Conditions were good and we made an early start for St Kilda. Our biggest concern was that the evening wind - although not strong - was forecast to be from the SE which meant Village Bay would be exposed to it. We left through the Sound of Harris, following the turns of the Stanton Channel.
Out to the west of Pabbay (Island) we set sail directly for St Kilda. The wind was about 10kn from the SE and we flew our cruising chute.
When we were about half way the range control from the Benbecula firing ranges called us on the VHF and asked us to take a more northerly course to avoid their current exercises. This put us on course for Boreray - the main island in the northern part of the St Kilda group. As we got closer the number of sea birds - primarily Gannets - flying around us increased. Previously the only Gannets we'd seen had been solitary birds - but now we had dozens wheeling all around us. Closer still, and we could see that whole sections of cliff face were white with birds.
We turned south towards Hirta - the main island of St Kilda - and as we went we gradually saw the impressive outline of Stac Lee separate itself from behind Boreray.
We anchored in Village Bay. The wind was from the SE so it was exposed to a little swell, but the bottom was sand and the holding excellent. We stayed on board for a little while to be absolutely sure we weren't dragging, and that also gave space for 3 visiting day boats to pack up and leave (although one had a bit of engine trouble so came back for a further 30 minutes of repairs). A private motor yacht came in - and they and us were alone. Well, apart from the warden who lives on St Kilda during the summer which we had expected, and the complex of prefab buildings, including a power station, that forms the base used by the MoD / Qinetiq. We hadn't expected that. Stangely enough I realise that our own photos have almost entirely avoided capturing that. Anyway, we then went ashore where we were welcomed by the warden and then left to our own devices to wander around the remains of the village. A few of the cottages are restored and maintained for visitors - the warden told us that volunteers will be coming next week for shearing the Soay Sheep - and one cottage now forms a small exhibition. However the rest of the main street has fallen into ruin since it was abandoned in 1930. We wandered through the whole of the village, but it was getting too late to go much further so we returned to the boat for the evening.