoms of any flue or flue like illness.

      We are due to depart Scotland on our intended delivery trip to Lymington as soon as wind drops to the safe and manageable levels.

      Please let me sincerely apologise if our movements around your lovely home waters caused your concerns – this was absolutely unintentional.


      Polished Manx
      mob:+ 44 7624 498 266

  4. Adrian Telfer says:

    Hi Bill
    We are hoping to sail across from badachro in a couple of weeks time on Eun Mara for our annual cruise as lockdown is lifted. Is it OK to tie up to a mooring and have our usual walk up the hill and down to to the church cave?
    Best regards
    Adrian (formally skipper of Dipper the red yacht which you stated was not ABWB)

    • Bill Cowie says:

      No Problem Adrian, I am getting the signs up this weekend with some info. Moorings went in March and they should have info on the buoys by tomorrow. The Lodge (Showers) will probably remain closed but we will still have Rona Venison for sale organised, wifi is available p/w on the pier and phone for that or anything else if there are problem we can help with. Church Cave path bridges and posts replaced this week. Will be good to see you, keep the kids on a lead!!!!Would be good to see you, Bill

      • Adrian Telfer says:

        Thanks great Bill looking forward to it… Just need the weather to behave now….

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