Sailing Adventures – Part 3.

Welcome to the next recap of our sailing voyage.

From Jura we sailed up to the Sound of Iona and found a snug anchorage for the night at the south end of the Sound in a place called ‘Tinkers Hole’. This is a small anchorage set amongst a group of rocky islands which some have likened to a disused quarry; though it is actually quite attractive. The following morning we set sail and passed close by the island of Staffa, made famous by the extraordinary formation of basalt columns surrounding the entrance to Fingal’s cave where, on a visit in 1829, Felix Mendelssohn was inspired to write The Hebridean Overture, often known as ‘Fingal’s Cave’

 

After a quick sail past and photo shoot we bore off to the east towards the west coast of Mull, heading for one more of my most favoured anchorages, Carsaig Bay, tucked beneath the hills of Ulva Island which is separated from Mull by a narrow stretch of water.

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Much like Jura, there is a panoramic vista of sheer beauty. 360 degrees of stunning views impossible to catch on camera without compromising the splendour, you have to be there 🙂

On another glorious sunny day we took a walk along the coast, to one side the sea, with views to the Ross of Mull, Iona, Staffa, the Treshnish Islands and Coll, to the other the towering hillside looming almost vertically up. A few glimpses were had of wild deer.

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There is another side to this beautiful area. As in so many parts of Scotland it fell foul to the infamy of ‘land clearances’, an enforced simultaneous eviction of all families living in a given area such as an entire glen. Most often these evictions were sudden and brutal, whole communities were displaced from their homes at short notice, a form of ‘ethnic cleansing’. Many of the people moved on to other areas in the Highlands, Lowlands or coastal areas, many emigrated to Canada, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand.

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It is sobering to think of the physical and emotional hardship placed upon the people.

 

A poem – The Dispossessed

Crumbling walls,

bare outlines,

mark the remains of dwellings where

people toiled,

loved and raised children.

They came with force,

‘leave!’

No choice, herded, beaten,

to submission.

The plight began, the tears, the homeless,

‘where do we go?’

‘Not our problem, we want our land.’

Land no man can own,

what right,

what man

can own mountains,

valleys or streams?

Upon what act against God

who created

for all to share,

did they deem to own?

Own what you make or earn,

you cannot own by taking

from fellow man

or God’s earth.

With few possessions, all

you could carry,

you searched new pastures,

far and wide.

Who lived, who died?

Who cared?

What became of you people,

long gone now?

Did you find fortune and joy,

or despair and poverty,

health or disease?

Was hope crushed?

I see your homes,

desolate,

abandoned.

What became of you,

poor people?

I wonder, as I pass

wild flowers

blowing in the breeze,

peace.

What became of you?

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We walked more and then rested overlooking the sea, a light picnic of fruit and chocolate. Fewer insect bites than at Jura 🙂 We then made our return. Back on board we enjoyed a good curry washed down with wine in preparation for departure in the morning and said farewell to Carsaig Bay until next years voyage.

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