A change of air…

The beginning of August seemed to usher in a change to the weather from the lovely long sunny days to a rather more mixed picture. Not that it stopped us getting out on the water and showing our overseas guests the beauty of the area in all its different guises.

Pan Pan

We took a family of mixed generations and nationality – Italian & Icelandic- out for four nights taking in Scalpay, Skye’s dramatic eastern coastline, Raasay & Rona before heading across to the Wester Ross coast and round into Plockton and Port Eorna. During the four days we saw so many amazing rainbows..



Our visit to Rona was a bit of a whistle stop but long enough for some rather wonderful wildlife viewing…


Whilst anchored in between Raasay and Fladda for the night we heard a PanPan call on the radio and after Scott had checked the position of the distressed yacht and realising we were the closest vessel, he advised the coastguard we could go to offer assistance. The yacht was being sailed solo and it had a line  wrapped round its prop.  With night coming on and unable to get himself to a safe location the skipper had put out the call.

So between dinner courses we up anchored and motored a short distance to stand off Raasay’s north west coast within a short distance from the yacht. By the time we got there we could see the Portree lifeboat approaching and once the lifeboat was happy they had the yacht under tow they advised we could stand down and we returned to our anchorage … and pudding!


Short Summer cruises..

We had a couple of short cruises to follow both of which took us north under the Skye Bridge and round to lovely Plockton, with a little excursion into Loch Carron’s narrows and the Kishorn Islands to see some seal action!

On our second trip were were returning to Kyle when we saw the unmistakable splash of dolphins and we had our best sighting so far this year…check out our little video on YouTube..

Weather woes..wildlife wonders…

Our next guests were on two week trip from Wisconsin to see more of Skye and her surrounding islands. They love Scotland and had visited many times but this time they were concentrating on this area and they joined us for six nights.

The forecast was not the best but we were determined to make the best of it and try to ensure they did not miss out on seeing as much of our cruising area as possible. We started with a night in Loch Duich where they were able to compare a mural they have at home of Eilean Donan castle with the real thing!



Next morning we set of down Kylerhea..the sea state was not the best in the Sound of Sleat but we sailed down to Isleornsay where our guests had a nice visit ashore taking in the Whisky Shop, complete with tastings, and then into Floraidh Skye and a quick look at an exhibition by Pam Carter whose fabulous colourful paintings of the area are a real joy to look at.

After lunch we headed across to moody Loch Hourn and the weather cleared enough for our guests to have a short hike along the drovers trail before we took them onto the head of the Loch to a peaceful night anchorage, complete with deer spotting. We had a little porpoise sighting on our way out of the Loch the next day and having made the decision not to go any further south we nipped up Kylerhea early in the morning and stopped for tasty brunch at anchor in Loch Alshe.


After an afternoon visit to Broadford we stopped for the night in the shelter of Scalpay, where the sun appeared, as did some strong wind gusts, heavy rain…and of course fabulous rainbows..

We had a brighter morning for a sail up Raasay Sound where we had a lovely dolphin sighting..followed by eagle spotting on the Portree cliffs and then a sail up the Sound with wind and waves behind us. We stopped at Churchton Bay on Raasay so that our guests could head to the Raasay Distillery for another whisky tasting session.


That afternoon we headed into Rona’s sheltered anchorage where there was only one boat anchored…it had a Royal Navy white ensign on it and we joked about maybe one of the Royals was onboard…! A later google on the vessel suggested we might actually have been right..

This was also the day we had a rather good sighting of a submarine on manoeuvres..


Heading east from Rona we had a rather lively crossing to the Crowlins and then stopped for lunch in a new anchorage for us close to Plockton – very sheltered and calm. After a cruise into Loch Carron we decided not to anchor there but went to yet another new quiet anchorage just behind  Ulluva Island just within sight of Plockton Harbour. Our guests had an enjoyable visit to Plockton the next day, walking above the village to a viewpoint, then stopping for a little gift shopping and a coffee at the Plockton Inn.


They said their preference for their last night was a quiet and enclosed bay so we took them to one of our favourite hideaways – Poll Domhain. We took the tender for a little close ( not too close) encounter with the bay’s seal population before dropping them ashore for a walk over to one Wester Ross coast’s white sandy beaches.

Finally that evening the wind dropped and the skies started to clear and it was a gorgeous last evening. Our sunny blue cruise back to Kyle the next morning was very busy with porpoise sighting – the most we have seen, all having a good feed and not really taking any notice of us!

Just as we were approaching the Skye Bridge Mary was watching diving gannets when suddenly a rather large dark bird appeared in the sky – it was an eagle, no doubting it and she watched it for sometime as it flew on over the Crowlins and round over the Applecross hills. First time we have seen one in that area. Fabulous.

North & South of the Bridge..

For our penultimate August trip we managed to give our guests a little taste of the areas both north and south of the iconic Skye bridge. We headed round to Plockton for a visit ashore but decided to anchor for the evening at the Kishorn Islands to give our guests that really panoramic evening viewing….  and we had some very dramatic views as the weather went from dark skies to sun lighting up the hills, rain and rainbows within the space of a very short time.


Sailing across the Inner Sound and north about the Crowlins Islands we had a lovely little porpoise sighting before skirting the foot of Raasay where we had a pretty good eagle experience as two magnificent birds soared over the island. Our guests had an enjoyable tour and whisky tasting at Raasay Distillery followed by a walk in the hills. With a northerly wind getting a bit stronger we decided to anchor for the night in the southern part of the anchorage between Eilean Fladda and Raasay. They really loved the protected feel of the bay.

We did a little detour north the next day to take a look at Rona and to try and eagle spot in Caol Rona before heading back down the west coast of Raasay with the dramatic view of the Skye coast to starboard. That day’s weather was a bit grim so we continued cruising right back under the Skye Bridge, through Loch Alsh and into Loch Duich. We stopped for a look at Eilean Donan Castle where there was fortuitously a pipe band playing, we think for wedding taking place. The weather cleared that evening allowing for a fine last sail back to the pontoons the next morning.



Romantic evening cruise to remember…

Our final trip of the month had a been a while in the planning with specific requests for good weather, seals, porpoises, dolphins, whales and a sail at sunset time! Whilst our guest Rob knew he was asking for a lot and was very understanding that we might not be lucky with all or even any of that….well the stars must have been waiting to shine on him and his girlfriend Kathryn ( whose birthday surprise trip it was) as we managed the lot! Well we are not certain about the whale but all ( except the chef) saw something big breach off our beam as we sailed past the Crowlins and it wasn’t a dolphin!!

We almost couldn’t believe the large, busy, but aloof, pod of porpoises, which were closely followed by a frisky bunch of dolphins who happily swam under Red Moons bow for quite some time. We took a little detour into Poll Domhain and switched both engines off to enjoy the utter silence and watch the curios seals who came pretty close by. After a tasty supper and  a little glass of something sparkling for the lovely couple, we headed back to Kyle with a fabulous evening sky developing behind us.


Heather in the hills…

Scott and Mary had a little break after this until their next cruise so on the final day of the month they took to the hills behind Kyle and enjoyed a few moments in the sun…


Three years on…

August 1st 2018  – our own Red Moon Day!

Today we celebrate three years since we took ownership of Red Moon! It’s been an amazing journey so far and we are excited about what’s still to come …



Long hot summer…?.


This year we have been spoilt in Scotland with some wonderful warm and sunny weather. This allows for some truly relaxing cruising conditions and we have taken full advantage.

Sandaig Bay-Loch Nevis-Eigg-Kishorn Islands

On this four night cruise we picked up our guests, Jan & Rob, from Plockton where they had been staying the week before.


With conditions looking good we headed south back under the Kyle Bridge, then down the Kylerhea to spend the first evening at Sandaig Bay. We had a fabulous cruise up Loch Hourn the next day stopping for lunch near the pool at the head of the Loch. As the tide was too low for Red Moon to enter the pool, Scott took the guests for a visit in the tender. We next headed into Loch Nevis and after a short visit ashore at Inverie we anchored for the night.


Our guests were very happy just sitting back and admiring the scenery and taking every opportunity to get some great photos ( seen here!), so we had a long morning cruise round the point of the Sleat Peninsula and into dramatic Loch Scavaig for our lunch stop where the seals were very co operative in posing for the camera! Our day ended in South Bay on the Small Isle of Eigg.


The last full day of the cruise took us back up the Sound of Sleat with a lunch stop at Isleornsay and then a longer cruise up Kylerhea in ideal conditions, back under the Skye Bridge and settling for a fine evening in the Kishorn Islands. We dropped our guests back at Plockton the next morning.

Wild Swim Film Shoot

Mid June saw Red Moon involved in an exciting project to help make a film for the Outdoor Swimming Society. She acted as Mothership to the film crew and swimmers while anchored in Loch Hourn.


Unfortunately timing was such that the crew arrived on the same day as Storm Hector! A quick switch to plan B meant that we moved Red Moon to the shelter of the Loch before the storm hit and they met us at Arnisdale where Red Moon was waiting.


Four days of filming, swimming, drying out, eating and doing it all over again followed. We hope that Red Moon will feature strongly in the film which will be shown at various outdoor activity related festivals around the world. We also hope that this could be a new venture for Red Moon Cruises – we are able to get to many out of the way swimming  locations which many people could not reach otherwise. As she comes equipped with hot showers, plenty of towels and drying space …and most importantly delicious homemade cake.. we think she would really appeal to the wild swimming community.

The Small Isles – the complete set

We think it’s likely this cruise will prove to be the peak of the summer for us weatherwise and it gave us the chance to show our guests all the Small Isles – including Hyskeir lighthouse which we reached and explored on a very still, calm and hot day.


The route we took was to head south straight to South Bay on Eigg after a first night stop at Sandaig. Our guests went ashore for a walk to the caves and enjoy the fabulous sunshine on this lovely island.



We decided that there was time to get to the Isle of Muck for that nights stop. We had a lovely sail with a pod of porpoises and a very cute pufflet making an appearance.


Muck was a new place for us and as we approached our anchorage in Gallanch Bay, one of our guests, Gez, was looking through binoculars and remarked that there seemed to be  a lot of dogs on the beach…Mary immediately grabbed some more binoculars and to her delight saw that they were all Border Collies, her favourites, – and some were puppies!


A rapid tender ride ashore allowed us to spend some quality dog – time with those gorgeous little bundles of fun…..as well as of course take a lovely walk on the beautiful white sandy beaches! It was a close run thing that Red Moon didn’t acquire a boat dog on this trip…


That evening we saw our best sunset of the summer so far – absolutely stunning!


Our next stop the following day was Hyskeir. We floated for a while before entering the anchorage so that Gez could have a fishing opportunity in the deep water. When we anchored in what is usually just a temporary anchorage, due to the likelihood of swell, it was flat calm, hot and very still. The lighthouse loomed above us. We took the tender and went ashore to explore the grounds around what is now an automated lighthouse – as nearly all U.K. lighthouses are.


Note: if you are a lighthouse fan have a read of “ Stargazing” by Peter Hill who was a young lighthousekeeper in the Seventies just before full automation. Hyskeir was one of the lights he helped to man.

Canna was our next island but this time we anchored on the south side of the island in the appropriately named Canna Boat Harbour – again this often is not a suitable overnight anchorage but the conditions on this trip made it an idyllic spot. Finally the weather seemed warm enough for a swim…not sure that the water was really!


While Gez chilled with a bit more fishing and Heather’s Dad John just relaxed on deck, Heather went ashore to explore this end of the island and get some sand between her toes! They all went ashore the next morning for further exploration while we took Red Moon around to Canna Harbour to meet up with them.


Our return journey was via Loch Scresort on Rum for lunch and then we set sail to head back up the Sound of Sleat to spend the night at  Isleornsay but this time anchored near Kinloch Lodge Hotel. After an early start we made our way into the mists of Kylerhea and Loch Alsh – suddenly we found ourselves in thick fog with our horn keeping any boats nearby aware of us. A most amazing fogbow formed in an arc over Red Moon’s bow. Anchoring in Loch Na Beiste we were suddenly in bright sunshine again for a hearty breakfast. Back across to Kyle and we were in the mist again to give an atmospheric end to an amazing cruise. By the time we had moored it was clearing just in time for some end of cruise photos!


Two ‘Summer Short Cruises’

In between our longer cruises we had a couple of lovely short trips.

The first was a repeat booking for us for Christine & Kevin who run their own B&B in the north of Skye. We had a lovely cruise to the Kishorn Islands where Kevin was very brave and went for a dip before settling down to a lovely dinner in the evening sun.


The other was a gift from a daughter to her parents for their Ruby Wedding Anniversay and we were really pleased to welcome the happy couple David & Agnes plus David’s brother and his wife for a day cruise which took us out to the Kishorn Islands, the narrows of Loch Carron and Plockton before we headed back under the Skye Bridge. Our day cruises include morning coffee with Mary’s homemade shortbread, a lunch platter such as smoked salmon on brown bread, strawberries, something chocolatey and a glass of Prosecco. Afternoon tea with homemade cake finishes the day off very nicely!


A classic Red Moon Skye, Wester Ross & Lochalsh cruise

A group of four guests joined us for a night’s B&B on the Pontoons at Kyle before starting their cruise refreshed the next day. Before we had even started the cruise our guests had their first wildlife spotting – a fishing otter just between the Pontoons and the Skye Bridge ! It was also an evening for a fabulous sunset under the Bridge.


This was a six night trip and that allowed us to show brothers David & Roger and their wives Jenny & Liz a bit of everything in this lovely cruising area. The first day of the cruise was David & Jenny’s Golden Wedding Anniversay and it started fittingly with a glass of bubbly with breakfast!


Our cruise took us north from Kyle up the east coast of Skye where we were lucky enough to spot a couple of white tailed eagles, and onto Churchton Bay on Raasay just in time for David & Roger to make the final whisky tour of the day at the new Raasay Distillery. We anchored that evening just across the Sound of Raasay at Camus a Mhor Bheol.


Rona was the next morning destination and we set the Genoa for the sail up the Sound. The wind grew stronger as we arrived so it was time to furl sails and anchor in the relative calm of Acairseid Mhor. Our guests went ashore for a walk up the hill to see the fabulous views over the Inner Sound. Leaving Rona we entered Caol Rona with the hope of seeing more eagles and heading down the east coast of Raasay but the waves had grown during our time at anchor and heading into them was just too uncomfortable so we headed back and sailed down the much calmer west coast and into the narrow northern anchorage between  Eilean Fladday and Raasay.


By the next day conditions had calmed so we were able to anchor for lunch on the south east side of Raasay just below a lovely waterfall. Our suggestion for that night was to head further east to one of our favourite spots – Poll Domhain. This met with approval and once settled  the four were able to head ashore for a good walk on part of the Applecross coast.


Our plan for the next part of the cruise was to head south and we were able to get down Kylerhea the next morning and stop for lunch at Eilean Rarsaidh near the entrance to Loch Hourn. We saw some seals as were were heading into the anchorage but then while we were having lunch on the aft deck, a fin was spotted! It was a mother and baby porpoise just cruising around and not seeming to mind us being there. It was very special.


After an afternoon cruise through Loch Hourn we anchored on the opposite side of the Loch behind Eilean a Phiobaire for a peaceful evening and dinner on deck.

The Small Isles was the next day’s destination and we cruised leisurely in good conditions towards Eigg. Eagle – eyed Scott suddenly spotted another fin but this time very excitingly,  it was a Minke whale! We were able to hover around for sometime enjoying the spectacle of the whale who circled us, coming up very close to Red Moon. A precious moment for us all.


A visit to Eigg followed with an explore ashore and then on our way to our nights anchorage on Muck we spotted a pod of dancing dolphins, who came towards us and obligingly played for a short while in Red Moon’s bow wave.

Friendly seals in Gallanach Bay plus many seabirds, completed our fabulous wildlife spotting of the day…the next day there was more to come with puffins seen while on our way to Rum for a very early breakfast.


We stopped in Loch Scavaig and armed with a picnic our guests went ashore to explore Loch Coruisk and the Cuillins on what turned out to be a really lovely sunny day.


The trip concluded with a run up to Isleornsay before an early start to get up Kylerhea with the tide and breakfast in Loch Alsh. However even our final run on the south coast produced more fabulous wildlife sightings … this time a basking shark!


Alltogther it was a very awesome wildlife cruise which took in many highlights of this beautiful area….a bit of everything in fact.

The deep Lochs

We had a two night cruise next and the weather, whilst not as good as it had been, allowed us to go south and explore both Loch Hourn and Loch Nevis. We were able to sail into the pool at the head of Loch Hourn and then rather than head across the Sound of Sleat to Isleornsay we thought we would go further south and visit Loch Nevis. At twilight whilst at anchor in Loch Nevis we had a fantastic otter sighting. It was a mother and two cubs who were playing in the water not too far from the boat. Wonderful!


We left Loch Nevis on the final morning in rather heavy mist and a slightly lumpy sea but once we got further up the Sound of Sleat and the seas was behind Red Moon she moved comfortably forward into a clearer day.


Spring sprang into Summer!

Well Spring finally arrived in late April while we were on our passage from Greenock to Oban. Here we toast our first sail of the season and the gorgeous weather on Red Moon’s aft deck while anchored near the Burnt Isles in the Kyles of Bute.

Accompanied by friend and crew-member Alan from our maiden voyage in 2016, we moved smartly through the Crinan Canal and headed to Dunstaffnage Marina via a lovely overnight stop in Puilladobhrain.

We stopped for a week in Dunstaffnage and then left for Kyle with a visit to Tobermory on Mull  – and a late birthday dinner ashore for Mary! We had a kind  rounding of Ardnamurchan Point then stopped overnight in at the head of Loch Nevis where we were delighted to witness a herd of deer swim from the little island to the mainland…

Rather than head to the Pontoons at Kyle – as they were not quite in place – we moored for a number of days in one of our favourite spots at Letterfearn in Loch Duich. We had some lovely days and fabulous evenings, working on Red Moon and getting her ready for the coming cruise season.


This year we anti- fouled her ‘ the old school way’ by leaning her up against the wall at Kyleakin – by this stage we really felt Spring was starting to think about becoming Summer…


With Red Moon all spruced up and ready to cruise, we set out on our first cruise of the season with some lovely guests all the way from Oz – one of whom was on a visit ‘home’ to Scotland. We had  gorgeous ( if not quite Southern Hemisphere) summer weather and a first night stop anchored by lovely Plockton.

The trip continued with a cruise up to the island of Raasay where our guests took a stroll ashore and visited the new Raasay distillery . That evening we anchored at Rona and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset with drinks on the aft deck.

After an exploration ashore the next morning we sailed east through Caol Rona looking out for white tailed eagles – one of which duly appeared- and stopped for a lunch – time anchorage beneath the ruins of Brochel Castle and the start of Calum’ s road.

Our final night’s stop was in Caolas Scalpay – the channel between Skye and Scalpay islands – with a little sampling session of Misty Isle gin, Skye’s very own botanical distillation. Very refreshing!

Sandaig Islands-Canna-Loch Nevis-Isleornsay

For our second cruise the weather got even better and was idyllic for a cruise south, starting with a run down Kylerhea. We had a slight current against us which made for a slower trip with some interesting water swirling water patterns. Plenty of seals appeared as we entered the Sound of Sleat, possibly enjoying the turn of the tide more than coming out to greet Red Moon!

We anchored that evening at the Sandaig Islands of Gavin Maxwell’s Ring of Bright Water fame and it was just a perfect spot with views across to Skye.


With such a good forecast our guests decided they would really like to see the Small Isles so we agreed on a passage to Eigg followed by a run along Rhum’s south coast and round to the most westerly island of Canna – a new place for all of us.

Arriving at Eigg we had lunch and then Mary and our guests Hazel & Phil went ashore to explore and take a walk to Massacre and Catherdral caves – the path though the woods was delightful with bluebells still out and lots of wild garlic, some of which Mary gathered on the way back for that evenings supper.

A leisurely cruise to Canna followed and it was a delight to enter the little harbour there and anchor for a glorious evening, with the prospect of a trip ashore to look forward to the next day.

We all went ashore the following morning to take a look at the little Scottish Free Church, Canna Rhu Church also known as ‘ the Rocket Church’.  – for obvious reasons!

Scott returned to move the tender and meet us round the bay near the more substantial looking  St Edward’s Catholic Church – now a Gaelic study centre. We took a walk around the bay stopping at the little St Columba chapel which is actually the church most used by the islanders. It is small and simple, but beautiful inside with two gorgeous stained glass windows. We had a look at the community shop and the island’s only restaurant, Cafe Canna, which looked very appealing!

Our walk continued across the bridge which links Canna to the smaller island of Sanday, stopping for a quick diversion to look at the gorgeous white sandy beach on the south side of the island. We met up with Scott who had brought the tender into a small beach below the big church and sped a short distance back to Red Moon. We were all impressed with Canna and it is definitely on the ‘ let’s go back’ list when time and tide allow!

Our  cruise continued heading north east around the north coast of Rhum with the ever-present Cuillin Hills on our port side. We headed up into the Sound of Sleat and entered Loch Nevis, with Phil on the helm, just as the classic paddle steamer the Waverley was heading out!

We stopped for a short while at Inverie to visit to most remote pub on the UK mainland ( apparently closed on Wednesdays in the summer ?!) before anchoring for a lovely evening in the sunshine on the west side of the bay. Darkness does not come until around 11pm at this time of year on the West coast and we were certainly able to make the most of it on this trip.

For our final full day we cruised into Loch Hourn with its steep sided hills and awe inspiring scenery, anchoring in a peaceful new spot for lunch. To contrast with  the wild side of this cruise we decided to sail across the Sound of Sleat to visit one of our favourite spots, Isleornsay. This allowed for a bit of potential retail therapy at Floraidh Skye and to sample a wee dram or a pint – or even better ( some might say) the new gin from Eilean Iarmains own distillery-  ‘ Usige   Lusach’. Mmmm…

It was time to head back to Kyle and with an early start to catch the tide up Kylerhea we completed our Small Isles odyssey with a hearty breakfast anchored in Loch Na Beiste, just across from the Pontoons.


Why not make a booking for next May now? It has been proving to be one of the best cruising months, weather wise, up here and is always very popular – you can get in touch via the website redmooncruises.co.uk or phone 07768 101667.

Is it spring yet?

A stunning day in the Clyde but still snow on the hills…it’s been a chilly winter in Greenock but we have stayed snug onboard Red Moon. We are hoping that this might finally be the last of the wintry blasts so that we can get out on deck and get Red Moon ready for the coming season. We are planning to get going after Easter and start our journey north for the summer. We have a good number of bookings but are hoping some warmer weather will get people thinking about what to do this summer…like a Scottish cruise!

Our first booking at the moment is out of Kyle in May but we are happy to take enquiries for early spring cruises around the Sound of Mull during our passage up to Skye.

Look at the stunning weather we had in early May last year – this was a circumnavigation of Mull with stunning blue skies everyday! Here’s hoping for more of the same…

Clyde return…

In late October and after a very good season based at Kyle Pontoons we sadly said good bye to Skye, Lochalsh and Wester Ross to head south for the winter and the shelter of the River Clyde.

It’s fair to say that this Autumn in the UK has been just a teeny bit windy with Storms Ophelia and Brian. It was a bit of a race to get down the Sound of Sleat – we sat out Ophelia in Isleornsay – and around Ardnamurchan Point and into the shelter of Loch Na Droma Buidhe before Brian hit. But we did it and hardly felt a thing!

Our return trip took us two weeks this year in part to avoid the storm but also to tie in with one of our ‘Crinan Crew’, Dave, who valiantly drove up from Suffolk to join us and help us through the canal. We did this bit on our own last year – not to be recommended- and we have been very glad to have help both ways.

Thanks to Scott’s great planning we avoided most of the nasty seas and in doing so explored some new and known places and enjoyed some downtime before we reached the Clyde.

We stopped off in the Holy Loch to see our friends at the Majestic Line,  Argyll Cruising and the Holy Loch Marina – well timed to see the Glen Etive piped into her berth alongside the Glens Tarsan  and Massan – we ran the Massan about ten years ago!

We settled into James Watt Dock Marina by the end of October and started to get Red Moon all set for chilly winter living…

… and  Christmas!

There are some fantastic walks around the area and we get out and explore as much as we can…

For bookings contact us at enquiries@redmooncruises.co.uk

See our website – redmooncruises.co.uk

Late summer cruising

August and September followed a different pattern to our spring and early summer trips as we had a good number of shorter bookings. It was a good chance to see how these cruises worked compared to the longer trips.

During August we ran two lunch cruises – both fortuitously on superb sunny days – one down the Kylerhea to Sandaig Bay for a group of four local friends and another to the Kishorn Islands for a mother and daughter who were visiting from the Netherlands.

Sandaig Bay was stunning, with views back across to Skye and quite a number of seals to entertain us. Our guests were able to have a leisurely lunch on the aft deck before we had to head back up Kylerhea. A really lovely day out.


On the Kishorn trip it was so still and the water was too inviting for a teenager to not want to jump in! Just as Kira was about to brave it along came a massive jelly fish with very long tentacles… suddenly swimming wasn’t looking so good but with the three adults keeping jellyfish watch around the decks she finally made it in and did a couple of laps of the boat.

We also did our first ‘ Night at anchor’ cruise for local couple Christine & Kevin who run their own B&B on Skye. It is a curious thing that hosting for people who do a similar thing to us – whether it’s hospitality or professional sailing- can be rather nerve wrecking. Luckily Christine & Kevin were lovely and we had a great evening together. The trip was a birthday surprise so the next day, Kevin’s birthday, he had a fun ( and full!) breakfast onboard opening all his pressies before we slowly made our way from Poll Domhain back to Kyle.


For the rest of August we ran a series of two and three night cruises. All of these trips were north of Skye Bridge and included exploration up the Wester Ross and Skye coasts as well as visits to Rona and Raasay islands. We established a kind of triangular route which could vary as to direction and take in a number of different anchorages in between.

This month definitely saw a bonanza of wildlife spottings from our now famous Raasay Dolphins ( video on Facebook!), plenty of seals, pods of porpoises ( mainly close to the Crowlin Islands), sea- eagles off Rona and the Skye coast – and the fabulous otter which was swimming and feeding in Churchton Bay by Raasay. The weather overall was pretty good – not exactly the dog days of summer but good enough to enjoy being on deck to spot the wildlife and do some fabulous exploring ashore.

September was a very mixed month for weather with the equinox bringing some strong winds and cooler temperatures. We ran another lunch cruise, this time down to Eilean Donan castle. Red Moon’s cosy wheelhouse and galley- salon came into it’s own as we sailed through a rain shower or two. Luckily it turned sunny as we neared the castle so there was a good photo opportunity moment. As if to make up for the rain a very active pod of porpoises greeted us as we crossed the top of the Kylerhea where the tidal effects can create confused water.

Another birthday surprise ‘ Night at anchor ‘  cruise took place this month and this time we cruised down to the Kishorn Islands and anchored there for the night. This is a rather wonderful spot with panoramic views of the Applecross mountains, the harbour at Plockton and views across to the Cuillins on Skye. More obliging porpoises completed the return trip the next morning. Our guests were Rupert & Lin, another local couple who live and work on Skye and it was lovely to talk to them and learn more about life ashore in this wonderful area. In both cases of these special one night trips the  “surpriser ” managed to keep their surprises until they walked down to the Pontoons at Kyle and it was great being part of something so special!

We had three sets of guests from the United States this month and we loved showing them Skye ‘ from the sea’ as well as the other fabulous parts of this special place – the lochs and coves of Lochalsh and Wester Ross and the islands off Skye.

Another local couple joined us early in the month – they also live in Zimbabwe and have taken a number of cruises there, so they were at home on the water – albeit that the scenery and weather this time was very different. They had hoped to visit the Small Isles but wind and sea state did not favour going south from Kyle so, as ever with a plan B, Scott took us north under the Skye Bridge and we headed for Rona. On this trip we decided to make an evening stop at Eilean Fladday. Whilst windy, it was also a stunningly bright day and after a sail down from Rona, complete with sea eagle spotting, we had this interesting and atmospheric anchorage to ourselves.


We had stopped here earlier in August with some Swedish guests on a very misty evening and loved the private feel of the place.  Sarah and Gunnar took the opportunity to hike ashore on Raasay and visit Calum’s Road – a proper road built entirely by one man who realised in a big way “ if you want something doing, do it yourself”…

A couple more short trips completed our September activity – another birthday surprise, but this time a short day cruise complete with smoked salmon platter and bubbles and then an evening cruise with local beers and canapés for a film crew who were shooting on Skye.

After the lovely Indian summer we had in October 2016 we thought we would stay in Kyle a little longer and in many ways this worked out well as we had another three night booking from a charming Portuguese family who were very taken with Red Moon and just loved the scenery – so different from what they were used to at home.

Whilst waiting to leave Kyle we were at anchor one morning in Loch Na Beastie when Scott heard a dog barking ashore. This went on for sometime and so we had a look through the binoculars and could see ‘ a spaniel type dog’ – even at this distance he didn’t look like a working type dog. So being dog fanatics we had to check this out! We took Dougie, our tender, ashore and sure enough – not a spaniel but a gorgeous young red setter. He was shy of us at first but eventually gentle coaxing brought him to us and he was obviously  well cared for and we guessed, missing from home.

He was very happy to come in the tender and on our way over to Kyle we sent out a Facebook message. It didn’t take long to get some responses and a phone call to the local vet confirmed a red setter had been missing for two days! Within a couple of hours the power of social media brought Paddy’s owners to us and they were overjoyed to be reunited. A very happy  finale to our season in Skye and Lochalsh.

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