Spring around the Small Isles

Voyage 0120: March 21 to March 27, 2020

Selkie’s first voyage of the season is a celebration of Spring’s arrival.  We are ready for it after the long dark hours of a winter on Eigg where precious daylight is spent doing boat maintenance, planning the jobs around the winter gales, spending many hours by headtorch to keep up with croft tasks, exercise and socializing. It is with joy that the days grow longer and the clocks go forward and all of a sudden it’s light again in the evening. There are flowers pushing through the warming earth. The pastures and hillsides start to turn green with new growth. Buds on the trees promise of the season to come. Wild garlic, new dandelions, sorrel and other delicacies emerge in the woodlands and gardens. Birds start arriving and populating the cliffs and nesting boxes. Geese fly overhead honking towards the northwest and the sun sets further and further north. The islands emerge from winter and the island people, flora and fauna are ready for it!

Join myself and Camille Dressler, historian, forager, qigong practitioner and raconteur for a week of Spring discovery on this slow sailing adventure. We will meet you in Mallaig early afternoon on Saturday 21 March (coincides with train from Glasgow). Selkie will be moored at the marina and you will come onboard and be greeted by myself and Camille and introduced to the boat, your bunk and a delicious welcoming snack. 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 Camille. 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 a 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. At each anchorage we will have the opportunity to go ashore and discover the unique story and nature of the place.

It is a fantastic opportunity to be exploring these isles with Camille. She is the author of “Eigg: the story of an island”, the Small Isles county councilor and chair of the Scottish Islands Federation and European Islands Federation. Her knowledge of the tales of these islands and water, past and present, are second to none. She is also an awesome chef, forager and crafter.

Our voyage ends on the Isle of Eigg. Both Camille and myself live on this island and we have many tales and places to show you. Selkie has a mooring here and you will get the chance to see her dried out when the tide goes out. We will spend our evening here, enjoying a final meal and you will have the opportunity to visit the Galmisdale Cafe and have a dram. We 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 on Friday 27 March, taking with you many wonderful memories and hopefully a desire to return to this stunning area.

Food on Selkie this week: Camille brings us a fusion of French and Scottish cuisine. All our food is sourced locally and sustainably where possible. For this voyage I can provide lamb, eggs and seasonal vegetables from my croft and also pheasant and duck from 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 Spring Sail photographs…

Voyage 0120: March 21 to March 27, 2020 – Mallaig to Eigg

Voyage Start Date End Date Availability Price Per Person *
0120 21/03/2020 27/03/2020 Bunks available £1045.00

For more information or further clarification, please get in touch with Selkie Explorers using the methods listed on our Contact page.

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One of the dolphins that sometimes play in Selkie’s bow wave (Photo: Celia Bull)

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Complete Schedule of Selkie’s Voyages in 2020