Tuesday, 8 January 2013
Saturday, 5 May 2012
Saturday, 28 April 2012
Landing at Belnahua. South, numerous Islands add to the beauty of this area. In the background the Island of Scarba dominates the skyline with the Paps of Jura in the distance.
The campsite with a 5***** view. I suppose it will do!!!
A relic from the past: old, worn and past its best, and in the foreground rusting machinery.
No matter which way you look the views are magnificent.
Geylag Geese are resident on
|Jim surveys the surroundings.|
|North in the distance lies Easdale.|
Myself with Fladda Island in the Sound of
Luing. The name Fladda originates from the old Norse
for 'flat island'. Fladda has a lighthouse and lighthouse keepers' cottages
built in 1860 by brothers David and Thomas Stevenson.|
Heavy rain over the Island of Mull.|
Thursday, 11 August 2011
I pushed off and left behind the little sandy bay that had given much pleasure over the past few days. In the turquoise water small shoals of sand eels darted under the kayak as though hiding from the terns that were chattering on the wing further out.
Looking back, the Island of Eigg and Rhum, shimmered in the morning heat.
Another fine campsite.
Large numbers of swallows skimmed above the lush meadow in front of the ruins feeding and chattering in the warn morning sun along with numerous butterflies. I lay on my sleeping bag for a moment and closed my eyes, you could feel the peace and tranquillity of the area: bees and insects buzzed as they fed on the machair flowers, terns and swallows chattered and the waves gently lapped the sea shore. I felt I was home.
Before the Highland Clearances, upwards of 80 people lived around Peanmeanach: tending black cattle, sheep, and growing barley and potatoes.
The next day was grey and dreich (wet). Again, I fished the hill lochs, no brown trout were caught, I got soaking wet, but I was happy. A day for the tent, lashings of tea and catching up with my reading.
One of two snipe chicks found between the ruined crofts.
The last day. The wind had risen through the night as the ‘Coastguard Inshore Weather Forecast’ had predicted. Loch Aiort had a steadily increasing wave on it (still nothing serious), and further out, the Sound of Arisaig was looking very lumpy. It would be plan ‘B’: a short paddle into Loch Aiort, beach the kayak, hitch a lift back to Glenuig to get the car. Plan ‘B’ went to plan, and soon my first extended solo trip was over. The trip may be over but the memories will be with me forever. Fantastic.
Marilyn and Graham Cooper
Camas na Gualainn
Tel: 01687 470414
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Safety is always a priority when sea kayaking, but solo paddling further heightened the vulnerability factor. With this in mind safety procedures were put in place to minimise the possible risks: email to Stornoway Coastguard with details of
• My personal details
• Trip dates
• Discription of kayak, colour and kayak’s name
• Paddling area ( route dependant on sea and weather conditions)
• safety equipment carried: selection of flares, VHF, GPS, mobile phone with contact number (Stornoway Coastguard number in memory) and first aid equipment
• Emergency contact name and number
• Vehicle description and reg, and where it would be parked during the duration of the trip.
Contact with the Coastguard would only be made if delayed or an emergency situations.
The launch point for the trip would be Glenuig Bay, Northern Moidart, with access to the Sound of Arisaig and some of the best sea kayaking areas in Scotland. The car would be left at Glenuig Inn and Sea Kayaking Centre (as arranged through the forum), run by Steve MacFarlane, an enthusiastic kayaker and ambitious businessman. Trip details were also left with staff at, Glanuig Inn. The Glenuig Inn website is worth a look. Good luck with the business Steve. www.glenuig.com/
On the water at last. The sea and weather conditions were fantastic as I paddled north across the Sound of Arisaig. Like the heartbeat of the ocean, the swell from the west came in on sets, and added to the enjoyment of the crossing as it passed under the kayak lifting and lowering it, as it continued on its rush towards Ardnish Point.
I paddled on to explore An Glas-eilean and other islands and skerries that lie at the mouth of Loch Nan Uamh. Flightless black back gull chicks strutted about the skerries as the adults sinisterly patrolled the skies overhead. Shags dived from the rocks into the pristine waters of the Sound and the shinny heads of inquisitive seals bobbed around the kayak giving the occasional snort.
I beached the kayak at a near by bay next to another two kayaks to view a bothy that sits high on a cragg. Inside the bothy were Andy, and Perry, kayakers from Sheffield who had set up home for the night. They were kind enough to invite me to stay for the night but I wanted to push further along the coast. I hope you managed to see the otters.
I was soon paddling along the southern coast of the Arisaig Peninsular. My companions were the delicate and streamlined terns as they dived for eels in the turquoise waters near the shore and the occasional red deer as they grazed on the succulent summer grass on the small hill tops that run up from the sea.
There are many places to camp along this area, but I found this little bit of paradise to set up camp. The view from a hill top of the campsite. What a view from the tent door.
A wonderful end to a perfect day, the Island of Eigg shrouded in cloud. Stunning, just stunning.
The skies were mostly blue and the sea was calm as I paddled to explore the numerous islands and skerries that lie at the mouth of Loch nan Ceall, west of Arisaig village. The Island of Eigg and Rhum in the distance. These skerries and islands were a haven for seals and other wildlife.
A convenient sign post for sea kayakers looking for the village of Arisaig. Back at camp and after a well deserved meal I was of fishing from the shore around the bay, with some success.
The end of another memorable day, and another fantastic sunset.
Today I would break camp and head back east along the coast towards the Ardnish area. It was hard to leave this wonderful campsite and the wildlife that I had shared it with: otters, seals, ravens, herons, terns diving for eels and gannets further out. The list could go on and on.
Cliodhna packed and ready to go. The journey will continue in the posting: Arisaig to Ardnish.
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
View from the tent.
That evening I fished from the rocks and caught several Pollack.
The one below was the smallest but it had the most beautiful markings.
The smell of crushed grass from below the tent filled the air. I lay on top my sleeping bag looking out of the tent door, drinking another cup of tea, trying to soak up this wonderful environment and reflecting on the events of the day. I scanned the shore and small bay for otters again in the twilight (11-30pm), with no success. However, the dolphins did put in one last appearance as they rolled well out in the Sound heading towards Tianavage Bay. A great way to end a wonderful day.
After breaking camp we again paddled north along the coast of Ben Tianavage which was breath taking. For reference, there is a good camping area along this coastline: OS, 519 401. Although it is very rocky, there is an area on the left of the shoreline that looks more suitable for landing (with care). There is a large grazed grass area above the shoreline. Again, it also depends on the weather and sea conditions for landing.
Looking north, Ben Tianavage, and in the distance, The Storr.