From Dunstaffnage we had a great sail to Tobermory, its brightly painted houses along the seafront making it very cheerful. We tied up at a pontoon and enjoyed a walk ashore and a drink watching the sunset over the town.
From Tobermory we set sail out towards Ardnamurchan Peninsular, and then into the open sea, with the islands of much Eigg and Rhum ahead. In strong winds we tacked up past the low lying isle of Muck, and then towards the towering cockscomb of Eigg, where we dropped anchor for lunch and I managed to do a sketch. Then we pushed on towards Mallaig, spotting a whale spout en route, but I diverted to a much nicer anchorage in Loch Nevis, off the hamlet of Inver, where we went ashore to The Old Forge and enjoyed an expensive, but most enjoyable evening. I had mussels followed by pepper steak. Most delicious! Unfortunately our outboard motor is unwell so we have had to paddle ashore precariously, and perhaps more precarious back after a good meal! Lifejackets worn course..
From Loch Nevis we headed up the Sound of Sleat, between Mull and the mainland, with strong gusty winds on the nose. It was touch and go whether would get to Kyle Rhea before its 6-8knot tides went against us, but we got through the narrow waterway, and up to Kyle Akin where we squeezed under the bridge across to Skye at the Kyle of Lochalsh. Then we could bear away in a brisk breeze to reach Plockton, where the sun came out as we walked round a really charming headland full of flowers and wonderful views.
From Plockton we headed up the coast of Skye to its capital, Portree. Icy rain and heavy cloud coupled with insufficient wind to sail made it a rather glum passage, but as we entered Portree we saw a dolphin and a seal, which was good. Our mooring was a long way from town, but gave directly onto a really great 3km circular walk round the headland, and semester climbs through densely flowering wood anemones, primroses, violets and bluebells. the sun even popped out occasionally! Meanwhile Mark & Justin headed off to conquer a more challenging headland 341metres high. We met up in Cafe Arriba, where I attempted to download the charts of the Outer Hebrides, but of course as it downloaded the time left increased from 21 minutes to 55 minutes so that we would never reach the end !!