Mark often said how special Scotland is and as soon as we reached the Scottish boarders he said he felt like our adventure has now really begun. That sounded really odd after 3 months of sailing and visiting so many fabulous places with stunning nature and beautiful animals, and experiencing heart-warming encounters with friendly, helpful people. While nothing can diminish the charm of sailing around England and Wales, after arriving on Islay I am starting to understand the fascination.
Port Ellen Lighthouse
The sky and sea are a perfect blend of blue, white and grey, interrupted by rocks that although deadly to sailors and their vessels, look fascinating and harbor various sea life. A very photogenic white lighthouse marking the entrance to Port Ellen, stands out alluringly on a rock. I can’t help myself but keep taking photos of the lighthouse in changing light as the day goes on. With perfectly calm seas the surroundings seem so unearthly and peaceful.
The ambience of Islay is not a single malt for sure, it has many different elements. It is totally chilled and has the slow pace of small sleepy community, full of friendliness, welcoming and curiosity, all in good spirit (pun intended). A dinghy mission to Port Ellen on the shore and a visit to a local shop revealed that the international situation hasn’t been alien to this charming island, as the staff wore face masks, but that didn’t take away from the positive and hospitable attitude. As we moved on to one of local beaches to enjoy lunch, we noted a lot of locals enjoying family time and kids swimming in the sea despite a temperature that would turn my complexion purple.
As we returned to the dinghy, and set out to fill our jerry cans with fresh water, a local retired fisherman pointed us to a working tap. If you were to draw a caricature of a retired fisherman and lifelong Islay resident with a captain’s hat and the love, no, passion, for whisky and cigarettes, then you would draw this man! Alive and well with the elixir of life and a tangible sparkle of happiness in his eyes, he laughed, joked and smiled through a whiskey and nicotine haze without a care in the world or seemingly any idea about the aforementioned international situation! What a treat to meet such a true local and be welcomed to the island with such casual charm and a wrinkled smile.
Now I appreciate what Mark was banging on about and I am so looking forward to discovering Scotland for myself!
Mark enjoying whiskey
Kormorans resting on a rock
Sunset on arrival
Not much wind, but so much fun!
Heavenly chilling makes up for a hard resting place.
Not a cheerful spot, but with a sea view ;)
Ethereal art on the sand.
Couldn't help myself but post another photo of the lighthouse.
I am happy in Scotland.