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Guest Blogger Matt Maples: Rum Island, Shetland Islands, and the Hebrides

Posted by Tall Ships America on July 15, 2011

By Matthew Maples
14-07-2011 10:00

Our journey northwards to the Shetland Islands, while leisurely, has still been as exciting as a tall ships race – at least it is for those who have not seen the islands of the Hebrides in far northwest Scotland. By day we slowly weave through chains of forlorn islands of stone-strewn cliffs and weathered, greened tops. Every island we cross seems to be more impressive then the last one left in our wake.  Today, as small showers of rain and fog came and went, the islands would disappear and re-appear, lending a dream-like flourish to an already dramatic landscape.

Using the sunshine of yesterday to our advantage, we dropped anchor around noon at Colons Isle, a small island landscape of rolling, goat-dotted hills that bills itself as “The smallest island in the world to have it’s own brewery”. Sailing into Colons, we were accompanied by the Bessy Ellen, a ketch-rigged wooden tall ship piloted by long-time friends of Captain Klaas. Mooring their ship alongside our own, we were soon joined by another tall ship, the Gallant. Together, all three ships were tied together for an impromptu tall ship lunchtime gathering.

To continue reading about Matt’s adventures on Europa, click here


One Response to “Guest Blogger Matt Maples: Rum Island, Shetland Islands, and the Hebrides”

  1. Your ship will have anchored for lunch at Colonsay, a lovely wee island. Most of the islands are not as ‘forlorn’ as they look from seaward; many island communities make every effort to keep their islands viable as places to live and work.

    It’s a pity that most of the ships booked to stop off at Port Ellen, Isle of Islay sailed past without visiting, as island people had prepared events and a great Islay welcome for visiting sailors.

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