Antipole cruises

The Isle of Arran

On arriving at the Isle of Arran we entered Lamlash Bay.  This large bay is almost land-locked owing to Holy Island across its entrance.  Lamlash is an attractive village and we spent  most of Sunday exploring along its long waterfront

On Sunday evening we sailed gently across the bay to anchor close under Holy Island and on Monday rowed ashore to visit.  The island has long been associated with monastic traditions and is now owned by the Samye Ling Buddhist Monastery. As The Centre for World Peace and Health, it has a full programme of courses on mindfulness and similar themes.  There are several retreat and meditation houses – the community in the southern lighthouse complex nearing the end of a four year women’s retreat.

We walked the length of the high spine of the island including Mullach Mór at 1030’ (314m), with breath-taking views across the Firth of Clyde, before descending and returning on the coastal path.  The photo below shows a view across Lamlash Bay to the village.  Antipole is at anchor centre foreground.
IMG_1320IMG_1323The whole island is a nature reserve with wild Eriskay ponies, white Saanen goats and dark brown Soay sheep with many lambs at this time. [Soay is one of the St Kilda islands out in the Atlantic – no one knows how they got their unique sheep.]  All the animals are left undisturbed and hence very tame. We saw the cave where the 6th century Saint Mo Las lived, with its stone table and seat where he gave judgement to settle local disputes.  The whole island has a lovely feel and we enjoyed our visit very much, despite rain at times.
Tuesday was a beautiful day with clear skies but hardly any wind.  We ghosted along with hardly way to steer but with the eventual help of the spinnaker made about 1.5 knots and got to Brodick Bay where we anchored close under Brodick Castle.  We rowed ashore to visit.
Brodick_CastleBrodick Castle dates from the 13th century and is said to be the most complete baronial castle in Scotland.  It was much extended over the years, lastly in Victorian times and has most of the original furniture, fittings and paintings from the Hamilton family.  It stands in a magnificent park and gardens, which includes national collections of rhododendrons, many of which were in flower.
You can see our track round Scotland here.  If you click on the anchor icons you will see where we were and can relate this to the descriptions here.
On Wednesday we sail for the Isle of Bute and will send more news in due course.
Tony & Ynskje

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