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Gairloch/Badachro to Acairseid Mhor/Rona 19 June 2007

Today I will be sailing to one of my favourite anchorages Acairseid Mhor on the west side of Rona. I first visited this peaceful spot with Ron and David Bradbury in August 1996 aboard David's yacht      Na-Mara a 35ft Barbican, which he  used to keep on his own mooring in Badachro. We did Badachro, Tanera Mor (summer isles), Loch Inver, Loch Thurnaig, Rona, loch Torridon, Badachro, so I am very much looking forward to returning. its only about sixteen Nm so I can have a very easy day. The sun is shining and its warm for a change so I have changed into shorts T shirt and sandals, for my first chance to get some air and sun to my body.

By 12.00 I have rounded Nares Rock and altered course for Sgeir Shuas light off the NW tip of Rona. the wind is NW/F2 so I am sailing very peacefully at 3kn towards my destination, I am enjoying the sunshine and calm waters, and by 13.30 I am passing over Hinds Shoal, the wind has died so I try a bit of fishing. 14.00 and four yachts heading north pass by all under power with no sails up, and by 14.20 the wind has gone completely with the sea like glass, the fish aren't biting so I start the donk and motor sail, entering the sound of Rassay at 15.30 and alter course for Acairseid Mhor 3nm away. All I have to do now is find the entrance which is easier from the south as there is a large arrow painted on the rock which shows the way through the entrance, caution is required on entry as there are some hazards guarding the fairway.

16.30 and the anchor is down and dug in,  I prepare to go ashore where I should get a telephone signal to ring Linda to report my safe arrival. Things have changed around here since I was last here. There is now a landing pier although this is occupied by three ribs. The bungalow looks the same, and as I walk up the hill to check out the showers my mobile indicates a signal is available. After reporting home I continue up to the bungalow to check out the showers, and find them just as before so I will return later.

The three ribs alongside the pier are owned by a group touring the islands who have rented the Bothey (Bunkhouse) for a few days, and there are now three of cottages for rent. There one other boat in the harbour when I entered but more boats could still arrive later. After talking to the group in the Bothey for some time I return to Anita to collect my wash bag, towels are provided for a small charge. Bill Cowie who seems to do everything, and has worked hard to make this island more comfortable for visitors, welcomes me at the bungalow when I return for my shower and explains some of his plans for the future, so if you want to get away from the rat race this is one place you should consider.

Back on Anita I prepare dinner and enjoy the tranquillity of this marvellous anchorage, its no wonder I always return when I sail in Scotland. After dinner and with the dishes washed and put away another yacht enters and anchors, just far enough away to allow for the swing, but near enough to exchange greetings, and with another invite aboard to join two friends enjoying a few days sailing away from their home port of Plockton. After fruit and custard and a glass of wine its back to Anita to turn in for the night.