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.