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Last Summer Ruth & I with our 2 dogs and relatives from Australia spent 3 months amongst the islands off the west coast of Scotland. Several thousand miles under the keel including 3 weeks on the Caledonian Canal into Loch Ness. We enjoyed the varied Scottish weather- thankfully not too many midges last year!

To me the highlight was a few days at anchor at Coll, at the head of Loch Latharna on the east coast, off Arinagour – a little village with lovely tea and cake shop / store, a country store, post office and a local art shop.

A grand hotel/pub with magnificent views southeast down the Loch with good pub grub and soft friendly people. Sheep roamed freely around the village and shore. Although the CalMac ferry calls daily from Oban (good for crew changeover), the pace of life was just right.

Limited communications, few visiting yachts,and miles of rolling countryside to use up energy. The local church was interesting with so much history and the hotel had a front terraced lawn with a sort of “helipad” area where we sat with a couple of pints and sorted the world out. There is much to explore on this Island.

Around our boats (travelling in company with Starfish – X29) a family of otters played and fed in the evening.

The Hebrides are many things to many people, but to me the isolation with the special evening light ’til late is what cruising in home waters is all about.

Andy ForsythBye PassX31

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