We’re very glad that we made the decision to move all of 4 miles to North Harbour on the little island of Scalpay, which is now connected to the main island of Harris by an impressive road bridge, before leaving the Outer Hebrides. The yacht pontoon is run by Fred, the same manager as the one in Tarbert, and he told us there’d be space in the lee of a large offshore support vessel. North Harbour is a wonderful, natural haven but is open to strong winds from the west; it’s mostly used by fishermen and fish farm vessels.
|These allotments were known as 'lazybeds' to grow vegetables. Most have been abandoned but a few are still in use|
As sailors, we are always interested in lighthouses and have hiked out to many a remote spot around the world just to visit one. The architecture, and sheer bloody-mindedness of the people who designed the things, is also fascinating; they were determined to build something interesting and beautiful rather than simply functional. How happy were the labourers who actually constructed the things, as they carried materials out to remote and exposed locations and worked in all weathers, can only be imagined.
|Impressive bit of dyke-building, straight into a loch|
|The compressed air tanks for the foghorn. The original lighthouse tower can be seen behind them.|
|The Shiant Islands in the distance|
Having got our lighthouse fix, we hiked back along the well-marked scenic route which crossed peaty moorland, springy underfoot.
An excellent day was rounded off with an amazing meal at the North Harbour Bistro; happily we’d arrived on its first opening night of 2021 and the seafood was fantastic.
We’re now back on the mainland, after an excellent sail to Badachro in Loch Gairloch on Saturday and then a complete thrash, in wild wind and rain, yesterday to Plockton. By the look of the forecast, we’ll be here a couple of days and will hope to get some breaks in the rain and wind to explore ashore.