Port Ellen, Islay in Scotland

Starting voyages from Islay opens up a great sailing ground. It is easy to get from the mainland to the island by ferry to join your ship. There are 3-5 sailings a day with Calmac (Caledonian MacBrae) ferries between Kennacraig and Port Ellen on Islay (or Port Askaig). There is also a Cal Mac ferry from Oban to Kennacraig and onto Islay on saturdays and wednesdays in the summer.

Kennacraig is 6 miles down West Loch Tarbert on the Mull of Kintyre, so getting to the ferry port with more choice of sailings is a bit of a convoluted route from Glasgow.

The frequent ferries are due to the whisky production on the islands and an increase in tourism in recent decades. Port Ellen is situated in the South of the island and not far from the Lagavulin distillery. The deep water bay of Leodamais Bay has been an anchorage since Norse times and was known then as Leod’s Harbour.

It provides easy access out to sea or more sheltered water in the lee of Jura, or by tucking into some of the deep lochs on the mainland peninsula – the Mull of Kintyre.

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