Location: Skye
fishing, ships and boats, travel by sea, gaelic language and placenames

Life of Skye fisherman

Donald Macdonald is a fisherman from the west coast of the Sleat peninsula on the Isle of Skye.

Along with his father and uncle, he first fished from the crofting township of Achnacloich (Achadh na Cloiche in Gaelic, meaning Stonefield) on a 33 ft wooden open-deck boat called May.

From February to November fishing was from the Point of Sleat at the peninsula's southern tip to near Loch Eishort on the north of the island. From November to February, Donald and his family would maintain and repair their boat and tools. Early in the season, the catch was white fish, sold locally and at Mallaig. Later in the season, the catch was mainly lobsters and it was sent by train from Mallaig to Billingsgate in London.

Sadly, not all lobsters survived the journey, meaning Donald, his father and uncle were not always paid, so earnings were unpredictable for the fishermen. Later, Donald worked across the west coast of Scotland on the trawler Ribhinn Donn. The story of Donald’s working life was that of many others on Skye.

More information on visiting the area can be found here.