Celtic Trail – Day 4 – Sailing to Eileach An Naoimh and Iona

This is the ‘rib boat’ that took most of the team to
Eileach An Naoimh and then Iona

After breakfast at the hotel, the Celtic team packed up and boarded a fast rib boat that took the team to the Isle of Iona, with an intermediate stop at Eileach An Naoimh, the location for St. Brenden, (one of the first monks from Ireland).

Steering the boad on the Irish Sea

Three of us opted in fact for a much more adventurous option, be it slower, that of sailing with one of our hosts on the sail boat called ‘Weaver’. It was, indeed, a very exciting trip. It was the forst time in my life when I could steer a sail boat.

The monks built circular drystone vaulted chambers. The pair of “beehive cells” here are similar and may have been built in the 7th century soon after the time of St. Columba, a missionary monk from Ireland. The ceiling would be completely closed leaving the chamber rather gloomy and dark. Much of the nearer cells is a rough, probably 18th century, rebuild, possibly for use as a sheepfold.

This location is also the burial ground for Columba’s mother, Eithne, in the sixth century.

Then the team had a time of personal quiet devotion to meditate and reflect.

After a walk down to the beach we re-boarded the rib boat [and the sail boat] and made way to Iona, the location of the monastery and picturesque beauty of a Scottish island.


In this and in the following posts, the text in BLACK is by Michael Carlisle, one of our colleagues on the Celtic Trail, and the text in BLUE contains my comments.

The first three episodes of this trail could be found HERE, HERE and HERE.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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