After a brief stop in Islay where our somewhat tardy voyager sampled some of the delights of this isle renowned for its whisky, he set off on a potentially hazardous leg of the voyage because eschewing the windy west shores of Jura, which lie on the Minch, the waters between the Inner and Outer Hebrides, he took the narrow straits north past Jura and Mull. These took him near to the fearsome tide rips and swirling currents of the Bay of Corrievreckan. Here is a stretch of turbulent water,of overfalls where the sea turns chaotically choppy, and a whirlpool second in size to Norway's infamous maelstrom. Corrievreckan lies between Jura and Mull, and Marsden planned to avoid it, but some way from the bay he ran into an overfall.There was nothing to do but to sail on through a phenomenon that the admiralty pilot book describes as best avoided,but there were a few moments of terror when he thought that Corrievreckan's waters extended further out than he had thought. Then he passed through and the terror subsided.
He stopped at two more isles, Skye, where he moored at Portree and did some walking in the strange landscape of Quraing, with its jagged pinnacles; and then he moored for a final visit to Canna, where John Lorne Campbell had established a famous library of Gaelic culture. Marsden had visited Campbell's widow some years before and found her a wonderful woman, but now he came in her memory, for she was long departed. .
It was now time for the final dash to the Summer Isles. Marsden drove northward and the Summer Isles hove into view, but as he approached Tanera More, the largest of these isles and the only one with a usable harbour the seas were becoming mountainous and the seasons were turning against him.Landing would have been suicidal. But he knew that he had kept his word to his aunt. He had made the voyage. But there was an upside to his not landing, for the Summer Isles remained for him islands of the imagination. He does not describe the journey home, but I presume that he made his way home to Cornwall via the safer and shorter route down the Irish Sea, a route safer and shorter than the journey that he had taken.
This was an enjoyable book enhanced by the provision of two good, well-drawn maps that enable you to follow the route with ease.There are, however, few photographs. I commend this book to you readers in the confidence that you will enjoy it.
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