Saturday, September 6, 2014

SMALL-SHIP CRUISING IN THE INNER HEBRIDES (Part 1)

The Isle of Col
After a four-hour ferry ride from Tiree to Oban on the mainland of Scotland, we joined our home for the next week.  The ferry stops at the small island of Col and then wiggles through the islands, down the Sound of Mull, into the harbour of Oban. We had only twenty minutes to get to the meeting place in a resto on the waterfront.

Oban is bigger than I remembered it in the late '60s and felt full of tourists. Attractive waterfront. The crew took all our baggage out to the ship first and then gathered up
The Glen Tarsen in Oban
five passengers at a time for the ride out to the ship in a small tender. Just missed a sharp shower. The Glen Tarsen is one of two ships in the Majestic Line. She accommodates only twelve passengers and four crew in comfort.

After a quick briefing from the skipper and chef, we sailed. Loved the view of Duart Castle, clan home to the Macleans, which we hope to visit at the end of the cruise.
Fresh Langoustines caught off
Mull this morning


We anchored in Loch Aline, a long narrow inlet with a scattering of houses near the water’s edge clinging to steep slopes that drop into the loch. Flat calm and late day sunshine. Soon the appies arrived. The chef produced a huge bowl of Mull langoustines perfectly cooked and two canap├ęs. I’ve never tasted better anywhere.

Dining long-table
style on board





Dinner was wild Scottish salmon wrapped in proscuitto with a pomodoro sauce and asparagus. I had halibut instead and looked with envy at the salmon. Again perfectly cooked and presented. This is going to be a foodie’s cruise. Free red or white wine with dinner! Desert was a chocolate/caramel tart, which was very French to me. Followed by a cheese board — four local cheeses. The chef told us that we will have a cheeseboard every evening. Also we will never taste the same cheeses again. Different every night. Bliss.





IMAGES: Photos by Pharos 2014. All rights reserved.