The first thing to note is that the Admiralty and Imray charts are of insufficient scale to make an entry to any of these bays with any degree of confidence with the exception of Loch Scresort on Rum; most people who come here have on board a copy of the Clyde Cruising Club’s Ardnamurchan point to Cape Wrath notes which give excellent chartlets or have the Antares charts on their chart plotter (or both!!)
Another thing to note is that the tidal streams through the Sound of Rum and the Sound of Eigg can be quite strong, you will encounter back eddies and overfalls at various states of the tide and weather. Note that about 4 hours before HW Dover it’s all over the place; but then again, that is not unusual in these parts and you will get used to the dearth of detailed information.
Approach to Scavaig is, initially, free of dangers; coming from the West or SW you can pass either side of Soay and, of course, coming from the East you need to watch out for Eilean na h-Airde and its associated shoals off the bottom of the Strathaird Promontory. From a distance the cleft peak of Sgurr na Stri (see the photo in our gallery) is a very good land mark just to the east of the Loch Scavaig anchorage and when you are closer in you’ll be able to pick out Eilean Reamhar and the water streaming out of Coruisk over the wide pavement of rock there.
The anchorage will still be out of sight behind Eilean Glas (but, if you are lucky, you will see the masts of yachts already at anchor there. Pass about half a cable east of Eilean Glas putting you in the deep channel between it and the partially submerged, and unmarked, Sgeir Docha. There is an anchorage in behind Eilean Reamhar if it looks as though the popular anchorage inside Eilean Glas is full.
Continue North West by North to pass half a cable east of Sgeir Doigich before altering a touch to port to make good the entrance of Loch na Cuilce (the main anchorage). There is a large rock slap in the middle of the entrance which is submerged at HW; you can pass either side of it but you really need to tip toe in on your echo sounder. After that just find a spot to drop your pick.
It is reported that there are rings on the shore to which you can attach a stern line continental style but a) we couldn’t find one and b) you need an extremely long warp to reach the shore. There is also a little bay just to the east of the popular anchorage (not where Coruisk empties, the next one) which we have been told, provides an alternative anchorage. Be aware that some quite strong and unexpected down draughts occur in these anchorages so extra cable, anchors or shore warps are recommended. There are two short videos of the approach to Loch Scavaig available at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZARXEJ3AfY
andhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9BdpgF3AxM Loch Scresort (Rum)
is not difficult to get into, you just have to be careful of the shoal sticking out from the South shore as you enter the loch but it is well marked with a NCM and should cause you no problems. As you can see from our photo gallery, this is a very popular destination for yachties; there were eighteen yachts at anchor by the beginning of the first watch when we were there and, throughout the evening the sound of 2 HP outboard motors was noticeable and, for one who rows his dinghy, a tad irritable!! For a bilge keeled yacht we found plenty of water about a cable off the old jetty (marked as “Ramp” on the AC) but deep keeled yachts had to anchor a bit further out. The Antares chart of the North shore shows deeper water on that shore of the loch but you would need an outboard to avoid a long row to the old quay from there as there was no sign of a well beaten path along the shore to the village on that side of the loch. Gallanach Bay (Muck)
This is a totally different kettle of fish to either of the other anchorages we have just described (and we haven’t a video or approach photos simply because, single handed, we were far too busy with the nav to take any!) The CCC chartlet and Antares chart were put to good use but the lead in bearing (and photograph) given by the CCC was of primary importance. You have to be careful identifying the wall that is the mark to keep in line with the barn roof as, further out, the Eastern end of Beinn Airean is far more obvious, similar and incorrect!!
Using the Seaclear plotter which meshed seamlessly with the Antares chart was of great help in the initial approach but once established on the lead in line further reference to the chart was unnecessary (but continuous!)
The entry to Port Mór is not difficult being well marked with lit navigation marks; just be careful if you are coming round from the North of the island to stay a good 3 or 4 cables off shore until you can see the Ro-ro pier between Dubh Sgeir and Bogha Ruadh (marked with lit perches) before turning in. Then anchor in the bay well clear of the pier.