Our Skippers – over 90 years of combined experience on the west coast of Scotland

The Isles of the Hebrides and the West Coast of Scotland are stunning places to visit, and our three Skippers have the intimate knowledge and expertise of wildlife and seamanship to unveil the best parts to our guests.  Between the three of them, they have over 90 years of combined experience of navigating these waters. 

Our remaining availability for 2018 is for our autumn cruises so we asked our three skippers what their favourite autumn anchorage was.  Autumn can sometimes provide the best weather of the season, with the beautiful autumn light adding even more drama and colour to the outstanding scenery. Autumn is also when wildlife is at its most prolific, with the young of many species very visible and autumn migrations.  At least 60 bird species are identified on any cruise.

Skipper Rob Barlow: his favourite autumn anchorage is Canna Harbour

Canna harbour on the Isle of Canna, one of the “Small Isles”, is a very scenic harbour and very sheltered.  It is the ideal location for landing guests ashore in the tender to enjoy the walks, wildlife and scenery. Seals, otters, golden eagles, and many seabirds and shore birds are seen. A walk up Compass Hill is easily achievable, offering stunning 360-degree views, looking south to Ardnamurchan, west to Digh Sgeir, north west to the Outer Hebrides, from North Uist to Barra, and east to the Cuillins of Skye. The perfect end to a perfect day on Canna is to call in to Cafe Canna for a blether with the locals and a reviving drink or delicious cake.

Skipper James Fairbairns: his favourite autumn anchorage is Isle of Eigg

The Isle of Eigg, one of the "Small Isles" has a secluded, quiet harbour in a dramatic setting with the massive cliffs of the Sgurr of Eigg towering above the vessel. There are regular sightings of dolphins and whales and occasionally basking sharks while at anchor, whilst enjoying sundowners on the foredeck, with the sun turning brilliant orange as it sets behind the Sgurr. This is one of the best places for guests to catch fresh mackerel for the Chef to prepare for dinner. Many of our guests opt to go ashore to scale the Sgurr of Eigg, providing amazing views of the other islands and the Cuillins of Skye

Skipper Chris Ireland: his favourite autumn anchorage is Loch Ceann Traigh, Ardnamurchan Peninsula

After a thrilling day at sea, watching out for cetaceans and seabirds, Skipper Chris loves this anchorage with fantastic views of the Small Isles and Skye. Loch Ceann is fringed with beautiful golden sandy beaches and machair which is a haven for otters and shorebirds and provides excellent coastal walks with outstanding scenery.  This lovely sheltered anchorage is perfect for a coastal sunset. Nearby is beautiful Kentra Bay with more options for glorious beach walks.

Autumn Cruises 2018

We still have availability on some of our autumn cruises at great value, with two solo guest availability at no supplement:

Skye and the Small Isles: hebridean horizons

Mull, Iona, Staffa and the Cairns of Coll

The Small Isles and sea lochs: Wildlife Havens