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A peaceful spot but not the same since the late Irene MacLachlan had to leave her cottage overlooking the bay in 1992, and move into a nursing home where she died atthe age of 87 in 1997. This indomitable lady lived alone, with MacKelvie her cat, with no electricity. She maintained a keen interest in all the boats coming to anchor in the bay, indeed one was expected to sign her visitors' book, the nine volumes are now with the Clyde Cruising Club, and have a cup of tea. She had binoculars by the window to keep a very sharp eye on what was going on, with particular and gleeful attention to any boats that went aground at the quite tricky entrance. Very appropriately, she was made an honorary life member of both the Clyde Cruising Club and the Royal Highland Yacht Club. Libby Purves put it well in 'One Summer's Grace', the lovely book she wrote about sailing round the UK with her young family in the late 1980s "Record keeping, faithful down the years, has made a plain old farming spinster with a keen eye and a satirical grin into something approaching a tribal matriarch". Now her house is spruced up and looks like a holiday home, complete with satellite dish.
It is well worth the short walk to the top of the hill, not so much to inspect the rather nondescript pile of stones which was once an iron age hill-fort (Dun Ballycastle), but for the truly spectacular view — from Loch Melfort, to Shuna, to Scarba, to the Fladda lighthouse, to the mountains of Mull and across to Clachan Seil. Stunning.
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Looking down on the bay from the hill-fort
That surprsingly tricky entrance, and exit