A rugged little island sitting amid fast running tidal narrows.
Isle of Lunga
Lunga (island of the long ship) lies about 12 miles south of Oban. The island sits in an area with some of the fastest tidal flows in the UK. Jura and the infamous Gulf or Cirryvrekan lie a couple of miles to the south. The island is mostly of Schist and micra schist. The highest point on Lunga is Bidean na h-Iolaire (peak of the eagle) Population peaked at in the 1890s with 15 people living in the same building. It is now uninhabited and owned by Torquil Johnson-Ferguson.
Lunga is separated from its bigger neighbour Scarba by Bealach a’ Choin Ghlas. Its better know as The Grey Dogs and has a fearsome reputation with 8 knot plus tidal streams.
To the east of Lunga is the Sound of Luing. The Sound is a busy waterway connecting Oban and the outer west coast with the Clyde, and NE England.
Boulders, crags and head height bracken
Lunga is one these islands that does not hold any great attraction to visit. There is one reasonably sheltered anchorage. The bay is called Camas a Mhor-Fhir (bay of the giant). It is susceptible to swell in anything but a northerly or easterly breeze. There is another option on the eastern shore at Poll nan Corran. Its not the best!
The island is craggy and strewn with boulders. On the day I landed in late August the bracken was head high in many places. To ward off the ticks I was clad head to toe with long sleeves and tucked in trousers.
We anchored in the main bay on the southern shore. My time was limited so I did not have time to explore the island. My plan was to scamper up the high top, take my photos and get back aboard. There is much more to explore as described by Haswell Smith’s Scottish Islands book. For another day perhaps to explore over to Columba’s well Tober a Challuim-Chille. I understand to the north of the island is the Rua Fiola adventure centre catering for parties of school age children.
A craggy scramble
The scramble up the was rough, very rough. The deep bracken hid boulders that had tumbled down the hill. It was a case of clambering on all fours up woody heather crags. Nearing the top, the bracken thinned to lovely lush grass with more patches of thick woody heather.
Views to the north
The top has great views off to the north. Mull, Luing, Lismore and Morven are all open to see. After a few moments of enjoying the views, I dropped down a steep slope back to the boulder beach. Before heading back to the boat, I went over to look at the intriguing ‘summer house’. A lovely spot for sure with an outside loo with the highest pitched roof I’ve ever seen! Not just a room with a view. A loo with a view !
Access can be gained by boat excursions from nearby Croabh Haven marina.