20th July.  Just after 9am we said goodbye to Zander and Claire and motored out of Mallaig. It was sunny and clear, with a view of Eigg and the mountains of Rum on one side, and the mainland coast on the other.  Gradually the wind increased as forecast and we made good speed in a steady wind and sunshine – it was a perfect sailing day.

As we passed the entrance to Arisaig, where we’d arrived three weeks ago, we felt we were once again making progress on our voyage south. We rounded Ardnamurchan point – a significant headland, recognised by yachtsmen as a transition between the cruising ground around Skye and the sheltered waters inside Mull. We were fortunate that the weather was calm enough for us to pass close to its prominent lighthouse which stands guard at the end of this remote and sparsely inhabited headland.

Ardnamurchan lighthouse

These waters are popular and there was a steady stream of yachts heading in both directions. Strong winds and heavy rain are forecast for the next couple of days, so many were heading – as we were – for the pretty village of Tobermory on Mull, which has good facilities for yachts with pontoon berths and mooring buoys. We were guided into one of the last available pontoon berths by our circumnavigating friends on yacht Shearwater, tied up and headed off for a late afternoon walk round the coast to the lighthouse just north of Tobermory – a pretty path along the cliff through woodland.  We’re planning to be here for a couple of days now, while the wind and rain passes through.

  • Distance: 35nm. Sailed 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Wind: NW moving to SW F3-4


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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