As well as my love for the hills, I love the sea, so when Neil suggested a day trip on an old boat I was keen on the idea.
This was not just any old boat, but the PS Waverley, the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world. It was built on the Clyde in 1947 to replace the previous Waverley that sunk off Dunkirk in 1940. The Waverley was originally built to sail only between Craigendoran & Arrochar in the Firth of Clyde. In 1974 running costs were too high – despite conversion from coal to oil in 1957 – and it was withdrawn from service. The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society bought it for just £1, and restored it to it’s former glory with brightly-painted funnels, timber decks, gleaming varnish and brass fitments.
We studied the itinerary and chose to go from Kyle of Lochalsh via Broadford on Skye and onto Raasay. I thought a hour and a half on the boat each way would be enough and would give us about 6 hours in which to explore Raasay.