Monday, 8 August 2011

Skye and Harlosh Island

The water was flat calm as I made my way out Camas Ban bay heading for Loch Bracadale. I sensed a change in the weather, the cloud was thickening fast and the temperature seemed to drop as the wind from the north eased and started to shift to the east. My original plan to head along the cliffs to Idrigall point and MacLeods maidens first, was put on hold until I know what the wind was going to do. Being caught in the middle of Loch Bracadale in a twelve foot boat in a force 5 wind was not a pleasant thought.

As I passed Harlosh Skerry, the fish finder showed an interesting sea bed. Although it was only around twenty five to thirty five feet deep, it was full of holes and ridges. I made a mental note of this and decided to return later for some bait fishing as its the kind of terrain that Pollack like to habitat. I was trailing two surface lures on rods behind the boat but nothing nibbled.

The sea started to form some waves as I headed up the west coast of Harlosh island. Nothing to worry about but I could see a darker band of sea off the southern tip of the island. I remembered last year going round the south end of Cara on a day like this and right on the tip, the wind met the tide and it was quite lumpy. I suspected it was going to be similar with Harlosh Island.

Sure enough, as I rounded the south end, the east wind was making the water quite confused where it met with the out going tide. I wasn’t worried as I had expected it and the waves were not too big. It was at this very point, the fish finder showed what appeared to be a large shoal of fish under the boat. Next moment both rods bent and I was into the mackerel. However the sea was too turbulent for me to stop engines and reel them in for fear of getting washed onto the rocks.

The fish got a free tug tow round the point until I reached flatter water. They were then reeled in and dispatched with dignity. I was now looking forward to a breakfast of fresh fish as it was now almost 8 am. I was getting hungry.

I studied the rock formations with interest. From afar the cliffs look huge but close in I saw they were only 50 or so feet high.

The east side had some interesting caves cut into the rock and one or two seemed to go in quite deep. I was hoping to find some larger ones that I could take the boat in.

The wind had now swung to the south east and freshened a little but there were still no white horses showing. I know from past trips that once they start to appear, its time to head for sheltered waters. I looked at the wide open space between Harlosh Island and Tarner Island, judged it to be about a mile and should take approx 15 minutes to cross so decided to go for it........

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