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Quoile River

For our third and final anchorage in Strangford Lough, we returned south from Mahee Island and anchored off the Quoile River. There we stepped ashore for the first time since leaving Stornoway two weeks earlier and took a long and enjoyable walk through the village of Killyleagh, north to the town of Shrigley and back…

Mahee Island

After three nights moored off Chapel Island, we moved to the northern end of Strangford Lough to anchor off Mahee Island. On a tender tour of the area, we passed several of the nearly dozen boating clubs inside Strangford Lough. One of them was the Down Cruising Club, who stand out from the rest for…

Chapel Island

We anchored for three nights off Chapel Island just inside Strangford Lough, NI in wonderfully calm and sunny conditions. While there, we made a tender tour of the southern end of the lough and checked out the current in the entry channel at full flood. We also took a closer look at several of the…

Northern Ireland Arrival

The 225-mile overnight run from Scalpay to Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland started and ended in positive current and calm conditions. We sped around the west shores of the Isle of Islay at 13.5 knots as the current flushed us into North Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland. There the winds picked up to only…

Stornoway Departure

We departed Stornoway at the end of March for Northern Ireland. With the area’s frequent weather systems and strong currents, finding a window to run the entire way was a bit of a challenge. During a brief period of forecast improved conditions between two weather systems, we made a 30-mile run south to Scalpay. After…

Stornoway

Our first visit to Stornoway in 2018 was only for a week. We hit the highlights of the town and the Isle of Lewis, but didn’t have time for much else. Our second visit in 2020 was much longer at a month, but we were busy with some major projects such as a changing the…

Perimeter Trail

Our final walk in Stornoway was also on the Lews Castle grounds, this time along the Perimeter Trail. Much of the trail follows the River Creed, and gave a sense of what the property might have been like in the mid-1800s when Sir James and Lady Matheson created the castle and grounds. We particularly enjoyed…

Lews Castle Grounds

Sir James and Lady Matheson created the Lews Castle and its grounds over a period of seven years starting in 1847. The extensive grounds encompass 687 acres (278 hectares) of woodland and included the widest range of exotic flowers in Scotland at the time. The subsequent owner, Lord Leverhulme, gifted the property to the people…

The Iolaire Disaster

The shipwreck of the HMY Iolaire was one of the worst UK maritime disaster during peacetime. The ship sunk Jan 1, 1919 in a severe southerly gale off Holm Point just outside Stornoway harbour. At least 201 of the 238 on board drowned (the ship was badly overcrowded and records poor, so the death toll…

Cnoc Nan Uan Hill

Cnoc nan Uan hill is just north of Stornoway, and an easy walk from town. The hill is the highest in the area and has sweeping views across Stornoway and the Isle of Lewis, along with a sobering reminder of the toll of war. Atop the hill stands the 85-ft (26 m) Lewis War Memorial,…