Each day I am astounded by the vistas that greet me as I go about my life on the Isle of Eigg, looking over to Rum, Skye and the mainland. The Small Isles are a feast for the eyes and an exploration of the sea, lochs, beaches and mountains of this area of the west coast of Scotland are food for the soul. On a sailboat we use the wind and respect the sea to journey safely in an area of astounding natural beauty where we bear witness to the birds and sea creatures that feed and breed in these nutrient rich waters. There truly is nothing like sharing the bow with dolphins as they weave and dive, playing dare as Selkie cuts through the water. Or lying on your stomach on top of a cliff looking down at the sea birds and seals. Or sailing past the sea eagle nest watching for signs of chicks and fledglings. Or watching a sea eagle get fed up with a gull haranguing it, turn upside down in an aerial illusion and grab it with both talons to then fly heavily off with the overzealous bird dangling limp. Or be onlooking when a minke whale leaps three quarters of its immense body out of the water, breaching five or six times in succession. Or enter a sea cave in quiet conditions and see the sea urchins stretching spines along the submerged rock wall, torch light picking out the space carved by wave action of a million storms. Each voyage brings its own unique stories to tell. Join Selkie to discover yours.
We will meet you in Mallaig where Selkie will be moored at the marina. You will be greeted by myself and the crew and introduced to the boat, your bunk and a delicious welcoming snack or meal, depending on our time of departure. After a safety briefing, we will head out for our first sail on Selkie to our first anchorage in this most stunning of areas. Once there we can relax around the table with an “anchordram” and the first of many marvelous meals cooked by one of Selkie’s amazing chefs. If there is time, we will head to shore for a wander returning to Selkie for an evening of conviviality.
As the days go by you will learn how to sail Selkie: how to prepare for sailing each day, to lift the anchor, to hoist the mainsail, to unfurl the genoa and inner sail, to lift and drop the keel, to trim the sails and learn the nautical terms. I will show you knots and navigation, the different points of sail and you will emerge from our week together feeling that you really got to grips with the basics of sailing this big beautiful boat that takes us to new places to explore and discover.
Where we go will depend upon the conditions we encounter at the time of the voyage. Each night we will sleep on the boat at anchor in one of the myriads of beautiful sheltered bays on and around the Small Isles and beyond. At each anchorage we will have the opportunity to go ashore and discover the unique story and nature of the place.
Our voyage usually ends on the Isle of Eigg. This is where I live and there are many tales and places to show you. Selkie has a mooring here and you may get the chance to see her dried out when the tide goes out. We will spend our final evening here, enjoying a last dinner together and you will have the opportunity to visit the Galmisdale Cafe and have a dram. I try and plan to have enough time ashore at Eigg to climb the Sgurr for those who wish. You journey back to Mallaig by the island ferry, taking with you many wonderful memories and hopefully a desire to return to this stunning area.
Food on Selkie is an important part of our voyage. All our food is sourced locally and sustainably where possible. I provide lamb, eggs and seasonal vegetables from my croft and also pheasant and duck from the Isle of Muck. I myself follow a plant-based diet so there is already a vegetarian/vegan option in the menu. We can and have catered for various diets and allergens. Please ask about what you require.
Click on any image to enlarge and view all Selkie Island Explorer photographs…
Price for 6 nights voyage
|Double Bunk (Aft) (2 people sharing/single occupancy)||Bunk available||£2880/£1980|
|Double Bunk (Forward)||Bunk available||£2880/£1980|
|Single Bunk (Aft)||Bunk available||£1800|
|Single Bunk (Lower)||Bunk available||£1620|
Hebrides Explorer Dates 2022/23
|Retreat||Start Date||End Date|
|22-HE3||Sunday 14 August||Saturday 20 August|
|22-HE4||Sunday 28 August||Friday 2 September|
|23-HT||Saturday 27 May||Friday 2 June|
|23-HE||Saturday 9 September||Friday 15 September|