THE LOCAL PILOT
pilotage Correct identification of the starting point into Arisaig is essential; pass between the flat island of Luinga Mhor and the higher promontory of Rhu Arisaig, usefully marked with a blob of white paint. Rocks and islets extend southwest from the Rhu Arisaig, so give them a wide berth. Once satisfied with your approach, head for the grey two-storey cottage on a bearing of 080°, passing the first three perches to port. The reefs, rocks, and convolutions of the channel make the layout of the perches and the safe passage confusing. Take it slowly, not moving on until the next objective is certain and the route becomes obvious. Once the third perch has been left well to port, alter course to 010°to leave perch no.4 to starboard. A back bearing reveals a straight portion of the road leading up from the shore to provide another point of reference. When perch no.5 is abeam to starboard, aim 50m southeast of the next red perch (no.6), before heading for a point 50m north of the starboard hand perch no.7. Beware being set off course by cross tidal streams in this narrow and shallow (0.4m) section. After no.7, come gradually round to the right to pass 100m south of perch no.8 before entering Loch na Ceall between the red and green buoys. A final pair of perches must be negotiated before the moorings lie in front of you, though do not deviate from the fairway as there are several drying rocks to the sides. Marine facilities arisaig Marine Arisaig Marine has 60 professionally maintained swinging moorings for both short and long term hire, as well as a 20-tonne trailer for winter storage/launch and recovery. The pontoon landing provides water and enables the easy transfer of crew and stores. On-site tearoom, chandlery, launderette and showers. Diesel in cans and Calor Gas are available, and an onsite marine engineer can arrange repairs.
01687 450224; www.arisaig.co.uk; Mallaig Yachting Marina Run by the Mallaig Harbour Authority, Mallaig Yachting Marina has a 50-berth pontoon with walk-on access, shower/toilet/laundry facilities, water, electricity and Wi-fi. A slipway, as well as boat builders, marine engineers and a well-stocked chandlery can be found at the working port. The town has ferry links to Skye, the Small Isles, Barra, and Knoydart.
07824 331 031; www.mallaig-yachting-marina.com Mooring and anchoring: In the locale, anchoring is the norm although there are a few mooring buoys. Canna hosts 10 secure community moorings situated round the perimeter of the inner bay which leaves the central area free for anchoring. day sails: Yachtsmen are spoilt for choice when considering day-sail options from Arisaig. Here are just a few: Muck Muck is only 2.5 miles across and has a single 1.6 mile road connecting the settlement at Gallanach with the main centre, Port Mòr, the island’s harbour. sandaig BAY The main reason to visit this bay is to pay homage to the ghost of Gavin Maxwell of Ring of Bright Water fame, whose bothy was destroyed by fire in 1968. sanna BAY This sparsely populated anchorage lies 1.5 miles north of Ardnamurchan Point and is excellent either as a lunchtime stop or for an overnight stay in settled conditions. chartering Isle of Skye Yachts www.skyeyachts.co.uk Torridon Yacht Charter www.torridonyachtcharter.com charts and guides: Clyde Cruising Club Sailing Directions – Ardnamurchan to Cape Wrath 2nd edition (Imray, £32.50)
The Yachtsman’s Pilot: Skye and Northwest Scotland 3rd edition by Martin Lawrence (Imray, £27.50) Antares Charts: Charts on a USB memory stick sent to a UK address £14.99. www.antarescharts.co.uk
arisaig has sheltered moorings