The cars were eventually parked at the forestry parking area (B8025, looks like a passing place: 871 752) at the entrance to Coal Scotnish and the boats were prepared for the days paddle. After launching we paddled NW to the head of Coal Scotnish, exploring the small islands on the way. The scenery is wonderful in this area and wildlife was abundant: seal, geese, cormorant, shag, heron, many shore birds and the call of the cuckoo keep us company.
After paddling back down Scotnish we had an extended lunch in a small bay just west of Rubh an Oib. This small wooded bay was awash with bird song and a shoal of small fish could be seen breaking the surface of the mirrored water.
The smell of bacon filled the air and after a brew up there was nothing for it but to relax and enjoy the sun.
After lunch we headed round Rubh an Oib and paddled NW toward the fairy islands which is a magical place that has to be explored at high water to be able to circumnavigate the top islands in the chain. This area has a sandy bottom and one of the top islands is the most perfect island I have seen, covered with scots pine, birch, lush vegetation with a blue haze that turned out to be bluebells. If you are going to get fairies in Scotland, then I would look for them here.
The rain was already falling as we made our way towards Tayvallich. However it seems that the fairies were not very happy with us for entering their kingdom: the clouds built up the rain got steadily heavier and there was the rumble of thunder in the distance. The thunder came closer, the rain got heavier and the clouds darkened. Did I mention the rain got heavier, torrential is the word I am looking for. Now I don’t want you to think I am exaggerating, but it got heavier than torrential: monsoon quantities of water fell on us. Not only that, but now, lighting and thunder was right over us , it felt as though it was about ten feet above us, that might be exaggerating, but it was close, very close.
We got off the water safely. Just as we were emptying the boats some of the clouds cleared and the sun once again appeared, the cuckoo began to call, the birds sang and a woodpeckers drumming echoed across the water.
A perfect end to a wonderful day.