Scotland's West Coast

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The Western Highlands

Scotland's west coast is remarkably undeveloped, and the sailing is excellent. There are so many places to anchor, it would take a lifetime to visit them all. And the mountains around you seem to go on forever.

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Tobermory
Tobermory is an 18th-century fishing village on the isle of Mull. When the Spanish Armada retreated in 1588, one of the galleons caught fire and blew up in this harbor. The legend is that a fortune in gold was left behind (that nobody has ever found).
Seal
Seals are a common sight in these waters. This one paid scant attention to us, while we anchored nearby.
Good Crack
It's hard to let this expression get by. In this region, "crack" just means "to have a good time." Some would argue that this is what it means in the US as well.
Distillery
There are tiny single-malt distilleries all over the Scottish Highlands, and, unsurprisingly, they all provide tours for visitors. At the end, you'll sample a wee dram. The location for the tasting is always, coincidentally, in a shop where you can buy more bottles, or drunken sweets, or souvenirs emblazoned with the distillery's logo.
Loch Aline
Sailing around the lochs (a loch is a lake or sea inlet) enables you to enjoy the serenity and beauty of western Scotland. From your viewpoint in the anchorage, there isn't a building in sight, and you see sheep nibbling their way up and down the mountains.
Kisimul Castle
Kisimul Castle is named from the Gaelic "the place taxes are paid" (you can't make this stuff up). It sits in the middle of Castlebay in the Outer Hebrides, so it's got a pretty effective moat. This castle is made possible by a fresh water well. The castle has been documented since the late sixteenth century, and recent excavations have uncovered an intriguing gold object, among other finds.
Iona
In AD 563, St. Columba came to Iona from Ireland and brought Christianity to Scotland. Iona Abbey is the monastery he founded. It's believed that the famous illuminated manuscript, the Book of Kells, was produced by the monks here.
Grave slabs at Iona
It's believed that dozens of kings and chiefs -- from Scotland, Ireland, Norway and France -- were buried at Iona, including Duncan, the victim of Macbeth. These gravestones inside Iona's museum are from the adjacent graveyard at the Abbey.