• Asha

From Mallaig to the Sound of Mull

Timeline: 22nd of September arrival in Mallaig. 29th of September left Mallaig and arrived in an anchorage in the Sound of Mull, stayed 2 nights. 1st of October - arrival in Marina Kerrera.


Mallaig turned out to be a really cool spot and we stayed put for an entire week! The marina is adjacent to a large fishing harbour. It looks really beautiful at night with multicolour illuminations on the cliffs overlooking the harbour. The facilities have a very high standard and are kept in spotless conditions. We had a real feast for our tastebuds after discovering the local bakery and pizza place. Amazing what level of happiness can be achieved thanks to carbs overload!


The town is very busy with tourist who come here to experience a bit of Harry Potter's magic by arriving on a train with carriages decorated in the Orient Express style and propelled by a steam locomotive. According to the website, this experience is described as the greatest railway journey in the world. I would hope so if it carries the young wizards of the United Kingdom to their school. This 84 mile round trip starts near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, it visits Britain's most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig; passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis! I have no idea why Hogwarts is not on the list of stops... It sort of put me off the journey because if I'm not having a cup of magic soup with Dumbledore then why would I go on the train. Jokes aside, the train looks great, the locomotive puffs real steam and to get out of Mallaig station it pushes the train cars rather than pulling them as the train track ends there, or begins.


There is also a magic shop up an alley at the back of the marina facilities. It doesn't sell magic wands, nor books of spells so if anyone is interested in supernatural phenomenas then I guess forest trip is recommended in search for some magic stuff offered by Mother Nature.


Although the Harry Potter stuff is a bit of a spoof, the town has definitely a great degree of magic and some magicians operate here as some managed to conjure for us full gas bottles and diesel of which there is a massive shortage in the country. Huge thanks to Johnston Brothers chandlery in Mallaig! The marina and harbour staff are super nice and helpful.


We left Mallaig at 7 am on the 29th of September in a farewell squall. If we had any doubts about whether to leave the cockpit enclosure up, it made our minds up for us.


We motored out and turned off the engine just to enjoy a few miles at a 2 to 3 knots snail pace. Our faithfull Perkins came back on and we motor-sailed with the main and the jib up in westerly force 4 to 6/7 and choppy seas. The squalls were coming and going, and we enjoyed amazing rainbows that were appearing in the sky. What a delightful view. We were busy filming and photographing one of them while another squall came and we scrambled to let the main out to get the boat back in the groove.


It was a long beat south. We gave Ardnamurchan Point a wide berth which enabled a beautiful XYacht "Tucan", who also left Mallaig marina that morning shortly after our departure, to overtake us. No harm no foul. That boat is a racer while Altor is a cruiser, so no need to get bitter about this unspoken little competition.


We sailed downwind through the Sound of Mull, carrying the main only, enjoying more sunshine and rainbows. The previous time we sailed in these waters was in July 2020 and we were tacking all the way from Lochaline to Tobermory, and our zig-zagging track was still visible on the screen of our Raymarine chart plotter. This time we left a trail in the form of a straight line.


We picked an anchorage near Lochaline, called Fishnish Bay, to enjoy some time away from civilisation for a couple of nights, before we left for Oban.

Amazing brioches from the Old Quay Bakehouse in Mallaig. These are so delicious I could live on them!!!

Light illumination on the cliff wall overlooking the marina in Mallaig.

Beautiful bench in Mallaig.

Altor moored safely in Mallaig marina.

Fishing boats in Mallaig fishing harbour.

Light illumination on the cliff wall overlooking the marina in Mallaig.

Graffiti on one of the buildings in the fishing port, Mallaig.

Graffiti on one of the buildings in the fishing port, Mallaig.

Light illumination on the cliff wall overlooking the marina in Mallaig.

Mallaig marina.

Mallaig Marina.

The little round hut is the pizza place with delicious pizza served only two days a week. Next to it is the building with marina facilities and the Old Quay Bakehouse.

Circular walk in Mallaig.

Circular walk in Mallaig.

Altor moored in Mallaig Marina.

Mallaig Marina after squall.

Heading from Mallaig to the Sound of Mull.

On the way from Mallaig to the Sound of Mull.

On the way from Mallaig to the Sound of Mull.

On the way from Mallaig to the Sound of Mull.

On the way from Mallaig to the Sound of Mull - one of many rainbows we saw that day. We saw and experienced many squalls too...

On the way from Mallaig to the Sound of Mull.

On the way from Mallaig to the Sound of Mull.

On the way from Mallaig to the Sound of Mull.

On the way from Mallaig to the Sound of Mull.

Anchored opposite Lochaline.

Leaving the Sound of Mull and heading to Kerrera Island, opposite Oban.

Lighthouse near Tobermory on the Isle of Mull

Lighthouse on the west end of the Sound of Mull.

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