Many years ago we anchored Silver Strand overnight in Loch Caolisport. I awoke to the pattering of the dogs’ paws on the deck. It was early, around 7am, on a breathlessly beautiful August morning. As we scrambled into the dinghy and rowed ashore I could see out in the Sound of Jura two distinct blobs on the horizon, heading north.
The wee yorkies raced around as the gentle waves susurrated on the shoreline. There was no other sound. Loch Caolisport is remote; the easiest access is by boat. The limpid green depths beckoned. Off came the shorts, pants, T-shirt and bra and I surrendered to the silken allure of skinny dipping. Blissfully, I swam to and fro.
Now and then I squinted out to sea. The blobs appeared to advance and I perceived one to be a warship and the other to be … the royal yacht Britannia. OMG – it’s the Queen!!! The swift swimmer raced ashore, dashed to and fro to dispel the watery droplets, gave herself a perfunctory swipe with the T-shirt, pulled on her clothes and, in some excitement, rowed back to Silver Strand and jumped aboard. It simply wouldn’t do to be caught skinny dipping by the Queen!
Later we slipped quietly and politely past Britannia as our radio eavesdropped on Britannia’s invitation to the officers aboard the warship Manchester to attend morning worship. We received a friendly wave from her Majesty. Little did she know what unseemly goings-on had taken place on the beach.