Isle of Rum Trip

On a slow adventure trip to the Isle of Rum sea conditions were far from perfect, fresh southerly winds with consistent rain has me wondering if this was the right call but we are excited to show our Texas guests this beautiful wild island. Having organised a wildlife ranger tour of Kinloch harbour which gives us shelter from the elements, we then had a quick stop off for refreshments at the tearoom. Its then into the jeeps for a trip to Harris bay on the west side of the island.

On the steady climb up Kinloch Glen the rain stops and the mist lifts to reveal the dramatic Rum Cullin with the large red deer population peppered on the slopes. The guests are in awe with this wild land and fully appreciate the fact that we are all alone. As we pass the lochs on our left the men in the group are eager to fish, I nudge them on pointing into the west to Harris Bay. On arrival at Harris Bay, stunning, beautiful and remarkable are just some of the comments spoken out loud. There is no sign of the wild ponies but there is an array of sea birds, wild goats and highland cattle surrounding the mausoleum which looks like it belongs in ancient Greece and not the Scottish Highlands.

The return leg has us fishing in what I call ”trout fisherman’s heaven” Loch An Dornabach, we take a brace of buttercup coloured trout back to Kinloch to BBQ while meeting some local characters who share some ales and play a few tunes on the guitar. The company is good, the craic is flowing and the time just disappears, its 8.30pm and its time to go I’m afraid, heading back to Knoydart with the sun setting behind us we can agree it was the perfect immersion into a Highland culture delivered to our Texas guests.

Book seats on our Rum Adventure or get in touch about a private hire

 

Canna

While rounding the north side of Rum (Kilmory Point) Canna hovers into view, this is the outermost Isle of the small isle archipelago. We are fortune enough to have the glorious weather on our side which isn’t unusual for May. I try not to give much away on the history of Canna as I have organised two guides from Canna National Trust to meet the group on arrival. However, we do have a brief talk which has us laughing with confusion as I discuss St Columba and his connection with the Island, where he is believed to have landed in 563 whereas my guest mistook the name of Christopher Columbus who discovered the America’s in 1492, this making him the eldest man ever to have existed!!!

This charming remote island which I have been visiting since 1985 as a fisherman offered a welcome safe heaven in some of the worst weather you can imagine in the south side of the Little Minch. The Island usually has a good array of sea birds to catch sight of including the popular puffin. Today they are possibly feeding further out at sea as non-were sighted, this doesn’t deter the trip because the guided tour has out guests strolling along Canna to soak up the natural beauty, flora & fauna and well sedimented history which is more suitable to the group.

We finish the trip with a late lunch at the Café Canna consisting of the most delicious fresh local langoustines being the popular choice for our guests. Back on board the Cyfish, everyone is fore filled with their adventures of the day. We cruise back to Mallaig in a serene atmosphere.

Loch Nevis Cruise

When customising the appropriate trip for guests in mid-April it can be complex as there is limited wildlife in our local waters, the fishing is at a minimum, my guests have told me that they will be dining at The Roads End Café in the evening, so I have decided not to visit Veronica today. We decide on the scenic cruise and a lesson in history covering subjects such as Ragnar of Knoydart, the Jacobite’s and the relevance of world war 11 mica mine which played an important part supplying Mica when it was in short supply and last but not least our local characters and heroes such as Tom McClean AKA Moby.

Tom was the first man at the age of 26 to row solo across the Atlantic, he also holds a place in the Guinness book of records for crossing the Atlantic in the smallest vessel being 7ft 9”, this is just to name but a few pioneering feats, basically this man is a legend. Earlier I had the fortune of meeting Tom and kindly get him to give my group a talk on his extraordinary life at his outdoor adventure centre at Ardintigh on the shores of Loch Nevis. This was a fluke meeting and as luck should have it one of the group had sailed with one of Tom’s competitors, this made his vacation and was quoted “this made my week”

Book seats on our Loch Nevis Cruise or get in touch about a private hire

Easter Sunday Adventure

Its Easter Sunday and our guests at Caberfeidh House our B&B are tucking into a full Scottish breakfast and getting ready for the day ahead with Minch Adventures. With everyone onboard the conversation regarding the S.O E’s (Special Operation Executives) is the order of the day. Neil, Keith, Jools and Marnie travel all over the world to find out and visit as much historical sites where the S.O.E’s have been carrying out their secret training/manoeuvres. Knoydart was inevitably on the hit list. Heading out of Mallaig to Loch Nevis (Loch Heaven) the weather is glorious, sun shining and bright blue skies. Approaching Inverie harbour we discuss on what sites there are to see, the Seven Men Of Knoydart cairn, the medieval cross at Kilchoan Estate which dates back to the medieval days and is the only standing stone cross in Scotland that hasn’t been defaced and the Inverie House where the S.O.E’s were know to have stayed. After our walk we bump into a local gentleman Iain Roberson, former owner of the Old Forge on Knoydart, Brittan’s remotest pub who tells Neil and Keith all about the agents and who operated in the area, this has them routed to the spot with excitement and has them rolling with laughter with a finishing story that turns into a joke about a German called Donnie the spy.

 

Back at the boat we head over to Airor for coffee and cake at The Roads End Café which has the most idyllic setting, looking over the Cullin of Skye which has had a recent dusting of snow to add to its beauty. A dingy tender to the café adds to the excitement. Veronica makes the most delicious cakes with a fresh cup of coffee, this is a must have. The tide is coming in quickly and if we don’t make a move from this beautiful place, the dingy and Kayaks are going to leave us stranded. The guests are more than eager to have a go on the kayaks and with no hesitation head out to the little islands, within seconds they are both surrounded by seals and their very curious pups, the guests view wildlife in its time frame up close and personal. This is a first-time experience for the guests and they savour the moment as seals duck, dive and swim under the Kayaks giving a bird’s eye view in the bright waters of Airor.

Back on board the Cyfish anchor hauled we cruise south past the anchorage of Doune and Maryanne’s point back to base camp, Mallaig. But before we enter the harbour I have a fish trap to haul, this adds yet more interest to the trip and reveals a mixture of marine life which never ceases to amaze me even after 30 years at sea on trawler. A fine-looking example of a sea scorpion fish stands out imminently amongst an array of starfish, eels, brown crab and sea-urchins. After mooring up safely beside the pontoon and the days cruise at an end we ask our guests to dine with us back at Caberfeidh House, this highland hospitality just seem like the right thing to offer as we continually connect and make friends with the most amazing visitors that choose our activities and accommodation.

Slow Adventure Day Trip to Skye

A late Saturday night email check reveals an apologetic late reply from guest’s who are currently residing at the Knoydart Luxuary Hide in Inverie. A quick check of the forecast shows the weather is prime for the charter ahead, light winds, blue skies with a ball of sunshine. A remote beach BBQ is order of the day and I know just the perfect location Sleat point on the south tip of Skye, it must be one of the most unspoilt aesthetic looking private beaches in the Highlands.

I gather up provisions, fresh homemade lamb burgers made by my wife, venison sausages, disposable BBQ and not forgetting the malt whisky, the stage is set!

The sail from Mallaig to Inverie is tranquil with the sun shining with the sky as blue as the sea, I am met by two guests who have busy jobs in London that have an appreciation for natural surroundings and looking for the simple but meaningful experiences. Leaving the pier at Inverie behind we cruise along the Knoydart peninsula and talk about the local area and history as they marvel at the spectacular scenery. I now introduce them to the 3D mapping device onboard that shows you what’s under the water and how the glaciers carved out the seabed.

Wildlife is limited in early March nevertheless hauling up creels and investigating the sea life, baiting and shooting them back into the water is always good sport, especially to the curiosity of a few seal pups who watch on closely from a nearby rock. A quick search of the Knoydart peninsula to spot wild goats and we continue to the South West across the Sound of Sleat keeping the Black Cullin of Skye on our port side. We head to the beach, dip the anchor on an ebb tide of around a 5.5m fall reveals the beach nicely, emerald waters with golden sands rise up to greet us.

After a successful tender ashore the first plan of attack is to source driftwood and dry tinder as we are using an outdoor flint striker to ignite start a flame, guests find this most enjoyable when it’s done successfully, our food is washed down with a 12-year-old Aberfeldy one of my all-time favourites.  With the sun shining down we soak up the moment and head off for some beach combing with the story telling.

Rock pools hold an array of small marine life including the odd looking glorious gobies which can be found under rocks in early spring, this proves an interesting find and has one of the guests turning over rocks eager to discover more gobies and crustacean. Masses of whelks can be found that fetch a fair price on the week running up to the Xmas market, but the guests fail to be impressed by the thought of consuming a sea snail!!

With time just meandering away before you know it we have to head homeward, Back onboard anchor hauled and it’s a steady cruise back to Loch Nevis (Loch Heaven) after all this returning in the evening, my passengers can relax and take one last chance look back at the landscape lying under reefs of plum blue clouds and the yellow sky, watching as the hills recede and begin to hush blue themselves, leaving anybody with the longing to return to Britain’s last unspoiled wilderness: the North West Highlands.