July 13th-15th. We arrived back at Nova after a night in Glasgow where we enjoyed a live gig by local band Eriska, and a 5-hour trip on the beautiful West Highland line.  All was fine on board and we soon settled back in. Our new crew members, Jonathan’s cousin Zander and wife Claire arrived the following day and we set off (after our usual crew briefing) for an early evening upwind sail in the sunshine to Port Mor, Isle of Muck.  We arrived to find most of the space taken up by moorings or anchored yachts and it took us a couple of attempts to anchor at a comfortable distance from other vessels. We are going to have to get used to busy anchorages!

The following day (July 14th) – again in blazing sunshine – we went ashore to explore Muck. It is a beautiful island about 1 mile wide by 2 miles long. We walked to the West coast to find a white sandy beach at Gallenach bay, then found a rather boggy cross-country route back to Port Mor and the friendly café where we had lunch and filled water containers to take back to the boat (taking a tip from Yachting Monthly article: when anchoring and unable to go alongside to fill up the water tank, take every opportunity to fill a water carrier and top up).  

Mid-afternoon we set sail again past the high cliffs of Rum and across Canna Sound, heading for the lighthouse at the entrance to Canna harbour.  As we crossed the Sound in the sunshine, we were joined by a pod of common dolphins who swam alongside us, leaping out the water and diving under our bows.  

Dolphins in Canna Sound

We arrived in the harbour, finding all the visitor buoys taken and quite a number of boats anchored (there were around 30 boats in total overnight). Finding a gap we gingerly dropped anchor while our crew cooked up a delicious curry.  Canna harbour is a deep inlet between the islands of Canna and Sanday (joined by a bridge), with a prominent church on each side and clusters of white buildings around the bay.  Its green slopes and sheltered waters make it a popular and safe anchorage and it gave us a very peaceful night.

We spent the next day exploring Canna and enjoying the continuing sunshine, as the forecast was for very little wind.  We also made grateful use of the shower facilities – one (clean and tidy) shower in an outbuilding of the farm near the harbour, coin operated (£1 gives 3 minutes – that seems to be the going rate).  There are several interesting church buildings on Canna – a tiny catholic chapel, dedicated to St Columba, with two lovely stained glass windows; a protestant church with an unusual round belltower, overlooking the harbour on one side and on the other side (actually on the island of Sanday), an impressively large church, originally the catholic church, now a centre for gaelic studies.  There is busy little café/bar, with a community shop – open 24 hours, with an honesty box.  It’s the only place on the island where you can get wifi, so was constantly surrounded with people sitting around busy on phones and tablets!  That included us….



On our passage ‘Around These Islands’ Anne is writing about each trip, and Jonathan is writing some more ‘technical’ blogs, from our perspective as ordinary cruising sailors. We are sharing what we’ve learned, and welcome your thoughts too. Please remember that this blog – and your comments – are public.

There’s also a special focus on 12 key ports on our planned route, with articles from These Islands and a series of podcasts from Chrome Media called ‘Around These Islands in 12 Ports’.


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