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.