History of the Clan Macrae

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Lady Mackenzie and the Kintail Men prepare to intercept Augus Og on his return from Invasion of Lochcarron

(Previously: Angus Og of Glengarry invades Lochcarron)

At Ellandonan they found Kintail's lady superintending preparations for the expedition.  The galley was quickly manned by eighteen of the best and bravest men available, besides the rowers, and placed under the command of Duncan.  They had also a small boat to attend on them, and on board the galley they had two small brass cannons and some ammunition, which the lady served out with her own hands, and before they started she gave them an eloquent exhortation to play their part bravely, and to maintain the honor of their clan and their absent Chief like good and true men.  She then mounted the Castle wall and watched them as they sailed away under cover of the fast gathering shades of the winter night.

They had not gone far when they met a boat coming to tell them that the Macdonalds were at Kyleakin, apparently waiting for the turn of the tide to help them through Kylerea, where the tidal current is usually so strong that a boat can make little headway against it.  Shortly afterwards there passed by the Kintail men, without observing them, a small boat which they concluded to have been sent on by the Macdonalds to see whether Kylerea was clear.  They allowed this boat to pass unchallenged lest any alarm should be raised.  It was a calm moonlit night, with a covering of snow on the ground, which added to the light and made it easy to sail about even in narrow waters.  The Kintail men, therefore, decided to direct their course at once towards the fleet of the Macdonalds, and having filled their row-locks with seaweed to prevent the pulsing noise of their oars, they steered towards Kyleakin.  As they approached the Cailleach Rock, which lies off the coast of Skye, and not far from the Lochalsh end of Kylerea, they observed the first of Macdonald's galleys drawing near.  

Next: Fight at the Cailleach Rock