The Isle of Mull launched their first skiff in 2014 – the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1. One of their gaelic speaking members suggested we called it Eala Bhan – the White Swan, inspired by the lovely traditional song of the same name, written in the trenches by a soldier from the Western Isles as a love song to his sweetheart back home. The beautiful song and the story it contains is explained in this lovely Julie Fowlis video.
The colour scheme therefore had to be that of the swan – white feathers, orange and black bill.
When the club was ready to turn the second skiff during its build, it was suggested that we stick with the theme and name it after another traditional gaelic song – Sine Bhan or Fair Jean.
Mull has to be one of the best possible places for skiffing. Plenty of options depending which way the wind is blowing and some amazing opportunities for adventures. The club has had two regattas at Tobermory which were a great success, though its fair to say most of Mull’s skiffing has always focussed on longer distance and cruising (& picnics!) rather than racing.
Unfortunately, for various reasons, skiffing on Mull has suffered something of a decline in the last couple of years. But after the present restrictions are lifted, we are sure that there will be a renewed appetite to get out on the water. So we hope to see a resurgence.
At present one of the boats is based down at Gribun on the south shore of Loch na Keal with the other in the north of Mull at Tobermory and Dervaig.
The Mull skiffs were to row from Tobermory across the Sound of Mull to Drimnin on Ardnamurchan, to receive the baton from Morvern Sailing Club. The baton would be returned to Tobermory for some festivities around the harbour at the weekend. Then to Kilchoan, across the Sound of Mull again, to meet up with the rowers from Portsoy and Bristol taking the baton north.