Last Friday and Saturday we did some exploring. The weather was quite settled, the wind about Force 2, mostly northerly. For data, we were using Admiralty SC5611 sheet 8, OS Landranger 48 and Nauticpath West Europe electronic chart. We also had Martin Lawrence, Isle of Mull. I have attempted to convert depths to chart datum - treat my calculations with caution!
We spent Friday night in the inlet west of Rubh Ardalanish described by Lawrence. It was comfortable, though there was a noticeable swell. In any sort on SW wind I think it would be quite bumpy. We checked out the adjacent inlet to the north. It was smaller and a bit bumpier so didn't seem to have anything to recommend it.
Next we investigated Ardalanish Bay. We went in north between Garbh Sgeir and the group of rocks Na Minn, turning east after passing most of the Na Minns. The depth was at least 5m all the way and we anchored in 4-5m, in sand. There was quite a lot of swell here, more than we would normally choose to put up with, even though the sea state was Slight by my estimation.
Next we tried Port an-t-Slaoichain. The entrance to this is quite straightforward, just head NNE straight in. Port an-t-S is just left of this conspicuous round headland.
It's quite small and shallow (about 2.5m). There was less swell than Ardalanish Bay, but more than in the inlet west of Rubh Ardalanish. It was calm enough to be acceptable on Saturday, but it's very exposed to the south. The bottom was mud and sand.
We anchored at Port an-t-Slaoichain and investigated around by dinghy.
Port Uisken looked from the chart plotter to be quite inaccessible but we tried it in the dinghy and got lost! I think there may be a way in at high water to a pool with 2m. We saw the pool and it looked very quiet and attractive, but without the plotter we missed the likely entrance channel. Our pilotage is getting rusty with electronic assistance.
Last we went into Port Bheathain. To enter, you would approach NNW then turn N at the last. It seems to dry out a long way, too far to be a useful anchorage I think. It's just to the right of that round headland in the photo but the entrance is further east than all the rocks in the photo.
It's interesting to look in these places when the weather allows, but in conclusion I think most of the most useful locations are already well described in the pilot books. But there might be some gems known only to a select few that are still to be discovered by us hoi polloi. Do share if you find one.