In the second week of our Spring 2022 programme, Our Isles and Oceans – captained by Skipper Emily Caruso – visited the Isle of Canna in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. This was the first time the 68-foot Clipper yacht has reached the island in the westernmost part of the Small Isle archipelago. This was a feat for the Our Isles and Oceans team; the Spring programme aims to expand our reach along Britain’s isles.
The crew and Ambassadors set off from Tobermory on Tuesday morning and covered an estimated 40 nautical miles to reach Canna. Our Isles and Oceans was met by Canna’s Harbourmaster, Donald Mackenzie, on Tuesday afternoon.
“To get to meet another group of people from across the UK was phenomenal.”Laura Hampton, Our Isles and Oceans Ambassador
Canna and the community
Canna currently has a population of just 16 people (and a whole lot of sheep)! A small and close-knit community, the Isle of Canna has been owned by the National Trust for Scotland since 1981 after it was left to them by the previous owners.
“The owners of Canna, John Lorne Campbell and Margaret Fay Shaw, his wife, didn’t have any children, so they wanted to pass on the collection of Gaelic literature, songs, photographs… onto the nation.”Donald Mackenzie, Canna Harbourmaster
In such a small community, it’s all hands on deck to keep the island operational. The island has one café and store to serve the community and visitors, which relies on an ‘honesty box’, rather than a café or shop assistant.
Canna has three churches on-site, although only one is still in use, and has a rich archaeological and Gaelic history. In fact, the Scottish Gaelic name for Canna, Eilean Chanaigh, is thought to mean ‘Porpoise Island’!
Canna is home to a diverse ecosystem, including seals, eagles, whales, puffins and porpoises. Seals were spotted on arrival in Canna.
Green energy in Canna
As sustainability is a core focus for Our Isles and Oceans, the crew and Ambassadors were excited to see wind turbines overlooking the island’s harbour. The Canna Renewable Energy and Electrification project uses a combination of wind, solar and battery power to meet the community’s energy needs.
98% of the island’s power is generated by wind turbines and solar panels.
To visit Canna or find out more, read here: https://www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/canna