Emerald Tales

Currently in Portugal after 7 years in the Mediterranean

22 March 2024 | Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
01 March 2024 | Porto Santo
23 February 2024 | Porto Santo
22 January 2024 | Madeira
15 December 2023 | Porto Santo
13 October 2023 | Porto Santo
15 September 2023 | Porto Santo
09 August 2023 | Porto Santo, Madeira
28 July 2023 | Porto Santo, Madeira
23 June 2023 | Porto Santo
15 January 2023 | Porto Santo
15 September 2022 | Porto Santo
19 August 2022 | Porto Santo
29 July 2022 | Porto Santo, Madeira


11 July 2011 | East Loch Tarbert, Harris to Rona (Acarseid Mhor) via Shiant Islands: 45nm travelled
Nichola / 3 days of sun
We left Tarbert late morning, as we were motoring down the loch, Colin suggested a detour via the Shiant Islands to go and see puffins - I agreed in an instant! The wind was stronger than forecast, a F6 most of the time on the nose but we plugged into it for the 10nm trip. Puffins lined the route along with guillemots and razorbills; fulmars swooped and dived all around us, their wing tips skimming the waves. With blue skies and the sun sparkling off the waves it was a pretty spectacular sight.

As we neared the Shiants the sound of the birds grew. A swell was rolling into the bay between the islands making it difficult to get close to the rocks so I had to content myself with watching the many puffins on the water and admiring the basalt column cliffs of the islands.

With our late start from Tarbert, it was nearly 3pm by the time we got to the Shiants and with another 25nm to go to Rona we reluctantly left the puffins in peace. We were able to sail the leg to Rona, a broad reach with a F6 pushing Emerald up to 7.5kts. The headsail that we had re-cut into a yankee from a 140% genoa is definitely an improvement.

We arrived at Rona about 7pm having had a bit of a grim time down Raasay Sound, the auto-pilot struggling with the rolly-rolly following sea. We worried about getting the main down but in the end all went well and the shelter from the island outside Acairseid Mhor was perfect for getting into the anchorage.

We had two fantastic days on Rona enjoying the warm sunshine, wearing ourselves out by walking pretty much the length of the island, a bit boggy in places and tick-y too (I picked 7 off my legs) but with fabulous views. We climbed to the highest point to watch the sunset - we got there a bit early and realised we'd forgotten the hipflask - doh! We met the island owner who told us a few tales and partook of the Rona food; topping up the freezer with some venison steaks and mince and buying a few handfuls of squat lobsters which we cooked into a Thai curry. We also bought some Rona tartan to make into one of our new cushion covers.
Sunset over Outer Hebrides from Rona
We both agree that Rona is our favourite place on this trip (so far!).
Vessel Name: Emerald
Vessel Make/Model: Kelly Peterson 44
Hailing Port: No fixed abode
Crew: Colin 'Skip' Wright, Nichola Wright
About: One from Northern Ireland, one from Yorkshire, UK
Extra: Emerald has been our home since 2004. We've sailed around the UK, the western Baltic and have spent 7 years in the Med. We're currently in Portugal, planning a refit. Lot's more information about us and the boat can be found at www.yachtemerald.com
Home Page: https://www.yachtemerald.com/