Navigating the lochs in Scotland: Isle of Skye

Leon Schulz is a MaxSea partner and is a RYA Yachtmaster Ocean instructor. This week, he tells us about his unforgettable experience, navigating his yacht, the Regina Laska to one of the lochs in Scotland, Loch Scavaig in the Isle of Skye, Scotland. 

Arriving at Loch Scavaig brings a feeling of a total immersion in nature. Cautiously approaching the narrow harbour entrance, I like to compare the notes in the Imray Pilot Book “Skye and North West Scotland” with MaxSea navigation charts. Both the Navionics, Jeppesen and raster charts in MaxSea provide similar chart data and are very helpful.

Lochs in Scotland: Scavaig, Isle of Skype
Loch Scavaig, Isle of Skye, Scotland

My observation at the harbour entrance, however, is that the water depth is slightly less than is claimed in all the available books and charts, and so, boaters should expect water depths of about 1-1.5 m more shallow than charts indicate, not only during low tide.

Lochs in Scotland: Beautiful scenery

When you arrive at the lagoon, you will be greeted by innumerable seals resting on the soft ground rock or curiously peeping out of the water. So we stare at each other and are enchanted by the contact between humans and animals.

Lochs in Scotland: Seals at the Isle of Skye

The silence of the mountains lying around is only interrupted by one sound – the noise of a waterfall, where the water seems to spring out of the fog into which bore into the mountains. Angelic water?

Lochs in Scotland: Regina Yachting

Slowly, carefully, and with the support of the Furuno NavNet 3D plotter, integrated with MaxSea TimeZero Explorer, we continue into the lagoon. There is no other boat in the area, not a soul. Even our mobile phone doesn’t have reception – no contact with the outside world. Only a small cabin with closed window shutters in the colors of the Scottish flag testifies to the fact that sometimes people here have to seek shelter when the weather becomes too harsh, as is the reputation of Scotland.

The dramatic scenery is breathtaking and so we put our dingy into the water and row ashore. Trails meander along lakes and high up into the mountains with a beautiful view over half Scotland, if not over half of the world. Time and space seem to merge.

Lochs in Scotland: Beautiful scenery at the Isle of Skye

My charter guests who have travelled with me all the way from Canada on my HR 46 Regina Laska boat, are full of happiness.

In the evening another yacht arrives in the area and anchors next to us. An aluminum yacht that looks as if it has come from as far as Greenland, Svalbard or Antarctica.

We happily sleep in this paradise, until we are awakened the next morning by a motor noise: A tour boat from the nearby mainland. And then another one. And later another. There are lots of hikers who have stopped here for a couple of hours, to see the same beauty that we had enjoyed in our loneliness the night before. But would they experience the same as us?

Lochs in Scotland: Beautiful scenery in Scotland

Yes, we think, and enjoy the morning coffee while in the sunlit cockpit.
No heaven can be kept for you alone! “Paradise is a state of mind,” said my charter guest. How true! We recognise that my favorite anchorage is no longer a secret. But as long as we believe it, we could feel unique and special in this world.

With this in mind, we drop anchor and sail instead of continuing to the nearby Talisker distillery.


Leon Schulz’s yacht, the Regina Laska is available for charter. Learn more about his services on the Regina Sailing website.


 

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