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Scottish anchorages

Eilean Mòr (the Cairns of Coll)

I have not anchored amongst this group of small islands and skerries off the north tip of Coll. Although they have been a navigational hazard for centuries ("remarkable for their fatality to sea-faring men" wrote Martin Martin in 1695), they sound idyllic. So idyllic that they were bought by Alexander McCall Smith, the well known and extraordinarily prolific Scottish author, in 2013. He intends to leave them in trust to the nation after his death, a generous and rather different attitude to some others who have bought Scottish islands recently and attempted to keep people off them - Sanda, and Shuna in Loch Linnhe come to mind. He has been quoted as saying "I do not own these islands as I own my clothes, I am the person to whom the legal system of Scotland has given custody of this sacred spot, and that is something quite different. I want them kept in perpetuity as a sanctuary for wildlife - for birds and seals and all the other creatures to which they are home".  Good on you I say.

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