What’s this body of water we’re on? It’s not the North Sea. Is it technically the Atlantic Ocean? Whatever it’s called, the water is dark and stormy. It’s serious.
And before we got on the sailboat for our trip around the southern part of Skye, our captain drilled into us how serious he was about safety. I can’t say I’ve ever had that kind of instruction about my life jacket.
One look at the water and feeling how cold it was on land – cooler than usual for late May – I felt very confident about two things: yes, it was smart of me to put every layer I had on – short sleeve, long sleeve, hoodie, sweater and jacket, and yes, keep my life jacket on at all times. I didn’t have gloves – I had yet to buy them – so I wore sock-gloves. You know, a pair of clean wool socks slipped over my hands. I have never been happier to look silly and admit my stupidity at not having packed properly.
Our sailing tour was wonderful. We were on a 50 foot sailboat that was beautifully kept up. Our captain and his wife owned the hotel where we stayed, and they were masters of sailing. She was from Skye, and he had been in the merchant marines for quite some time. They were terrific hosts, knowledgeable and engaging. Our fellow guests – it was our group and one other couple – were also well traveled and interesting. And we were well-supplied with food – tea and shortbread as a snack, and a hearty lunch of venison pate, salads, smoked salmon, cheese and more. Oh, and sparkling wine.
One of the most amazing things about Skye was that there were to this day, real people living in these little remote villages. What must that be like? It’s so hard to get to, and yet so beautiful. Then again, you have to take a boat to the pub. Hmmm ….