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Scavaig, Rum & Muck

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign




AC 2207 Point of Ardnamurchan to the sound of Sleat; AC 2208 Mallaig to Canna Harbour; Imray C66 Mallaig to Outer Hebrides (not suitable for close in nav); SC 5616 Ardnamurchan to the Shiant Islands (several covering this area)

Rules & Regulations

None Known


Scavaig: large rock/reef in the middle of the final entrance. Gallanach Bay (Muck) rocks and reefs close to the line of the approach

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW in the Small Isles is between 45 mins (Sp) and 1.30 (Np) before HW Ullapool and at Loch Scavaig it is 40mins before HW Ullapool. Small Isles MHWS 4.7m MHWN 3.5m MLWN 1.6m MLWS 0.5m. Scavaig is 0.2m less throughout the range.

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General Description

The Small Isles consist of Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna and you can spend three or four days exploring them (and many do);

 This set of destinations is only for Muck & Rum and we have included Scavaig, although beautiful, doesn’t merit it’s own single entry.  Hopefully we can improve on that in the years to come. 

Loch Scavaig
There is an enclosed bay at the head of this Loch which is unsurpassed for its beauty as it is buried deep inside the Cuillins which swoop down on all sides into the sea. There is also a “sound” backdrop provided by the waterfall tumbling down on the NW side. There is nothing here but the view and most people just drop in for the night and a walk round the headland to Loch Coruisk and then set off for somewhere else.

If you are an experienced mountaineer/hill walker you may want to stay a while and explore the Cuillins on foot, but note we used the word “experienced”; as a country afternoon walker you will get away with a gentle clamber round to Coruisk but even then it can be boggy and is strewn with granite boulders to turn your ankle; for the rest of us, best viewed from the bottom.

Loch Scresort (Rum)
This is a very popular anchorage; it is easy to get in and out, there’s plenty of room and there are some services ashore. There is also the attraction of Kinloch Castle (more of which later). The island is owned by Scottish Natural Heritage and some of it has been designated as an SSI. These days there are no restrictions on rambling on the island but you are expected to treat it with respect. There are guided walks available, you can hire bicycles or just do one of their nature trails. The Castle is open with guided tours during the summer.

The smallest of the Small Isles, Muck has the best agricultural land and less hilly than the others, (Rum of course is more mountainous than “hilly”) There are two anchorages here, one tricky one on the Northern side (Gallanach Bay) and one on the South, Port Mór.  There are some facilities at Port Mór but no shops; apart from the farm most of the accommodation is given over to holiday lets and they have to bring all their domestic supplies with them.


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!!) There three or four charts covering bits and pieces of these islands - I have tried to make a composite but they are different scales and projections and it came out a bit weird!  It would be a good idea to shell out on the Admiralty 5616 leisure portfolio for a trip in these waters

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:




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.  We are told that there is now a pontoon here at Port Mor with "limited depth"; one would have to swing the lead and do the sums if berthing here.

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

This has been dealt with above


Loch Scavaig   There are no facilities here and the bothy is firmly locked.

Loch Scresort   Strangely enough all services apart from shore power and Gas/Gaz are available; there are even showers in a shower block shared with the campsite. There is a village hall with an adjoining Post Office and shop. The village hall has a café and is the centre of social life and the shop with unusual continental opening hours (it closes for the afternoon and is open during the dog watches),  has an off sales licence and acts as the bar in the early evening until the café opens for the evening and becomes the local bar.

The shop which is described in the CCC notes as having “limited stock” is anything but and carries quite a lot of what can only be described as “gourmet” items. Kinloch castle is open for formal tours which start, once a day, at either 1330 or 1400 depending on the day of the week and you should check which, to avoid disappointment, if that is your main reason for coming here.

We landed here after 1400, walked round to visit the castle and found it closed and then walked further round to the shop only to find that it, too, was closed until 1700 and returned on board to sally forth later in the day! Unfortunately we only had the one night here and missed the castle altogether.

Gallanach Bay has no services and one has to go round to Port Mór to find showers and water as well as a small hotel for a meal ashore (better book)

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

You will have to fend for yourself at Scavaig but you are likely to find some impromptu entertainment in the community hall at both Port Mór and Loch Scresort.


Your Ratings & Comments

Written by Don Thomson 3 | 16th Jul 2021
No changes
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 16th Jul 2021
No changes
Update summer 2019
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 1st Jul 2019
These notes were reviewed in July 2019. I haven't heard of any changes but have updated the charts.
Anchoring Rhum
Written by Northern Way | 15th Jul 2018
Anchored between the CalMac slipway and opposite shore. Witnessed a couple of yachts departing with lots of weed on their anchors.
Wind got up and there was some vicious gusts coming down out of the mountains.
Slowly started to drag until the CQR had picked up enough weed to make it ineffective.
Took a long time to clear it and then could not get it to set again.
Called it a day and headed to Skye.
Canna anchoring
Written by dashhouse | 26th Jun 2018
I anchored in Canna in June 2018, in 3m in the middle of the bay to the west of the Cal-Mac slip. There was no weed, just a lovely muddy bottom!
July 2017 visit to Canna
Written by Eclipse II | 31st Jul 2017
First visit for us and a great natural harbour with 8 visitor moorings (no pick up buoys) round the perimeter of the harbour. Some beautiful walks but not many places to bring the dinghy ashore due to the large rise & fall of the tide. We used the Cal-Mac slip and carried the dinghy up to the top of the slip as the ferry wasn't due that day. The small restaurant / bar is open and has wifi. The adjacent shop sells some local produce eg eggs, milk and some basic stores etc and island souvenirs and houses the honesty box which is £10 a night per buoy. A regularly cleaned toilet (and visitor room) and skips for rubbish are on the Cal-Mac pier.
Written by Don Thomson | 18th Apr 2017
I reviewed these notes in April 2017. Apart from the addition of the pontoon in Port Mor on Muck I have made no changes.
Muck visiors pontoon.
Written by birdman | 1st Sep 2016
Hi, Muck (Port Mor) now has an excellent visitors pontoon! Room for about 6 vessels, cost £5, proceeds to the primary school. It has limited depth but provides a useful alternative to anchoring in this cosy bay for modest size yachts.
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Rum, Muck & Canna
Written by Miura | 20th Apr 2015
Visited all 3 last year in good weather. We really had superb cruising. Rum was definitely the most interesting and the old mansion is worth a visit. There is a guided tour every afternoon. There are well marked hiking trails from the village. There was no restaurant open when we were there. The holding in Loch Scresort is slightly suspect - we had several goes with our Rocna to get through the weed.
Canna has a very picturesque anchorage. Again, thick kelp was a bit of a challenge. There is very good fishing quite close inshore to the NE of the approach to anchorage entrance. We filled a bin bag in no time just before going in. NB. The Isle of Canna restaurant is no longer on Canna! We booked it only to discover it had moved to the mainland the year before. Lucky we had the fish!
We also visited Muck, anchoring in Port Mor. There was a tea room near the anchorage with a decent evening menu. The entrance looked tricky but the CCC SDs are more than adequate to get in safely. In good weather this cruising ground is on a par with the best available anywhere on the planet in my humble opinion. Don't forget your mosquito repellant or you will provide fine dining for hordes of local midges.
Update 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 10th Apr 2015
These notes were reviewed by Don in April 2015. Nothing has changed (or is likely to!)
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