Tobermory is a beautiful little harbour with houses on the waterfront all painted in different colours - making it reminiscent of Curacao. It has a busy marina maybe because it has the last diesel pump before heading out to the inner and outer Hebrides. We spend a day happily exploring Tobermory walking to the lighthouse on the headland and a guided tour of Tobermory Whisky Distillery including four glasses of whisky at the end of the tour.
Because the weather is still so lovely with flat seas and sunshine, we amend our plans and instead of going north inshore towards Mallaig we decide to do an island roundtrip. We start at a lovely little island called Muck where we drop the anchor and row ashore. There we are greeted by a friendly man who directs us to the local tea-room, which just happens to be run by himself and his wife.
Muck is an adorable little island with only 47 inhabitants and free roaming sheep and cattle. After a lovely cup of tea with home made cake we move on to the island of Rum - a much more mountainous island than Muck where we finally decide not to anchor in the bay but to continue to the next Island Canna where we pick up a mooring ball for the night.
After a good nights sleep we slip the mooring line and proceed further west to the island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides where we dock at the brand new marina of Lochboisdale.
Lochboisdale itself does not have very much to offer, however we did manage to find the local hotel for a pint of beer. One of the ‘new’ experiences at these remote islands is the total lack of mobile phone signal creating an oasis of calm - no point in checking your mail, whatsapp or facebook, because nothing has changed ever since leaving Tobermory. Although the marina at Lochboisdale boasts having WiFi, it does not offer any significant bandwidth to download/upload photo’s for blogs.
We leave Lochboisdale for a short passage south to the most southern island in the Outer Hebrides: Barra where we dock at Castlebay. In the afternoon Roland gets the bikes out again and we go for a lovely ride to the west (Atlantic) side of the island to visit the sandy beaches and bright blue water.
Again we get the impression that we are not in Scotland but somewhere much more exotic. It is hard for us to accept that the weather we have been having nearly continuously of blue skies and sunshine is apparently not typical. Anyway lucky or not we are definitely enjoying it.
We wake early the next morning for a lengthy passage motoring with no wind back east to the island of Coll just off Mull. Roland starts cleaning the cockpit to help pass the time, when suddenly Leontine starts shouting…. she has spotted a large pod of Dolphins - in fact the first of three we spot during the trip. We are still discussing whether we saw 120 or 150 dolphins in total, but whatever the exact number the show is spectacular.
The dolphins love to swim just in front of the bow of the boat and leap out of the water playfully. We can’t get enough of it! Finally we arrive in Arinagour on the island of Coll and pick up a mooring buoy before going ashore for a pint in the sun filled beer garden of the local pub overlooking the bay.