Posts tagged 'Staffin'

Skye 2012 – a fair Friday

Posted by on September 6th 2012 in Fishing, Great Escapes, Summer Holidays

I was up and awake early on Friday morning - the previous evening the kids said that they wanted me to take them fishing. Ella managed to extract herself from her duvet but Anna was stuck fast to the bed, so it was just the two of us that went down to the rocks at An Laman.

Neither the tide nor the weather were favourable - high tide was three hours away and the water was almost flat-calm. Nevertheless we got tackled-up and were soon thrashing the water with our lures. As expected, we didn't get many takes and after a few hours our tally was just a single suicidal mackerel. The guys fly-fishing a few yards away were doing better, taking a fair few pollack. When we'd had enough and had packed away we went over for a chat and came away with the kind donation of a 4+ pounder for our evening meal. Thanks, guys!

We returned to the cottage just in time to meet Arthur, the gardener, with whom we had a delightful chat over a cup of tea while watching the birds soaring right above the cottage. One of the birds was bigger, tattier and less flappy than the others which were obviously buzzards, it's been suggested that the odd-one-out was an eagle but I'm not convinced. What say you?


For all you die-hard bird fans, here's a clickthrough subset of 16 more.


After all that excitement Arthur was on his way and Chris was eager to be out for some fresh air. We went for a short drive down the coast, stopping at a few places for short strolls to the cliffs to see if we could spot any whales. The first stop was at Bàgh nan Gunnaichean where there were fine views of Stacan Gobhlach and the mirror-flat waters northwards:




We didn't see any whales there, so we drove a bit further south to the cliffs above Loch Sheanta. Chris and Ella went down to the loch while I stayed up top with Anna. We still didn't see any whales but we did see about a dozen large shoals of fish at the surface:

Two of the shoals

A couple of opportunist anglers tried their luck over one of the other shoals:

From there we nipped into the garage/shop on the main road at Stenscholl near Staffin, in order to stock up on sweets, cake and other essentials. We almost made it to the beach at Staffin but the heavens opened as we pulled into the car-park so we bailed and headed back northwards. The weather was still fine at Bàgh nan Gunnaichean from where we could see the clouds building up over Harris and Lewis:

A long shot

After a fine meal of filleted donated pollack, served with whatever was left in the cupboard, we spent the rest of the evening packing so that we could be away on time the day after. We really didn't want to leave but we knew that there was interesting stuff to see on the way home.

To be continued...

Skye 2012 – a Thursday around the Quiraing

Posted by on September 5th 2012 in Great Escapes, Summer Holidays

After Wednesday's recce, an ass-assessment and a back-check we thought we'd see if I was up to carrying a daysack up and around The Quiraing. The day was forecast to be fair until late afternoon so we went for it. As usual, while waiting for the others I managed to get some pics from the front garden:



Here's a snap of the northern end of the Quiraing picking up a bit of morning sunlight:

The last post

Here's the route that we would take:



We were soon installed in the upper car-park and the walk-in to where we reached the day before was straightforward, I didn't take any pics during this stage. Beyond that, however, the scenery just kept getting better and better:


On the approach to the step

It's only when you're beyond the step that you really get a proper sense of the scale and proportions of the place. The further you go the smaller you feel, and without a distant horizon in sight it's hard to tell when you've got the camera level. It's a very disorientating place!

Approaching The Prison

Towers, spikes and buttresses

The Prison

The track to The Prison

Sheltering behind a dyke

Looking up

Here's a thing that'll play with your eyes... mouseover the following pic to see Ella on The Prison... twice:

Hide and seek


Beyond The Prison, looking across to Staffin


Those three allegedly-wise monkeys again

Camo Girl


Eventually the path climbs out of the trough and gains the ridge via some mild zig-zags near Fir Bhreugach. We had a breather here in the fresh breeze. Here's the view from there northwards towards Kilmaluag:

Looking northwards

The path follows the escarpment as it rises to the shoulder of Meall na Suiramach (543m), and the views over the edge are immense:

The view towards Dùn Mòr and Staffin

The Table, viewed from the north

Sròn Vourlinn and Leac nan Fionn

Chris on the edge!

The southern end of The Table

Humps and hollows


The southern end of The Table again

Anna forging on ahead


The final leg was down the steepening grassy slope of Maoladh Mòr to join with the outbound path above the upper car-park. From there it was a short drive back to the cottage.

The rest of the afternoon was spent winding-down. Showers out at sea provided some odd rainbows...


... and the hunting in the fields provided more opportunities for bird-watching:


The back and the butt had held up well to the outing, I felt that I might be on the mend but I knew that I'd need a few more days like that. I certainly slept well that night.

To be continued...

Skye 2012 – a wet Wednesday

Posted by on September 2nd 2012 in Fishing, Great Escapes, Summer Holidays

I must have slept well on Tuesday night because the next morning was awake at stupid o'clock. The kids were still snoring and Chris was dozing on the settee so I grabbed the fishing tackle, made my excuses and went down to the rocks at An Laman just in time to catch the turn of the tide after this overnighting boat had departed. I'm not sure but think it was the gaff cutter L208 Eda Frandsen:

Setting sail

I was chucking 28g Tobys out to about 50 yards (wind-assisted) and was dragging them back just above the bottom, I was getting takes every three or four casts for a couple of hours, some stayed on the hook but a lot didn't. Even so, after an hour I'd caught enough keepers to feed the family and I ended up doing catch-and-release. In all, I'd caught about a dozen and brought home only three - any more would have been greedy. The biggest keeper was a shade under 5lb, I'd lost two others about the same size and there were two huge feckers that I never got anywhere near landing, I've no idea what they were.

Anyway, here's me handling one of my three pollacks:

None of these fish answered to the name "Colin"


A while later a shower passed over and treated us to a fine rainbow:

Shame about the post

The afternoon got progressively wetter so we got in the car and hit the road. First stop was the farm on the road to Uig to pick up some logs and kindling from their roadside honesty-box, then we went on into Uig to see if we could find anywhere that sold fishing tackle. Amazingly,  the is no such place in Uig, we were told that the nearest place to buy tackle was Portree! This turned out to be untrue - a few days later (and too late for us) we found that the garage/shop on the main road at Stenscholl near Staffin sells the stuff.

Instead of heading to Portree again we crossed the peninsula using the mountain road from Uig to Brogaig, stopping off at the upper car-park for a brief recce of the bizarre landscape area of The Quiraing. We didn't explore far as we were inappropriately kitted-out for the drizzly conditions, but it was still an interesting place to see:

 The Quiraing

Bioda Budhie overlooking Cleat

The track across The Quiraing

Rainbow over Staffin

Back at the cottage the neighbours were having a get-together:

Soay sheep?

Choosing an evening meal wasn't difficult, we cut the largest pollack into three huge steaks and open-baked them, they went down well with some spuds and fresh veg.. The other fish were gutted and frozen to take back home.

To be continued...

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