11 May 2019

Given fabulous scenery, perfect weather and ideal company, what else could contribute to the enjoyment of a week spent exploring the Hebrides?  The answer for our group is Rob Barlow and his crew aboard the Elizabeth G.  Now an annual fixture in our calendar, Rob’s cruises seem to get better every year and 2019 has surpassed them all.  As well as incomparable scenery, our interests include wildlife, geology, history and archaeology and we see it all, in abundance.  This year we visited, or re-visited, ten islands and we get particular pleasure when we are landed on an island which is only rarely seen by others.  Between islands the dolphins gave delightful impromptu displays of bow-riding and impressive bird lists were compiled, both ashore and at sea.  Having sailed these waters for many years, Rob knows them well and his advice regarding likely destinations is invaluable.  Choices can vary according to weather reports and expected sea states but he never seems to fail finding a calm, sheltered anchorage for the night.  This is important both for a good night’s sleep and for the splendid meal which precedes it.  This year Mags performed miracles in her small galley and the meals she produced are listed among the highlights of the trip.  Craig, the bosun, was kept busy, manoeuvring the anchor, launching the tender, helping us ashore and back on board, serving in the saloon and many other tasks.  In spite of the pressure he kept cheerful and friendly and, most impressively, he could address us all by name within minutes of our arrival.  The cabin layout is a great improvement, there is better storage space for personal belongings and each cabin now having an en suite toilet and shower is real luxury.  Our group’s booking for next year has been made already!  Chris Knowles



Chris Knowles