A Thousand Island Cruise

From Lundy , Scilly and home

Our arrival back in the Solent and our last island , the Isle of Wight , was something of a culture shock. The summer holiday season was in full swing , and if that didn’t make the Solent crowded enough , the fleets of Gurnard dinghy week and a posse of Extreme 40 catamarans whizzing around completely out of control certainly did!

From Coming home

It was a far cry from our earlier visits to the islands of the Scillies , the Roaring Water Bay archipelago , the ancient Skelligs , wild Blaskets , the Aran islands and many more between Galway and the north coast of Mayo. Out there in the west we might not see another boat all day, yet alone a yacht. There are 360 islands in Clew Bay alone and by the time we had worked our way to the top of the Outer Hebrides we had given up counting. Soay ,Rhum , Eigg , Canna ,Staffa , the Treshnish islands , Iona and Davy Balfours anchorage on Erisaid : most of these visited on just a couple of extraordinary days! Our Scottish departure was from the civilised island of Islay,from whence we were swept past Rathlin island by a 7 knot current in the North channel , dimly saw the Isle of Man on the horizon , reacquainted ourselves with the Copeland Islands at Donaghadee, and Lambay and Irelands Eye in Jamie’s old stamping ground of Howth.

From Lundy , Scilly and home

Wales kept up the standard with the phenomenal wild life of Skomer , Lundy opened her secrets to us after 30 years of trying and the Scillies welcomed us back with 5 days of sunshine (and 20 times as many yachts as on our way out; but in good weather there was room for everyone!) Portland looked like an island as we approached to take the inshore passage and the dear old Isle of Wight was as stunning as ever as we swept through the Needles channel with the tide.

From Lundy , Scilly and home

Im not sure what it is that is so attractive about islands. We seldom visit without dreaming of buying some land and staying to enjoy the peace and proximity to nature that seems impossible on the mainland , but that way we would miss out on the next 1000 islands that are out there waiting to be explored! And if there is a better way to get close up and personal to nature than on a small boat I have yet to find it .
I guess we had better start planning the next cruise .

I cant wait!

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