12th August 2020. We are now sailing north up the inside of the Outer Hebrides, passing from South Uist to North Uist, and into the harbour of Lochmaddy (one word!) the capital village of North Uist.
Loch Maddy itself, is named for the dog-like islets that guard its entrance, or more romantically Loch nam Mahadh – the Loch of the Hounds! A rather suitable place for a GOOD DOG to visit ha ha.
Finding the HM was rather more difficult than navigating through the rocky entrance. These remote harbours are little more than ferry terminals and the ferry companies don’t need much help from a HM. However I was told there WAS a man from the council who worked on the pier and I was determined to find him! I normally email the HM well in advance, but Angus Macdonald was quietly drinking his cup of tea when I knocked on his door at 6.30am and he was slightly bemused by my request for a photo from an odd Englishman. However he was very friendly and told me that as the harbour marina was officially closed there would be no charge for our stay!
North Uist, as you can see from the various maps and aerial photos, is mostly water. If you read Hamish Haswell-Smith’s description from his book “The Scottish Islands”, you will see why not many people live here!
However the harbour itself has a long history going back to Norse times. Romantically it was said to be a pirate base in 1616. By 1703 it had a quay and in 1802 a fishing village was built for the herring fishing. In 1834, it became a steamer terminal and has continued as a ferry port until the present day. We were there just as the ferry came in from Skye, and like everyone, were transfixed watching ferry’s huge bow swing open like a whale’s mouth disgorging people from her hold….
I am circumnavigating #GB in a #Nauticat attempting to visit every #harbour with a #harbourmaster #fundraising to #support @Seafarers_UK and their work in the #martime industry, supporting #seafarers and their #families. You can #sponsor my #challenge by visiting the link in my bio. Thank you for your support!
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