Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Great Cumbrae to Wee Cumbrae

The weather held, and the following day I returned to Great Cumbrae to walk to Millport once again, where I would board a small boat for the journey to Wee Cumbrae.

Once ashore on Great Cumbrae I hiked up the one remaining road that I had not walked on the two previous days on the island, the B899. It made a gradual climb to a small woodland called 'Standing Stone Plantation'. At the SE corner of the plantation I found Great Cumbrae's only standing stone, a seven foot high monolith called the Gouklan Stone. It had several names incised on it, most unreadable. In addition to the above CANMORE link you can also read about it in W. Lytteil's Guidebook to the Cumbraes.



From the standing stone the walk to Millport Bay was all downhill. I walked out onto the brown sands of the beach where there was a direct view to Wee Cumbrae. Moored in the bay was a small boat, the Anne Marie, which would be taking me to the island.



The Anne Marie motored south to Wee Cumbrae where we tied up to a small pier. Directly opposite it Cumbrae Castle could be seen on Castle Island. Once the tide was low I would be able to walk to it.  Just above the pier a sign welcomed us to the island, and I walked past it to take a brief look at Cumbrae House before climbing up to the top of the island.


"Welcome - Wee Cumbrae" sign (between the anchors)
As I climbed I was excited about exploring a new island; an historic isle once the home of Saint Bey. But little did I know that there would be problems with the boat, and that I would be stranded here for a while. For the story of what I saw on the island, and what went wrong with the boat, see chapter 2 of book 1.

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