Thursday, September 11, 2014

SMALL-SHIP CRUISING IN THE HEBRIDES (Part 6): LAST FULL DAY


Our last full day aboard the Majestic Line's Glen Tarsen was warm and sunny for a long cruise around the Ross of Mull on the southeast of the island.
It is a wild and rugged corner marked by huge cliffs, crags, and rocks. Golden Eagles are king here and soar and circle the heights. Here too are sea stacks, natural arches and caves. We lunched at Carsaig, a small bay with a few houses and a church, before we continued round the bottom of Mull. Seals were abundant in an area of low rocks.

The highlight of this day was a late shore excursion to Duart's Castle on the southeast corner of the island. This is the ancestral home of the Clan Maclean and is located in a perfect defensive position on a spit of land.


The castle has been here since 1350 guarding the Sound of Mull. But the Macleans surrendered it to the Duke of Argyle in 1691, along with all their land on Mull. It was abandoned in 1751 and bought back by the clan's 26th Chief in 1910. He began the restoration. Today it's open to the public and a very worthwhile castle to visit.

At 5pm the Glen Tarsen sailed to our last anchorage for dinner past this lighthouse (below left) that we saw on our first evening on board, and then tucked into a cove between a small islet and the Isle of Lismore.


We ate a special dinner together and afterwards took photos to remember everyone.  It was a sad time knowing we would be parting from new friends in the morning.


We sailed into Oban harbour (above right and below) soon after breakfast as the sun was burning off the morning mist.  Taking a last look at our ship that had been a superb home for a week with a great crew, we grew quiet, filled with memories....

The row of stately, Victorian hotels at Oban



IMAGES: © Photos by Pharos 2014. All rights reserved