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Total Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon 28 September Super Moon

Thanks To Meteorwatch For The Image

Get your cameras at the ready!

Wherever you are in Scotland you should get a good view of the Lunar Eclipse.
In fact it should be visible to anyone in the Atlantic regions of the planet including the North and South America, Africa, UK and Western Europe.
I’ve added the date and details to Our Tarbert Calendar! Make sure you add it to yours.

This is an extra special date as we have three events on one night giving us the magnificent effect of a huge red moon thanks to  a full moon, the lunar eclipse,
in which the Earth blocks the sun’s light from hitting the moon,  and lunar perigee, when the moon is in the closest part of its orbit to Earth.
You don’t need any specialist equipment to observe this spectacular moon, but a pair of binoculars or  Telescope will enable you to have a closer look at the details of the moons surface.

Not a red moon or an eclipse, just a random photo from last year, I love the moon on the water

Living in Tarbert we have the added advantage of the scenery and the potential to capture reflections on the loch (given clear skies and calm waters, oh please let us have clear skies and calm waters)
But that said, sometimes a little cloud just adds to the effect.
You may have read online, or in some news papers that a blood moon signifies the end of the world.
The coming of Christ and a whole host of dramatic and wonderful things.
Last year on the 22 February Norse mythology stated the world will end;

Ragnarok, the final mystical battle on earth, was to begin on February 22  Legend had it that Norse gods including Thor and Loki will battle to the death after Earth splits open and unleashes the inhabitants of hell. 

The God Odin, who is ruler of Asgard, will be killed by the wolf Fenrir and the other ‘creator’ Gods will die. 

Viking lore has it that the globe will then fall into the sea and life on the planet will cease to exist. 

Same night a couple of hours later

Thankfully we are all still here, I’ve lost count of the many worlds ends I’ve managed to get through so far.
I love Astronomy so it always tickles me when I hear these tales of doom.
Forget the doom and gloom, wrap up warm and get outside, wherever you are the moon should be quite spectacular, so get your camera and get snapping!
I would really love it if you shared your Blood Moon Pics On Our Facebook Page.

If we get a good response I will share them on this blog.
I just found this Online Guide with tips on how to photograph the eclipse.

 

An Interesting History & Updated Local Links

Pier Road

I have been researching local history and last week I came across this fantastic blog,
Gigha: My Spiritual Home 
If you love Tarbert and Gigha I think you should bookmark it, as well as covering a fascinating family history the writer has also collected a stunning collection of old historical photographs Of Tarbert.
And Gigha!
The writer also tells of her family history and documents her trips. It’s a brilliant blog and I shall try and read it all soon.
If you know of any similar sites please let me know so I can link to them, I’d also love to hear  of any old tales and folklore from around Tarbert, so please get in touch!
Also while browsing I found this video thanks to Tarbert Harbour Authority for sharing it on their Facebook Page.

 

A brilliant capture of a Humpback Whale swimming in Loch Fyne.
While getting lost on lovely links and fascinating videos this week I have also added a few more local links.
Thank you to everyone for your help! It will be a slow process but I intend to get all of us on here in time.
If you look at the links menu on the right hand top corner of the page, you will also find the contact details, website links and other information for the following new additions;

Loch Fyne Fish Bar, our very own local chippy serving locally sourced fresh fish, as well as Haggis, Black Pudding and many other tasty suppers to take away.

Blue Wave Services WiFi specialist for those of us that are always on the move, helping you stay connected on land and sea.
Blue Wave Services are also specialists in boat care, maintenance, servicing and cleaning.

Be Cosy Outdoors!

Màiri’s Cosy Outdoors is another new addition featuring beautiful hand made products, clothing to keep you warm while sailing or hiking and a beautiful selection of baby and toddler novelty products, have a browse it is a beautiful shop with unique items.

Another business added to the links is Millennium Group, a company that covers all of your TV Network needs, from satellite freeview to installation and fitting as well as a whole host of other services, see their website for more information.

While browsing and researching, I also spotted this in my Facebook Newsfeed, many thanks to Explore Kintyre for sharing this stunning short video giving you an aerial view of the roads to Kintyre. Just beautiful!

Where To Stay In Tarbert

Tarbert Hotel

There are many places to stay in and around Tarbert, as this site grows I will add them all.
From the luxury of a home from home, the comforts or a modern hotel, a friendly B&B, camping, glamping and more you are sure to find the perfect place to relax and enjoy the hospitality in beautiful surroundings.
There is no order of preference, I am just starting with those I already have photographs of.
*update*
A list of Self Catering Holidays Here.

A list of B&B’s Here.

                                                                                      A list of Hotels Here.

The Tarbert Hotel is right in the middle of the village with stunning views over the loch.
Also overlooking the loch are The Islay Frigate Hotel and The Anchor Hotel.
Knap Guest House is also in the centre of Tarbert, if you book direct with them you get a 10% discount, see their website for more information.
Just two miles from the centre of Tarbert is Stonefield Castle, a magnificent Baronial Scottish castle set in 60 acres of woodland on the shores of Loch Fyne

The Islay Frigate

West Loch Hotel is a 10 minute walk from the village and sits overlooking West Loch. When I visited Tarbert for the very first time, we stopped here for a meal.
As a dog owner I was delighted to not only be made to feel very welcome, but before my order was taken, our dog was given a fresh bowl of water.
It’s the little things that make the difference.
The meal was delicious too!

A short distance from West Loch Hotel is West Loch Shores Self Catering Holiday Lodges, a pretty holiday park that nestles in the hills giving visitors stunning views over the loch.
Apologies for my poor photograph, it was taken while out on my kayak with my mobile phone!
Visit their website for more details and much better pictures!
As this site grows you will realise I am mad about nature, astronomy, kayaking and of course, my dogs, so for me, I am quite happy to pack a tent and go, living in such a beautiful place makes camping a real pleasure and I can enjoy all of my hobbies with ease.
If you fancy camping but are not quite up to sleeping under the stars on a groundsheet, you can adjust in comfort by trying out the fantastic cosy little Wigwams at Stonefield
With the farm and coffee shop on site you can enjoy fresh local produce while glamping!

Go Glamping!

Weather Forecast Says It Will Rain

Every morning when the alarm goes off I
listen to the news and weather before I fall out of bed,

I wait for
it now;

“Today will be mostly bright and sunny except for Northern
Ireland and the West of Scotland with rain moving in, sometimes
heavy”
 

It’s like Groundhog day (but prettier) each morning.

It’s good to start the day with a grin
though.
When I first moved here I would take 3
layers, a windproof jacket, a body warmer and a rain jacket, prepared
for anything!

Now I’ve been here a few years it’s got
easier, if it’s warm enough indoors not to need the heating on I
don’t take my layers, or a coat, it will rain, but oh that rain is
divine when you are hill walking, there have been many a time I’ve
been huffing and puffing up a hill trying to keep up with my dogs and
I’ve begged the skies to open up and cool me off.
The beauty of it
is, it almost always does.
Spongy Woodland Ground

What is not to love?
The rain makes it
all the more beautiful, the spongy mosses on the woodland floor, the
Wood Sorrel that seems to cover every woodland surface, the ground,
the rocks and even the trees.

The burns that sing louder the heavier
the rain, everything smells fresh, and we get rainbows, lots of them.

Fresh

I shall leave you with a couple of weather reports from the lads in Tarbert, for more videos follow Frank Ronald On YouTube Here.
But his Miley Cyrus impersonation is probably NSFW! 🙂

Wonderful Wildlife

Sika Deer

The wildlife we see all around us could not possibly be covered in one blog post!
If you love nature and exploring the great outdoors, then Tarbert and the rest of Kintyre is a must see holiday location!
Living here I am lucky enough to be able to study at leisure.
I am not going to give a guide or a map, nor list the areas I’ve found some of the wildlife, because that takes away all the fun of a nature trail!

Just sitting here in my office I am treated to some splendid sights.
I once wasted an afternoon watching a Buzzard hunt and then feast on it’s prey after stomping all over it to tenderise it I presume!

The deer in the picture above is a regular visitor I’ve managed to capture a few photos of.
Other creatures are too fast, or too clever and you need a keen eye to see some of them.
Wherever you are in Tarbert keep your eyes peeled, the wildlife is everywhere!

Can you see me?

Usually seen when you least expect it and I have found I see much more on the days I don’t have my camera with me!

A Useful Guide For Identifying Wildlife

I was thrilled to see my first Pine Marten last year, it rushed to the top of a tree and watched me from the safety of it’s branch.
There are signs of them all over the place, but I never expected to see one so close, it was beautiful!

Adder

In the Summer months you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of an Adder, Slow Worm or a Common Lizard up on the hills.

Along the shores you will find signs of Otters, if you are quiet and still you may even see some either eating at the waters edge or playing in the water.

Explore The Rock Pools

With so many small secluded beaches you can lose yourself for hours, relaxing or taking in all the life around you, from the Eagles soaring in the skies to the many mini beasts you will find in any of the rock pools.

If you look out to sea you could be lucky enough to spot one of the many seals that visit the lochs, quite often when we are out on our kayaks they will come and join us and follow us on our journeys.

If you want to really explore the secluded beaches and get quietly close to the marine life you can hire a canoe, kayak  or paddleboard from Kayak Majik.

If you hear a splash it could be a playful Porpoise, or a Gannet diving for it’s food.
Back on land, be careful where you tread in the spring as many birds nest along our shores and some eggs look just like pebbles!
If you love bird watching then you are really in for a treat! So many different species to see, I’m still trying to learn who is who, but when you see an eagle for the first time, you know it! Such beautiful birds, and so big you cannot be mistaken!

Tern Eggs

To get an idea of the fantastic variety of birds that live on and around the Tarbert forests, hills and shores take a look at the fantastic photographs on the Machrihanish Seabird And Wildlife Observatory Website!

Oyster Catcher

Sailing And Cruising Scotland Group

Search Sailing & Cruising To Find our Facebook Group

If you enjoy sailing and cruising around Scotland and you are a facebook member I can highly recommend the Private Facebook Group sponsored by Clyde Outboard Services.
The group is set to private so you can chat freely among members, to find them you need to put “sailing & Cruising Scotland” into the facebook search bar.
You know you’ve found them when you get this group…

Just click to join group and wait for admin to let you in, as an added bonus a members currently get a  a 10% discount off Outboard Servicing when they quote S&C Scotland*
*Applies to members of the group only!

Where The Wild Things Are

Wildlife, it’s everywhere and it is my
very favourite thing about living in such a
beautiful place, we are lucky enough to share it with a wide range of
wildlife.
First things, first, be prepared, as
glorious as it is, there are things that would quite happily eat you.
If you are spending time in an area
with heather, bracken and long grasses, especially if the area is
visited by Deer or Sheep (almost certainly here), chances are you and
your dogs will be at risk from ticks.
Wear protective clothing, long boots or
gaiters and do check yourself over after spending any amount of time
out there.
Ticks can be dangerous, they can carry
Lyme’s disease, but the risk is minimised by
removing the tick cleanly and as soon as possible.
I spend so much
time outside with my dogs it has become a part of the daily routine
to check them all over and quickly remove the little beastie!
They are reddish, brown or grey
and can be various sizes, I’ve found tiny ones, smaller than a pin
head, and even worse, I’ve found large ones like big grey peas on my
poor dogs!
The very best, quickest, cleanest and
easiest way to remove them from people and pets is with these O’Tom Tick Twister

 

Always keep some in your rucksack!
If you become unwell within around 30
days after finding a tick on you, you must let your doctor know, the
sooner you are treated for Lymes disease the better chance you have
of being successfully treated.
As gross as they are, generally their
bite doesn’t hurt, nor does it hurt to remove them, but do ensure you
keep an eye on the bite area on you or your pet to help prevent the risk
of infection.
The midges, the midges,
I’m no gonnae kid ye’s,
the midges is really the limit.
Wi teeth like piranhas, they drive ye
bananas,
If ye let them get under yer simmit!
(unknown)
Midges bites hurt! You can feel them,
it amazes me how they are so tiny, with such delicately patterned
wings they look so harmless but can be so annoying, their mouths feel like a mini circular saw!!
Don’t let them ruin your trip!

One of my dogs collecting critters!
I know we are going to have beautiful
weather if I open the door to let the dogs out in the morning and
there are a swarm of midges waiting to eat me.
Get to know them so they don’t ruin
your visit.
There are untold products out there to
protect you from insect bites, however the best we have found is Avon
Skin So Soft dry oil spray.
If you don’t have any, you might be
lucky and Karlina might have her usual reserves in stock.
If it’s windy, or raining, chances are
you wont be bothered by these little beasts, they tend to hang around
dawn and dusk in sheltered places.

I have heard (but not yet tried) a
yeast trap, apparently if you put some yeast and warm water in a jar
the midges are attracted to the carbon dioxide and will drown in the
jar.
You can keep track of the Local Midge Forecast Here!
Midges are also a food source for many
other beauties, so while they may be a minor irritation for us they are well worth tolerating for the sake of the bats, birds and other animals that need them in their daily diet

Where To Start?

West Loch Shores Log Cabins From The Loch

I am sitting here, gazing out over the
West Loch wondering where to start!

What is there to see and do in Tarbert?
We have fine dining, beautiful,
historical hotels, pubs, diners, numerous festivals, golf,beautiful walks,
pony treks, running and cycling events, boating, sailing, including
the Scottish Series, fishing, wind surfing, kayaking, canoeing,
artists and galleries, crafts of all kinds.
Ancient ruins, standing stones and all
of this among breathtaking scenery and beautiful wildlife.
As this site builds I will cover it
all, but it is going to take some time!

Tarbert Golf Club
For now, I’m sitting here watching a
butterfly fluttering over the long grass by the loch, some birds too
far for me to identify, wading in the tidal water, watching sheep
grazing over the other side on the hills of Kintyre, today I can see
them, but it really does depend on the weather.
Every now and then I am lucky enough to
see an Otter dash out, Deer grazing, and I am entertained by the
social interactions between the many birds that live here.
Another thing I love, the weather, it
can change every 5 minutes, I love the low clouds that rest on the
hills or sit quietly on the lochs.
The rain that brings the burns alive
from trickle to roar as the water gushes down the hills and into the
loch.
If you love the great outdoors, you
really are spoilt for choice here, there is
so much to see and do. Be prepared, you will get wet.
If you enjoy hiking, you can walk all
the way from Tarbert to Cambeltown along the Kintyre way, taking you
along stunning woodland and coastal paths, the route is signposted,
do wear high visibility clothing as some of the route is along the
A83.
There are more details on the Kintyre Way Website.

Kintyre

I’m not quite that adventurous, but I
do enjoy a walk, there are numerous routes you can take that don’t
lead you too far from your base.
Up at Tarbert castle there is the Community Woodland with the recent addition of the Artistic Sculptures….
If you are staying at West Loch Shores self catering log cabins or West Loch Hotel there is a beautiful long walk you can do from
Corranbuie up to the village then back down to West Loch.
You can either stay on the forestry
track or walk up through the pathway in the woods.
There are some very boggy places along
the way in the forest so wear good boots. It’s lush and green with
various mosses, liverworts and lichens living on the trees and the
rocks, if you have time to stop and sit, do.
If you are still and quiet you are sure
to see plenty of wildlife.
As you continue through the woods you
end up back on the forestry track and leave the Oak, Hawthorn, Birch
and more behind as you head through the Pine.
Don’t turn right where the path heads
off in another direction if you are wanting to get to the village,
the right turn takes you through more pine until it comes to an
abrupt end by a massive water fall! There is a narrow steel bridge to
take you over the head towards Kennacraig farm, but I wouldn’t
attempt to cross it, it’s a huge drop onto rocks. I’m clumsy at the
best of times, so it’s a U turn there for me! 🙂
Back on the original path, just keep
going up the hills, stay on the track and you will eventually come to
Tarbert.

Spectacular views!
Stop for a breather at the picnic bench
by the Millennium Cairn and take in the beautiful views before you,
once down and back in the village there are plenty of places for you to stop
for refreshments.

How To Get To Tarbert

CalMac to Kennacraig

However you choose to visit Tarbert, you are sure to enjoy the journey, by road from Glasgow you travel along the A82  to Loch Long then the A83 to Tarbert.
By car it is a beautiful drive. See the map below for details.

There are ferries from various locations, if you fancy doing some island hopping, take a look at the Caledonian MacBrayne Website for further details and to plan your journey.

There is a coach service from Buchanan Bus Station, you can book online and check the timetables on the Scottish Citylink Website.
The bus service is the Glasgow to Campbeltown 926 with West Coast Motors.
There are also flights from Glasgow to Campbeltown Airport.
The airport is just over 30 miles from Tarbert, so if you are planning a flight, you can Book a Taxi in advance.
You can contact Tarbert Taxis on 01880 820220 or 07436 288992 or 07557 373834 for a quote and to check availability.

Of course, with such a beautiful natural sheltered harbour, Tarbert is easy to get to by sea.

Lat. 55o 52′ N – Long. 5o 24.5’W

To arrange a berth you can contact Tarbert Harbour via email,VHF CH14 or telephone 01880 820 344

Tarbert Harbour

Tarbert Castle

 Tarbert Castle

As you come into Tarbert, be it by land or sea, you are sure to spot the castle.
The climb to the top of the hill may be tiring for some but it is well worth the effort.
The views from the top are spectacular so if the weather is nice, take a cool drink and a picnic and make some time to really savour the view!
The grass around the castle is kept trim thanks to the Hebridean black sheep that live up there.

I found an excellent PDF file on the Knapdale People Website giving more details on the history of the castle and the surrounding area.

Tarbert Castle is looked after by The Tarbert Castle Trust, more information can be found on their website.
You can also follow the trust on their facebook page giving updates on news and developments, see below for a preview and give them a “like”
There are some fantastic pictures of the castle on the page taken by local and tourists, check out the community woodland too!

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